Articles on Biology

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Polysaccharide molecules such as cellulose, seen here, are long chains of sugars that are very hard to break apart. Enzymes – proteins that can degrade polysaccharides – have many industrial uses. CeresVesta/Wikipedia

Scientist at work: Bio-prospecting for better enzymes

Bio-prospecting is the search for useful materials from natural sources. A biologist explains what we can learn from bacteria about breaking down plant material, and how we can use that knowledge.
Enzymes, the catalysts of biology, can engulf and break down hundreds of nerve agent molecules per second. Image: Pymol. PDB 4E3T rcsb.org

Enzymes versus nerve agents: Designing antidotes for chemical weapons

Scientists invented chemical weapons; some are now working to destroy them. New biomolecular design techniques let researchers design proteins that can destroy nerve agents in bodies.
Red-breasted Nuthatches are irrupting this winter across North America. Heather Elaine Ritchie/Flickr

When birds go roaming: The mystery of avian irruptions

During bird irruptions, hundreds or thousands of a single species show up outside their normal territory. Most of what we know about irruptions comes from data collected by citizen scientists.
It’s estimated our cells will replicate 10,000 trillion times in our lifetime. Errors in this process can lead to cancer. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Why are we more likely to get cancer as we age?

Modern medicine is increasing our lifespan. But as we survive diseases and live longer, more of us are succumbing to cancer.
The mitotic spindle inside a living cell, magnified x 80,000, captured by biomedical animator Drew Berry. Drew Barry/Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts

Of microbes and machines: how art and science fuse in Bio-art

When art meets the biological sciences, living matter becomes the medium. From the chaotic beauty of smallpox to poems implanted in bacteria, Bio-art investigates the boundaries of life and death.

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