Strange behavior: New study exposes living cells to synthetic protein

Ethical Markets Nature/Biomimicry

Strange behavior: New study exposes living cells to synthetic protein

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:30 AM PST

Scientists have fabricated an artificial protein in the laboratory and examined the surprising ways living cells respond to it.

First genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 11:29 AM PST

Biologists have completed the first genomic sequence of Prunus mume, known as mei. This work is extremely important for the deeper understanding of Rosaceae evolution and provides an invaluable resource for the improvement of fruit trees.

Birdsong study pecks theory that music is uniquely human

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 05:01 AM PST

A bird listening to birdsong may experience some of the same emotions as a human listening to music, suggests a new study on white-throated sparrows. The new study found that the same neural reward system is activated in female birds in the breeding state that are listening to male birdsong, and in people listening to music that they like.

Two new species of orchid found in Cuba

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 05:00 AM PST

Researchers have discovered two new species of Caribbean orchid. The Caribbean islands have been natural laboratories and a source of inspiration for biologists for over two centuries now. Suffice to say that the studies by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in the tropical archipelagos contributed to the emergence of the theory of evolution. In this case, biologists have discovered two new species belonging to the orchid family (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae) in Cuba. They have been called Tetramicra riparia and Encyclia navarroi.

Even in same vineyard, different microbes may create variations in wine grapes

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 07:30 PM PST

Choosing the perfect wine may soon involve more than just knowing the perfect vintage and chateau. Differences in the microbes present on grapes even in different parts of the same vineyard may contribute to flavor fluctuations in samples of grapes from different tanks, according to new research.

Evidence contradicts idea that starvation caused saber-tooth cat extinction

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 07:28 PM PST

The latest study of the microscopic wear patterns on the teeth of the American lions and saber-toothed cats that roamed North America in the late Pleistocene found that they were living well off the fat of the land in the period just before they went extinct.