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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Natural Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury Uncovered

Now improvement can be seen by 6 months

A study led by researchers in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows unexpected and extensive natural recovery after spinal cord injury in primates.

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Plant’s Light Switch Can Control Cells

If only we could control our own with just a flip of a switch

Chandra Tucker shines a blue light on yeast and mammalian cells in her Duke University lab and the edges of them start to glow. The effect is the result of a light-activated switch from a plant that has been inserted into the cell.

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Fly’s Brain — A High-Speed Computer: Neurobiologists Use State-of-the-Art Methods to Decode the Basics of Motion Detection

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Seeing into a fly’s brain: Neurobiologists use state-of-the-art methods to observe the activity of nerve cells while the fly sees moving stripe patterns on a LED screen (left). This technique enables the scientists to observe the response of single cells in the brain area which processes motion information

What would be the point of holding a soccer world championship if we couldn’t distinguish the ball from its background? Simply unthinkable! But then again, wouldn’t it be fantastic if your favourite team’s striker could see the movements of the ball in slow motion! Unfortunately, this advantage only belongs to flies.

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Origins of Multicellularity: All in the Family

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This is Volvox carteri

One of the most pivotal steps in evolution-the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms-may not have required as much retooling as commonly believed, found a globe-spanning collaboration of scientists led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute.

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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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Scientists Identify Driving Forces in Human Cell Division

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Metaphase in a human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cell. Chromosomes (red), microtubules (green).

If you can imagine identical twin sisters at rest, their breath drawing them subtly together and apart, who somehow latch onto ropes that pull them to opposite sides of the bed — you can imagine what happens to a chromosome in the dividing cell.

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Life’s Smallest Motor, Cargo Carrier of the Cells, Moves Like a Seesaw

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A molecular motor gives up its secrets.

Life’s smallest motor — a protein that shuttles cargo within cells and helps cells divide — does so by rocking up and down like a seesaw, according to research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brandeis University.

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Monarch Butterflies Reveal a Novel Way in Which Animals Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field

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Monarch butterflies resting in a tree.

Building on prior investigation into the biological mechanisms through which monarch butterflies are able to migrate up to 2,000 miles from eastern North America to a particular forest in Mexico each year, neurobiologists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have linked two related photoreceptor proteins found in butterflies to animal navigation using the Earth’s magnetic field.

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How Do Salamanders Grow a New Leg? Protein Mechanisms Behind Limb Regeneration

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A female wild-type axolotl

The most comprehensive study to date of the proteins in a species of salamander that can regrow appendages may provide important clues to how similar regeneration could be induced in humans.

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Female Canaries Sing Sexily With Testosterone

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Normally, female canaries don’t sing, but with a few tweaks, the females’ brain structure can be altered in a way that lets them burst into song.

Testosterone gets female canaries singing. Dutch researcher Tessa Hartog knows how you can make a female canary sing using testosterone and the protein BDNF. Normally, female canaries don’t sing, but with a few tweaks, the females’ brain structure can be altered in a way that lets them burst into song. Their singing can even be considered sexy.

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Venomous Shrew And Lizard: Harmless Digestive Enzyme Evolved Twice Into Dangerous Toxin In Two Unrelated Species

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A harmless digestive enzyme can be turned into a toxin in two unrelated species — a shrew (pictured) and a lizard — thereby giving each a venomous bite.

Biologists have shown that independent but similar molecular changes turned a harmless digestive enzyme into a toxin in two unrelated species — a shrew and a lizard — giving each a venomous bite.

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