Biology articles
The Golden Goose Is Awarded
Salmonella Strain Spreads Alongside HIV
Fair Flu Viruses Closely Matched
Creative Emulsification
Inflammation for Regeneration
Editor's choice in microbiology
Debate Over Stem Cell Effectiveness
Editor's choice in molecular biology
Telomeres Affect Gene Expression
Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria
Vitamin C Slays TB Bacteria
Plant scientists, innovators
The First Plant Interactome
Plant RNAs Found in Mammals
Opinion: Beyond the Model
Sweet and Sour Science
Plant RNA Paper Questioned
Flower Barcodes
Microbial Perfume
How Plants Feel
New Databases Harvest a Rich Bounty of Information on Crop Plant Metabolism
Carnegie Institution for Science Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant
Genetically engineered trees could help restore devastated American chestnut
Evolution coup: study reveals how plants protect their genes
  The Golden Goose Is Awarded
This week (September 13), three groups of researchers will receive The Golden Goose Award for basic research that may have seemed obscure at the time publication, but which helped usher in momentous change in the public and scientific communities. “We’ve all seen reports that ridicule odd-sounding research projects as examples of government waste,” Representative Jim Cooper from Tennessee, who created the award in partnership with a number of scientific organizations, said in a press release.
  Salmonella Strain Spreads Alongside HIV
A lethal form of Salmonella prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa may have evolved to take advantage of weaknesses in the immune system created by the emergence of HIV, according to a report in Nature Genetics released this week (September 30). A relative of the Salmonella commonly linked to cases of food poisoning, this strain—known as invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS)—is spread from person to person and kills up to half the adults it infects. But little is known about how it became so widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa in the past 50 years.
  Fair Flu Viruses Closely Matched
Strains of the influenza A virus found in pigs at an Ohio county fair are almost genetically identical to the version found in human fair goers, according to a report out last week (October 25) in Emerging Microbes and Infections. The findings suggest that there are little or no biological barriers to transmission between pigs and humans.
  Creative Emulsification
Not quite 30 years old, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the workhorse of many biology labs. While the basic premise—the amplification of DNA samples of interest—has remained constant, creative twists have allowed scientists to adapt the technique to a plethora of applications, including determination of gene expression levels via copy numbers of specific RNA transcripts via quantitative PCR. Advances in genomics have pushed researchers to boost PCR’s utility by both narrowing the focus—concentrating on genetic information from just one molecule or cell—and widening the net, by increasing the number of reactions run in a single experiment.
  Inflammation for Regeneration
The secret to zebrafish’s remarkable capacity for repairing their brains is inflammation, according to a report published online today (November 8) in Science. Neural stem cells in the fish’s brains express a receptor for inflammatory signaling molecules, which prompt the cells to multiply and develop into new neurons.
  Editor's choice in microbiology
Bacteria can form multicellular biofilms, which are glued together by an extracellular matrix. Wrinkles in the film—large enough to see with the naked eye—help to provide protection from penetration by water and gases and appear to help the colony ward off antibiotics. The physical forces shaping these 3-D structures were unknown, but Gürol Süel of the University of California at San Diego and his colleagues now show that localized cell death appears to facilitate the formation of wrinkles. Kenneth Bayles, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, who was not part of the study, says cell death in bacterial colonies has been underappreciated, and the findings show “there is a very important role for cell death in [biofilm] development.”
  Debate Over Stem Cell Effectiveness
Japanese scientists have produced skin and bone marrow from reprogrammed mouse stem cells, and transplanted these into genetically identical mice without triggering a strong immune reaction. These results, published today (January 9) in Nature, should reassure researchers looking to use these cells—known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)—to treat diseases.
  Editor's choice in molecular biology
Excess free-floating histones are toxic to cells. Yet researchers have observed massive stores of maternally supplied histones, bound to lipid droplets, in Drosophila embryonic cells. To understand the function of these fat-associated histones, Michael Welte of the University of Rochester and his colleagues disrupted the synthesis of new histones in fly embryos and found support for the idea that lipid droplets help the embryo safely store the excess pre-made histones for times of need.
  Telomeres Affect Gene Expression
DUX4, a gene responsible for the genetic disease facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), is normally silenced because it sits next to a telomere—a protective DNA sequence that caps the ends of chromosomes, according to a study published today (May 5) in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. But as telomeres shorten, as they do with age, DUX4 expression climbs, which may explain the late onset of FSHD. Another gene, called FRG2, which sits 100 kilobases away from the telomere, is also affected by telomere length.
  Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria
A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other drug-resistant strains to multiple classes of antibiotics in animal models, according to a study published yesterday (May 1) in the PLOS ONE.
  Vitamin C Slays TB Bacteria
High doses of vitamin C can rapidly wipe out entire populations of drug-resistant strains of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) by inducing a chemical reaction that produces high levels of DNA-damaging oxidative radicals, according to a study published today (May 21) in Nature Communications.
Plants Put Limit on Ice Ages
Carnegie donates landmark clones to biology
Plants on Steroids: Key Missing Link Discovered
Gene Function Discovery: Guilt by Association
Cracking the Plant-Cell Membrane Code
Private Support Helps Public Plant Research
Scientists Watch Cell-Shape Process for First Time
How plants choose their mates
Mastermind Steroid Found in Plants
Unlocking the secrets of a plant’s light sensitivity
Nailing down a crucial plant signaling system
What makes a plant a plant?
New component of a plant steroid-activated pathway discovered
Big Boost to Plant Research
The Heart of the Plant
New tool offers unprecedented access for root studies
Steroids control gas exchange in plants
Plant toughness: Key to cracking biofuels?
Amoeba may offer key clue to photosynthetic evolution
The future of plant science – a technology perspective
Plant research funding crucial for the future
Wolf B. Frommer Receives Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology
Lighting up the plant hormone “command system”
Plant organ development breakthrough
Breakthrough: How salt stops plant growth
New Cancer Diagnostic Technique Debuts
Plant Science Could Ease Global Food and Fuel Demands
Have you had your cereal today?
Researchers close in on engineering recognizable, drug-free Cannabis plant
UC Riverside Researchers Develop Genetic Map for Cowpea
New research shows how mobile DNA survives—and thrives—in plants, animals
Cucumber Genome Published
Structural study at EMBL reveals how plants respond to water shortages
“Safety Valve” Protects Photosynthesis from Too Much Light
Weeds Could Help To Feed The World
Antagonistic Genes Control Rice Growth
Making New Enzymes to Engineer Plants for Biofuel Production
Green Plant Transport Mystery Solved
Gene Discovery To Increase Biomass Needed For Green Fuel
Are genes our destiny?
New African cassava resists devastating viruses
Species richness and genetic diversity do not go hand in hand in alpine plants
Scientists discover how cancer may take hold
Green algae—the nexus of plant/animal ancestry
New Twist on Life’s Power Source
Controlling a sea of information
Plant Steroids Offer New Paradigm for How Hormones Work
Future of biology rests in harnessing data avalanche
Carnegie’s Arthur Grossman Receives Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal
Plant Scientists Participate in DOE Energy Frontier Research Center
Advance in understanding cellulose synthesis
Midget Plant Gets Makeover