Biology

Scholars were intrigued by a curious glassy material found inside one victim’s skull It looks like a piece of rock – black, shiny and unexceptional. But Italian anthropologists say the fragment is actually part of an exploded brain from an unfortunate victim of the volcanic eruption of Italy’s Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The discovery—published
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Synthetic cells with compartments. Magenta shows the lipid membrane, cyan shows the fluorescently tagged membrane-free sub-compartments. Credit: MPI-CBG/ Love et al. Cells are the basic unit of life. They provide an environment for the fundamental molecules of life to interact, for reactions to take place and sustain life. However, the biological cell is very complicated,
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Ostraca (ink on clay inscriptions) from Samaria, the capital of biblical Israel. The inscriptions are dated to the early 8th century BCE. Colorized Ostraca images are courtesy of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University. Credit: American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Colorized images courtesy of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University. The ancient Samaria ostraca—eighth-century BCE ink-on-clay
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Metagenomic expansion of the diversity of the Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses. The phylogenetic tree shows 2,074 giant virus metagenome-assembled genomes (in green) together with 205 previously published viral genomes (in white). Credit: Frederik Schulz While the microbes in a single drop of water could outnumber a small city’s population, the number of viruses in the
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University of Chicago scientist Chuan He found evidence that RNA itself modulates how DNA is transcribed—using a chemical process that is increasingly apparent to be vital to biology. Credit: Shutterstock A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. Rather than directions going one-way
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Szostak believes the earliest cells developed on land in ponds or pools, potentially in volcanically active regions. Ultraviolet light, lightning strikes, and volcanic eruptions all could have helped spark the chemical reactions necessary for life formation. Credit: Don Kawahigashi/Unsplash When the Earth was born, it was a mess. Meteors and lightning storms likely bombarded the
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Views of Nachcharini Cave and environs. Credit: PLOS ONE (2020). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227276 Anthropologists at the University of Toronto (U of T) have confirmed the existence more than 10,000 years ago of a hunting camp in what is now northeastern Lebanon—one that straddles the period marking the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural settlements at
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Articulated burial and dismembered human remains from Ponte San Pietro, tomb 22.The chamber tomb is typical of the Rinaldone burial custom, central Italy, c.3600-2200 BC. Reprinted from Miari 1995 under a CC BY licence, with permission from Monica Miari, original copyright 1995. Credit: Dolfini et al, 2020 During the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, Italy
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Uniformly parking kinesin proteins allows researchers to observe how they work together to transport microtubules. Credit: Science Graphics Body movement, from the muscles in your arms to the neurons transporting those signals to your brain, relies on a massive collection of proteins called molecular motors. Fundamentally, molecular motors are proteins that convert chemical energy into
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Credit: CC0 Public Domain Cavities, or dental caries, are the most widespread non-communicable disease globally, according to the World Health Organization. Having a cavity drilled and filled at the dentist’s office can be painful, but untreated caries could lead to worse pain, tooth loss, infection, and even illness or death. Now, researchers in ACS Applied
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(Before) Pe’e, a green sea turtle with fibropapillomatosis was rehabilitated and successfully released by The Turtle Hospital. Credit: The Turtle Hospital Caused by a herpesvirus, fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. It is widespread in warmer climates like Florida, where almost 70 percent of sea turtles in a
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Credit: CC0 Public Domain They are revered throughout nature as chilling predators … now research shows crocodiles have not always been the cold-blooded creatures they are today. Scientists who analysed fossil teeth belonging to some of the species’ ancient ancestors say at least one type of prehistoric crocodile was warm-blooded. Body temperature The findings suggest
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The new method, correcting the incorrectly identified metals, allowed reinterpretation of unidentified features, highlighted in green, (image on the left) to identify how the protein worked, (image on the right). Credit: Edward Snell Proteins that contain metal, known as metalloproteins, play important roles in biology, regulating various pathways in the body, which often become targets for
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Doctoral candidate Danielle Salcido of the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Science works with Earthwatch volunteers in Costa Rica, including this team of high school students from Beacon Academy in Chicago, to collect caterpillar, parasite and plant data for research. Credit: University of Nevada, Reno Using a 22-year dataset of plant-caterpillar-parasitoid interactions collected within
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