10 posts · 3,224 views
Biology is interesting and fun. There are some weird and beautiful stuff out there in nature. But with its own specialized vocabulary biology can be hard to understand. So CHONPS try to explain it in simple words so hopefully everybody can see how cool biology is. Why CHONPS? Because CHONPS stands for Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sulfur, the six most common elements in living organisms, and this blog is about the wonders of life.
A baby gazelle struggles to climb on its legs straight after being born. A newborn monkey clings tightly to its mother’s fur. And then you look at human babies, feeble and vulnerable creatures. And you can’t help but wonder how... Read more »
Most plants are what we call in the scientific jargon autotrophs. They make their own food. They use the light to power up chemical reactions that produce sugars. Most, but not all. Some plants have become parasites and lost the... Read more »
Alakonya A et al. (2012) Interspecific RNA Interference of SHOOT MERISTEMLESS-Like Disrupts Cuscuta pentagona Plant Parasitism. The Plant Cell, 24(7), 3153-3166. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.112.099994
Science fiction isn’t so far out with its idea of a virus giving vampires and zombies a craving for blood and dead meat. The concept of a virus modifying the eating habits of its carrier does exist in nature. Without... Read more »
Ingwell LL, Eigenbrode SD . (2012) Plant viruses alter insect behavior to enhance their spread. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00578
It’s a grey chilly Sunday afternoon. This week-end’s uncertain weather has ruined your plan to take the kids to the swimming pool. They’re running around the house in a full demonstration of the seemingly inexhaustible energy that only children possess,... Read more »
Kawrykow A, Roumanis G, Kam A, Kwak D, Leung C, et al. (2012) Phylo: A Citizen Science Approach for Improving Multiple Sequence Alignment. PLoS ONE, 7(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031362
Most horses naturally use three gaits: the walk, the trot and the gallop. But some breeds have additional gaits. For example, some Icelandic horses can pace and tölt. In the pace, like in the trot, two feet are always off... Read more »
Andersson et al. (2012) Mutations in DMRT3 affect locomotion in horses and spinal circuit function in mice. Nature, 642-646. DOI: 10.1038/nature11399
Tick tock, tick tock. The clock is ticking for women. They can’t have children forever. But, although men produce sperm until late in life, in the light of accumulating evidence that the risk to have a child with a disease... Read more »
Kong et al. (2012) Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk. Nature, 471-475. DOI: 10.1038/nature11396
Eisenberg DTA,Hayes MG,Kuzawa CW. (2012) Delayed paternal age of reproduction in humans is associated with longer telomeres across two generations of descendants. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1202092109
There’s only one cookie left in the box. It looks so forlorn. You know you shouldn’t, you already had several cookies. But it would be stupid to leave a single cookie in the box. You eat the cookie. Sounds familiar? Well, don’t... Read more »
Researchers identified a molecule that inhibits a protein essential for sperm production thus holding promises for the development of a male contraceptive. The total DNA contained in a human cell is about 2 meters long. The diameter of a cell... Read more »
Matzuk MM, McKeown MR, Filippakopoulos P, Li Q, Ma L, Agno JE, Lemieux ME, Picaud S, Yu RN, Qi J, Knapp S, Bradner JE. (2012) Small-Molecule Inhibition of BRDT for Male Contraception. Cell, 150(4), 673-684. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.045
Have you ever seen a toad fly? It’s not an uncommon sight in the North of Australia. Cane toad golf is something like a national sport in these regions. That tells a great deal about the love Australians bear these... Read more »
Crossland MR, Haramura T, Salim AA, Capon RJ, Shine R. (2012) Exploiting intraspecific competitive mechanisms to control invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 3436-3442. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.0821
Biologists too have been kids once. Like every child they’ve fallen asleep to the sound of bed time stories. Prince Charming, damsels in distress, dragons, witches, ogres and the likes have entertained the imagination of future biologists. And when they... Read more »
Ivics Z, Hackett PB, Plasterk RH, Izsvák Z. (1997) Molecular Reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty, a Tc1-like Transposon from Fish, and Its Transposition in Human Cells. Cell, 501-510. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80436-5
Miskey C, Izsvák Z, Plasterk RH, Ivics Z. (2003) The Frog Prince: a reconstructed transposon from Rana pipiens with high transpositional activity in vertebrate cells. Nucleic Acids Research, 31(23), 6873-6881. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkg910
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