LIQUID asphalt is not a likely home, but hardy microbes have been found thriving in a natural lake made of the stuff. The discovery hints that alien life could exist in similar places.
Microbes are known to exist in tar pits, but it was not known if natural asphalt pools, with their more toxi... Read More
A genome is a complex system of genes and factors that regulate them. A European research team has clarified how such dynamic systems work, leading to a new way to predict genetic regulators.
As an organism develops and interacts with its environment, suites of genes are constantly being turn... Read More
Six years after the insect killer DDT was globally outlawed on grounds of environmental damage, two researchers say there are new reasons for doubting the chemical is harmful and are urging its use against malaria.
In a book launched on Wednesday, Donald Roberts, professor of tropical medicin... Read More
Natural compounds in cranberries are linked to the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) but inconsistencies in methods currently used commercially to measure levels can result in the over- or under-estimation of potency levels, leaving product manufacturers and consumers without good da... Read More
The University of Chicago’s Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology will partner with the Field Museum to study the evolution of species-switching parasites and pathogens that cause diseases such as bird flu, malaria, and AIDS.
The partnership, called the Emerging Pathogens Project, will i... Read More
Some bacteria take over cells by interfering with an important process called SUMOylation, which helps cells respond to stress. The bacteria release toxins that reprogram proteins inside cells, which prevents the cells from fighting their invaders, HHMI international research scholar Pascale Co... Read More
In this show, I report on four exciting stories: bacteria for digesting sushi; a giant virus that replicates itself, with help; microbes living in Mars-like lakes; and using viruses to generate hydrogen.
(12... Read More
In the beginning there were Ida and Luca. The initial Darwinian ancestor - Ida - and the last universal common ancestor - Luca - assembled themselves from the spare parts sloshing around on the early Earth. Once all the ingredients were in place, it looks like life was all but inevitable.
The... Read More
An Agricultural Research Service (ARS ) scientist may have found a way to cut the amount of ammonia produced by cattle. To do it, he's using a key ingredient of the brewer's art: hops.
Cattle, deer, sheep, goats and other ruminant animals depend on a slew of naturally occurring bacteria to ai... Read More
Human evolution is looking more tangled than ever. A new genetic study of nearly two thousand people from around the world suggests that some of our ancestors bred with other species of humans, such as Neanderthals, at least twice.
"The researchers suggest the interbreeding happened about 60,... Read More
Scientists have discovered for the first time that antibodies in common eggs laid by hens vaccinated against the H5N1 virus can potentially prevent a possible H5N1 pandemic, raising the possibility that the same principle could be applied to the current H1N1 influenza pandemic.
A team of scie... Read More
Highly dangerous Cryptococcus fungi love sugar and will consume it anywhere because it helps them reproduce. In particular, they thrive on a sugar called inositol which is abundant in the human brain and spinal cord.
To borrow inositol from a person’s brain, the fungi have an expanded set of ... Read More
Researchers at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of Gothenburg have discovered a brand new species of bacterium found only in the Gullmarsfjord north of Gothenburg. The bacterium has been named Endoxenoturbella lovénii to honour the newly founded marine research center.... Read More
If the Census Bureau thinks it has its hands full counting Americans, imagine what scientists are up against in trying to tally every living thing in the ocean, including microbes so small they seem invisible.
And just try to get them to mail back a form.
The worldwide Census of Marine L... Read More
Phenol extraction is a commonly used method for removing proteins from a DNA sample, e.g. to remove proteins from cell lysate during genomic DNA preparation. It’s commonly used, but not commonly understood.
This article describes the basic protocol and explains solvents in detail before an ex... Read More
One of the very first things you need to do when getting set up for quantitative PCR (qPCR) is to determine the efficiency of the assay because knowing the assay efficiency is critical to accurate data interpretation. And you have to do this every time you design and purchase a new primer pair.
... Read More
In a previous article, we discussed the basic characteristics of biofilm samples and factors that influence sample prep and handling. Today we want to share with you some very important tips for isolation of DNA or RNA from biofilm samples. After working with numerous different biofilms and bio... Read More
All mammalian genomes contain genes encoding Apobec proteins. Several members of this protein family (the name stands for apolipoprotein B mRNA editing complex) are induced by interferon and are intrinsic antiretroviral proteins. Apobec proteins inhibit the replication of XMRV, a new human retro... Read More