Biology News

Scientists Find Protein that Helps Bacteria Misdirect Immune System Monday, February 10, 2014 - 13:39

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has discovered an unusual bacterial protein that attaches to virtually any antibody and prevents it from binding to its target. Protein M, as it is called, probably helps some bacteria evade the immune response and establish long-term infections.

 

How do polar bears stay warm? Research finds an answer in their genes Monday, February 10, 2014 - 13:04

In the winter, brown and black bears go into hibernation to conserve energy and keep warm. But things are different for their Arctic relative, the polar bear. Within this high-latitude species, only pregnant females den up for the colder months.

 

Personality Psychologist Unveils New Theory of Personal Intelligence Monday, February 10, 2014 - 12:56

John Mayer, the University of New Hampshire psychologist and internationally recognized researcher who co-developed the groundbreaking theory of emotional intelligence, now introduces another paradigm-shifting idea: in order to become our best selves, we use an even broader intelligence—personal intelligence—to understand our own personality and the personalities of the people around us.

 

Evolution provides transmembrane tunnels for proteins to pass through cell membranes Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:46

The lipid-rich membranes of cells are largely impermeable to proteins, but evolution has provided a way through – in the form of transmembrane tunnels. A new study shows in unmatched detail what happens as proteins pass through such a pore.

 

Discovery opens up new areas of microbiology, evolutionary biology Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:30

A team of researchers led by Virginia Tech and University of California, Berkeley, scientists has discovered that a regulatory process that turns on photosynthesis in plants at daybreak likely developed on Earth in ancient microbes 2.5 billion years ago, long before oxygen became available.

 

Global Regulator of mRNA Editing Found Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 15:07

An international team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Indiana University, have identified a protein that broadly regulates how genetic information transcribed from DNA to messenger RNA (mRNA) is processed and ultimately translated into the myriad of proteins necessary for life.

 

Pacific Salmon Inherit a Magnetic Sense of Direction Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 11:20

Even young hatchery salmon with no prior experience of the world outside will orient themselves according to the Earth's magnetic field in the direction of the marine feeding grounds frequented by their ancestors. These findings, reported in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on February 6th, suggest that Chinook salmon inherit a kind of built-in GPS that always points them home.

 

Appearance of Lyme Disease Rash Can Help Predict How Bacteria Spreads Through Body Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 12:05

Lyme disease is often evident by a rash on the skin, but infections do not always produce similar rashes. This can make it difficult to detect the disease early, when antibiotic treatment is most effective. In the February 4th issue of the Biophysical Journal, published by Cell Press, researchers describe a new mathematical model that captures the interactions between disease-causing bacteria and the host immune response that affect the appearance of a rash and the spread of infection.