Wednesday May 24th 2017

‘biology’ Archives

Metagenomics for foodies

Metagenomics for foodies

Kefir is a viscous, sour-tasting, slightly alcoholic, milk-based beverage that’s been consumed for centuries. It’s made by adding a starter mix of bacteria and yeast – called the kefir “grain” – to pasteurized cow milk, though brewers have reported [Read More]

What medicine can learn from squid teeth

What medicine can learn from squid teeth

Many types of squid have razor-sharp teeth. They just are not where you’d expect to find them. Each of the suckers that run along a squid’s tentacles hides a ring of teeth. Those teeth prevent the animal’s prey from swimming away. They also are more than just a [Read More]

Let the structural symphony begin

Let the structural symphony begin

Like other structural biologists, Eva Nogales works in extraordinary times. The University of California, Berkeley, faculty member now has the tools to tackle important questions about cells’ molecular machinery that would have been impossible to answer just a few [Read More]

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

They are vast towers rising out of the jungles of the Amazon basin. Tepuis, rocky tabletop mountains isolated by hundreds of metres of steep cliffs, form a unique habitat on their tops and inside their maze of caves. Untouched for millions of years, they host a secret world [Read More]

The Power of 1

The Power of 1

Kent Haffer remembers when his oncologist approached him with an unusual idea. It was 2013, and Haffer, a 55-year-old computer programmer living in St. Peters, Missouri, had been receiving treatment for advanced melanoma for eight years. His oncologist proposed that Haffer [Read More]

You Swine!

You Swine!

RODNEY WOODSON never set out to be a pig trapper. He joined the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency because he was passionate about conserving water birds. But that was before the hogs rocked up, with their high libidos and low cunning. Across the world, and especially in [Read More]

Archimedes in the Fence

Archimedes in the Fence

According to ancient historians, Archimedes spent the last moments of his life drawing figures in the dirt, so deeply entranced with the pleasures of geometry that he failed to notice the bloody pillage of Syracuse right outside his door. Aloofness, it’s tempting to [Read More]

Northern Hibernaculum

Northern Hibernaculum

  For years, biologist Susi von Oettingen at the US Fish and Wildlife Service tracked the devastation in New England wrought by White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that infects hibernating bats. By some estimates, the disease has killed nearly seven million bats since [Read More]

Mussels’ sticky feet lead to applications

Mussels’ sticky feet lead to applications

  J. Herbert Waite was a graduate student in biochemistry in the 1970s when he began to wonder how mussels cling to rocks in the turbulent intertidal zone, where they slurp nourishing plankton from the water. So in summers and fall, Waite donned Wellington boots and [Read More]

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Gods in Ancient Egypt could do it; so allegedly could Buddha and Jesus. But for the rest of us lowly human beings – at least, those of us without divine parent- age or supernatural abilities – the closest we can get to walking on water is to strap on a pair of pontoon [Read More]

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Latest Topics

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

In his 1944 book What is Life?, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger argued that organisms stay alive precisely by [Read More]

Solving a math problem to create art

Solving a math problem to create art

Optimization is the mathematical quest for the best way to do something, from finding the shortest distance between two [Read More]

The Internet of Things wants to link all facets of our world

The Internet of Things wants to link all facets of our world

A 94Fifty looks like an ordinary basketball. You can inflate, dribble, pass, shoot, swoosh and slam-dunk it. But [Read More]

When your stuff spies on you

When your stuff spies on you

In October 2016, hackers hit a company called Dyn. Hackers are people who write computer programs that can break into [Read More]

The return of supersolids!

The return of supersolids!

We learn it from a young age: solids hold their shapes; liquids flow. Physical states of matter are mutually exclusive. [Read More]

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