It is common knowledge that the information that makes us unique is held in our DNA. But, how does our DNA make our eyes brown - how does it make us who we are? In order to understand that, we have to walk through the journey of how the information held in DNA becomes protein.
Biomedicine & Biotech
The UN Convention on Biodiversity meeting - typically dominated by environmental activists lobbying bloated quasi-world-government committees - recently met in Cancún and when we weren't talking about their enjoyment of catered dinners and $600 a night rooms in a resort town completely lacking in biodiversity, we were talking about the other hypocrisy in the environmental movement; claiming they care about science when they really want to ban all of it.
As amphibians, toads prefer a wet environment. Those that live in arid regions hide during dry spells underground, where the soil is moist, and they emerge from their shelter when the rain returns. But given that the subterranean soil they inhabit is already damp, how do the toads know when it's raining?
As if the starfish itself wasn't beautiful enough, now we have new research from Stanford University's School of Engineering revealing the beauty and wonderous efficiency of how this fascinating, five-pointed creature survives and grows in the sea.
Pandas are picky creatures. Now, it appears that pandas have yet another quirk: minimum area requirements. A new study published in Scientific Reports shows that they prefer about 115 square kilometers (44 square miles) of space. Even though smaller areas of habitat are available, pandas are less likely to live there.
Despite 50,000 emergency visits for carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the U.S., there is no effective way to treat it. That could change, thanks to some very clever work being done at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
The proliferation of coffee shops and energy drinks clearly shows that caffeine is in high demand. The stimulant is even added to some medicine. However, because only a handful of plants produce it, there has been some interest in creating caffeine synthetically.
Woe be unto the males who make this grave mistake. New research in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B reveals that males who choose to sit out during such scuffles may be subjected later to domestic abuse.
A small, yet promising, brain trauma study may someday lead to a time when doctors can forecast which patients who incurred concussions or repeated blows to the head will be at risk for future neurological problems.
Need a reason to eat more fiber? How about flesh-eating cannibal microbes?
The green revolution helped feed the world with new varieties of food crops and fertilizers. Now, genetic engineering is extending that progress. In a recent "proof of concept" study, researchers improved the efficiency of carbon dioxide utilization by plants — which could well result in marked increases in food production without additional land going under the plow.
Pheromones have long been credited (or blamed) for our behavioral choices, most notably our choice of sexual partners. The idea that we could base such a seemingly personal choice on a unconscious chemical signal is fascinating but, is there any scientific evidence to support it?