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Latest Organism Stories

Scientists Create Rewritable DNA
2012-05-22 13:29:59

Scientists have found a way to create rewritable digital data storage in DNA through means similar to binary coding. The researchers worked to reapply natural enzymes adapted from bacteria to flip specific genetic sequences of DNA back and forth at will. The scientists, who all work in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University Medical Center, said their method essentially works like that of binary computer coding. "Essentially, if the DNA section points in one...

Queen Of Spades Key To New Evolutionary Hypothesis
2012-05-11 03:02:13

Microscopic ocean plankton mimic card also known as the Black Queen Sleight of hand is a trait that belongs mainly to humans. Or so scientists thought. Studies of common, microscopic ocean plankton named Prochlorococcus show that humans aren't the only ones who can play a mean game of cards. Their method lurks in the Black Queen Hypothesis, as it's called, after the Queen of Spades in the card game Hearts. Scientists Jeffrey Morris and Richard Lenski of Michigan State...

2012-04-20 10:12:35

Tracing the tree of life back to a single ancestral form A study published in PLoS Computational Biology maps the development of life-sustaining chemistry to the history of early life. Researchers Rogier Braakman and Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute traced the six methods of carbon fixation seen in modern life back to a single ancestral form. Carbon fixation — life's mechanism for making carbon dioxide biologically useful — forms the biggest bridge between Earth's...

2012-03-27 11:46:47

The traditional way of making medicines from ingredients mixed together in a factory may be joined by a new approach in which doctors administer the ingredients for a medicine separately to patients, and the ingredients combine to produce the medicine inside patients' bodies. That's one promise from an emerging new field of chemistry, according to the scientist who founded it barely a decade ago. Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D., spoke on the topic – bioorthogonal chemistry – here today...

2012-03-12 21:00:31

A team of scientists has documented for the first time that animals can and do consume Archaea — a type of single-celled microorganism thought to be among the most abundant life forms on Earth. Archaea that consume the greenhouse gas methane were in turn eaten by worms living at deep-sea cold seeps off Costa Rica and the West Coast of the United States. Archaea perform many key ecosystem services including being involved with nitrogen cycling, and they are known to be the main...

Microbes Found Speciating In Russian Hot Spring
2012-02-22 09:04:50

[ Watch the Video ] It was Darwin who, upon studying evolving creatures, wondered how species diverge if they are living together. “That question really hasn´t been answered very well, even in the macro-organisms that we´ve studied for hundreds of years,” University of Illinois microbiology professor Rachel Whitaker ponders. Despite still being in close proximity to one another in an acidic, boiling habitat of a hot spring in Kamchatka, Russia, two groups of...

2012-01-26 02:13:47

Chemists have taken an important step in making artificial life forms from scratch. Using a novel chemical reaction, they have created self-assembling cell membranes, the structural envelopes that contain and support the reactions required for life. Neal Devaraj, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and Itay Budin, a graduate student at Harvard University, report their success in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. “One of our long...

2012-01-24 21:51:11

Division of labor is not only a defining feature of human societies but is also omnipresent among the building blocks of biological organisms and is considered a major theme of evolution. Theoretical Biologists Claus Rueffler and Joachim Hermisson from Vienna University in collaboration with Günter P. Wagner from Yale University identified necessary conditions under which division of labor is favored by natural selection. The results of their study are published in the...

New Study Sheds Light On The Evolution Of Multicellularity
2012-01-19 12:21:23

One of the greatest mysteries of evolutionary biology revolves around the question of how Earth´s original single-celled ancestors – the predecessors of all life on the planet – first made the critical transition to multicellularity. A new study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), however, points out that the switch may not have been as difficult as most scientists have speculated. The traditional paradigm for attempting to...

2012-01-18 00:16:54

More than 500 million years ago, single-celled organisms on the Earth´s surface began forming multicellular clusters that ultimately became plants and animals. Just how that happened is a question that has eluded evolutionary biologists. But scientists in the University of Minnesota´s College of Biological Sciences have replicated that key step in the laboratory using natural selection and common brewer´s yeast, which are single-celled organisms. The yeast...


Latest Organism Reference Libraries

0_bffac8301e079e95e303e46c4a8c2b3d
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Biology is the study of living organisms. Before the 19th century, biology was known as natural history (the study of all living things). Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus was the first person to coin the term biology. Biology comes from the Greek words bios (meaning "life") and logia (meaning "study of"). It is a common science that is a standard subject in schools and universities around the world. Over a million papers are published annually in biology and medicinal journals. Not just a...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'