Biology News

Kids whose bond with mother was disrupted early in life show changes in brain Monday, December 2, 2013 - 13:45

Children who experience profound neglect have been found to be more prone to a behavior known as "indiscriminate friendliness," characterized by an inappropriate willingness to approach adults, including strangers.


Cryptic New Species of Wild Cat Identified in Brazil Friday, November 29, 2013 - 07:45

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on November 27 have identified a cryptic new species of wild cat living in Brazil. The discovery is a reminder of just how little scientists still know about the natural world, even when it comes to such charismatic creatures. The findings also have important conservation implications for the cats, the researchers say.


Eliminate malaria by targeting enzyme in mosquito-borne parasite Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 14:45

Using advanced methodologies that pit drug compounds against specific types of malaria parasite cells, an international team of scientists, including researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, have identified a potential new weapon and approach for attacking the parasites that cause malaria.


Gene mutation can cause excessive alcohol drinking Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 12:49

 UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and, when faulty, can cause excessive drinking in mice. The study found that normal mice drink little or no alcohol when offered a free choice between a bottle of water and a bottle of diluted alcohol.


Using microRNA Fit to a T (cell) Monday, November 25, 2013 - 18:04

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have successfully targeted T lymphocytes – which play a central role in the body’s immune response – with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA).


Misfolded proteins are capable of forming tree-like aggregates Monday, November 25, 2013 - 17:39

A method by Rice University researchers to model the way proteins fold – and sometimes misfold – has revealed branching behavior that may have implications for Alzheimer’s and other aggregation diseases.


A possible cause of the end-Permian mass extinction: Lemon juice? Monday, November 25, 2013 - 10:47

Rain as acidic as undiluted lemon juice may have played a part in killing off plants and organisms around the world during the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history. About 252 million years ago, the end of the Permian period brought about a worldwide collapse known as the Great Dying, during which a vast majority of species went extinct.


How long does it take a virus to infect a cell? Monday, November 25, 2013 - 10:14

The key pathway by which viruses “attack” consists in releasing viral DNA into the infected cell, taking over the host cell’s transcription mechanisms and using them to reproduce itself. In order to fight or exploit to our benefit the action of viruses, scientists are trying to understand this process in detail. A group of researchers–one of whom from SISSA–has studied the timescale of DNA “ejection” (how long it takes and what is the precise sequence of events), and found that it depends on the degree and manner of entanglement of the double strand of DNA inside the virus.