A Subtle Genetic Change Gives New Clues About Epilepsy

Summary: A new study sheds light on the biological mechanism behind some genetic forms of epilepsy. Source: Linköping University Sometimes, even the alteration of a single nucleotide in a gene can cause serious disease. In a young boy with epilepsy, this kind of mutation has not just affected the functioning of the protein in question … Read more

A Michigan high school biology teacher is on leave after distributing a worksheet with ‘disturbing racial offense’

The teacher’s choice to use the curriculum with the “disturbing racial offense…was inconsistent” with the school’s mission and philosophy, the Roeper School said in a statement to CNN. Roeper’s middle and high school campus is located in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit, and is described on its Twitter page as “a uniquely personalized, … Read more

Mind-Altering Parasite May Make Infected People More Attractive, Study Suggests

The brain-hijacking parasite Toxoplasma gondii seems to be almost everywhere. The microscopic invader is thought to infect up to 50 percent of people, and a range of studies suggests it may alter human behavior, in addition to that of many other animals. The parasite has been linked with a large range of neurological disorders, including … Read more

Research team improves gene editing with chemical process

CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 (white) from Staphylococcus aureus based on Protein Database ID 5AXW. Credit: Thomas Splettstoesser (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0) The gene-editing technique known as CRISPR has accelerated biological and medical research in the last decade by allowing scientists to repair the DNA of human cells almost as simply as using a pair of scissors. … Read more

A Reliable and Renewable Biological Photovoltaic Cell

This system, containing blue-green algae, powered a microprocessor continuously for a year using nothing but ambient light and water. Credit: Paolo Bombelli Algae-Powered Computing Scientists used a widespread species of blue-green algae to power a microprocessor continuously for a year — and counting — using nothing but ambient light and water. Their system has the … Read more

Microscopic Footage of Coral Reveals a Colorful Symbiotic Relationship

Recent footage of coral inspected under a microscope reveals not only gorgeous colors but also what are known as dinoflagellates, which have a fascinating symbiotic relationship with coral. James Weiss of the YouTube channel Journey to the Microcosmos was given the opportunity to inspect a coral under a microscope. That task in itself was difficult … Read more

How adaptability and tenacity can help you to thrive

Mohammed Shaaban is now based in London.Credit: Michael Bowles/The Francis Crick Institute In January 2011, I was fresh from my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemistry at Fayoum University in Egypt, when demonstrations against the Egyptian regime culminated in a revolution. One direct outcome of the revolution was the inauguration of the Zewail City of … Read more

How life could have arisen on an ‘RNA world’ | Science

It’s the ultimate chicken-and-egg conundrum. Life doesn’t work without tiny molecular machines called ribosomes, whose job is to translate genes into proteins. But ribosomes themselves are made of proteins. So how did the first life arise? Researchers may have taken the first step toward solving this mystery. They’ve shown that RNA molecules can grow short … Read more