Category: Biology Philosophy

  • Recycling… Identity issues…

    Recycling… Identity issues…

    The secret to a long life? For worms, a cellular recycling protein is key. Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that worms live longer lives if they produce excess levels of a protein, p62, which recognizes toxic cell proteins that are tagged for destruction. The discovery, published in Nature Communications, could […]

  • Domesticating our self…

    Domesticating our self…

    Domestic animals’ cuteness and humans’ relatively flat faces may be the work of a gene that controls some important developmental cells, a study of lab-grown human cells suggests. Some scientists are touting the finding as the first real genetic evidence for two theories about domestication. One of those ideas is that humans domesticated themselves over […]

  • Reverse evolution 2.

    Reverse evolution 2.

    Turtle ant soldiers scuttle to and from sporting shiny, adorably oversized heads, which they use to block the entrances of their nests — essentially acting as living doors. Not all heads are shaped alike: some soldiers have ones that resemble manhole covers and perfectly seal tunnel entrances. Others have square heads, which they assemble into […]

  • Inevitable life. Inevitable death…

    Inevitable life. Inevitable death…

    To help answer one of the great existential questions — how did life begin? — a study combines biological and cosmological models. Professor Tomonori Totani from the Department of Astronomy looked at how life’s building blocks could spontaneously form in the universe — a process known as abiogenesis. As the only life we know of […]

  • Moving… Thinking of moving… Standing still!

    Moving… Thinking of moving… Standing still!

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) work on the principle that measurable changes in electrical brain activity occur just by thinking about performing a task. Signals can be read, evaluated, and then converted into control signals via a machine learning system, which can then be used to operate a computer or a prosthesis. In a recently published study, […]