Damaged Organs Linked to Change in Biochemical Wave Patterns

Wave patterns change “active” beads decrease and “inactive” beads increase.

By examining the distinct wave patterns formed from complex biochemical reactions within the human body, diseased organs may be more effectively identified, says Zhengdong Cheng, associate professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, who has developed a model that simulates how these wave patterns are generated.

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Embryonic Stem Cell Culturing Grows from Art to Science

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Embryonic stem cells under microscope

Growing human embryonic stem cells in the lab is no small feat. Culturing the finicky, shape-shifting cells is labor intensive and, in some ways, more art than exact science. Continue reading… “Embryonic Stem Cell Culturing Grows from Art to Science”

Marine Mr. Mom: Male Pipefish Gives Birth, but Some Are Deadbeat Dads, Study Shows

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Left: S. scovelli female. Right: Pregnant male Gulf pipefish.

Male pipefishes and their seahorse cousins are the only males that actually become pregnant and give birth, but pipefishes likely will never win any Father of The Year awards — their attitude towards their offspring can range from total love to total neglect, according to new findings from Texas A&M University researchers.

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How Plants Put Down Roots: Geneticists Research Organ Development in the Plant Embryo

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One week old seed of the thale cress with embryo.

In the beginning is the fertilized egg cell. Following numerous cell divisions, it then develops into a complex organism with different organs and tissues. The largely unexplained process whereby the cells simply “know” the organs into which they should later develop is an astonishing phenomenon.

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Scientists Establish Leech as Model for Study of Reproductive Behavior

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Injecting a simple hormone into leeches has resulted in a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have discovered that injecting a simple hormone into leeches creates a novel way to study how hormones and the nervous system work together to produce species-specific reproductive behavior.

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3-D Cell Culture: Making Cells Feel Right at Home, Suspended in Magnetic Fields

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This is a 3-D cell culture grown with magnetic levitation.

The film “Avatar” isn’t the only 3-D blockbuster making a splash this winter. A team of scientists from Houston’s Texas Medical Center has unveiled a new technique for growing 3-D cell cultures, a technological leap from the flat petri dish that could save millions of dollars in drug-testing costs.

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Lizard Moms Choose the Right Genes for the Right Gender Offspring

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The male of this species can be two to three times the mass of the female, but the females seem to be in control of the genetic destiny.

Two Dartmouth biologists have found that brown anole lizards make an interesting choice when deciding which males should father their offspring. The females of this species mate with several males, then produce more sons with sperm from large fathers, and more daughters with sperm from smaller fathers. The researchers believe that the lizards do this to ensure that the genes from large fathers are passed on to sons, who stand to benefit from inheriting the genes for large size.

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Giant Panda Genome Reveals New Insights Into the Bear’s Bamboo Diet

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A panda eats a large bamboo stalk.

A Chinese-led team including international researchers with a scientist from Cardiff University, has shed new light on some of the giant panda’s unusual biological traits, including its famously restricted diet.

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Artificial Bee Silk a Big Step Closer to Reality

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Honeybee larvae produce silk to reinforce the wax cells in which they pupate and now CSIRO scientists have produced this silk artificially.

CSIRO scientist Dr Tara Sutherland and her team have achieved another important milestone in the international quest to artificially produce insect silk.

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Value of Sexual Reproduction Versus Asexual Reproduction

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Sexual vs. asexual reproduction – Only the snail’s hairdresser knows for sure

Living organisms have good reason for engaging in sexual, rather than asexual, reproduction according to Maurine Neiman, assistant professor of biology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and researcher in the Roy J. Carver Center for Genomics.

The study looked at sexual, as well as asexual, varieties of a New Zealand freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, by sequencing mitochondrial genomes and found that the sexually reproducing snails had accumulated harmful DNA mutations at about half the rate of the asexual snails.

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Slime Design Mimics Tokyo’s Rail System

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This is the network formation in Physarum polycephalum.

What could human engineers possibly learn from the lowly slime mold? Reliable, cost-efficient network construction, apparently: a recent experiment suggests that Physarum polycephalum, a gelatinous fungus-like mold, might actually lead the way to improved technological systems, such as more robust computer and mobile communication networks.

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