Molecular Biology

Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Category archives for Molecular Biology

tags: microbiology, astrobiology, new species, Indian Space Research Organization, bacteria Bacterial colonies. Image: Hub Testing Laboratory [larger view]. According to a recently published press release, three new species of bacteria have been discovered in the upper stratosphere by Indian scientists in an experiment conducted by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). This discovery lends some…

tags: lories, Loriinae, Loriidae, ornithology, molecular biology, natural history museums A young pair of Meyer’s Lories (Lorikeets), Trichoglossus flavoviridis meyeri. Image: Iggino [larger view]. “Can you help us identify a mystery lory in our collection?” I was pleasantly surprised to find this email request from Donna Dittmann, Collections Manager and Museum Preparator for the Section…

tags: evolutionary biology, speciation, species flocks, molecular phylogeny, behavioral ecology, Synodontis species, squeaker catfish, cuckoo catfish, Lake Tanganyika, peer-reviewed paper The Cuckoo Catfish, Synodontis multipunctatus [Siluriformes: Mochokidae]. This is the only fish that is a known brood parasite. This is one of the species included in this newly-published study. Image: orphaned. One of the groups…

Would you like to play a new computer game and help scientists analyze protein chemistry — at the same time? Here is a fun and interesting computer puzzle game that is designed to fold proteins — the objective is to correctly fold a protein into the smallest possible space. This game, Foldit, which University of…

tags: parrots, Psittaciformes, evolution, molecular phylogeny, ornithology, Neornithes Red-crowned Amazon parrot, Amazona viridigenalis, at Elizabeth Street Parrotry, Brownsville, Texas. Image: Joseph Kennedy, 7 April 2008 [larger view]. Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/750s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400. One of the most contentious issues among scientists who study the evolution of birds is…

tags: dopamine, behavior, evolution, rewarding affiliative behaviors, brain reward pathways, songbirds, birdsong, zebra finch, Poephila guttata, neurobiology A pair of wild Zebra (Chestnut-eared) Finches, Poephila guttata. Image:

Ratite Flight: Lost But Not Forgotten

tags: ratite, tinamous, evolution, biogeography, phylogenomics, convergence, flightlessness, Paleognath, homoplasy, vicariance White-throated Tinamou, Tinamus guttatus. Image: Wikipedia. New research suggests the ostriches, emus, rheas and other flightless birds known as ratites have lost the ability to fly many times, rather than just once, as long thought. Further, the ratites appear to form a group with…

tags: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, CJD, pathogenic mutation, prion protein gene Image: Orphaned. Mad Cow Disease, technically known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), is one of a group of transmissible diseases that destroy brain tissue, collectively known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are an unknown agent(s) that act by…

tags: virology, mimivirus, sputnik, virophage, microbiology, molecular biology Now here’s an astonishing discovery that’s hot off the presses: a virus that infects other viruses! This amazing finding is being published tomorrow in the top-tier peer-reviewed journal, Nature.

tags: researchblogging.org, premature hair graying, autosomal dominant trait, genetics, horses, hair color, syntaxin-17, melanocortin-1 receptor, cis-acting regulatory mutation, melanoma, evolution This horse is in the process of losing its pigment. It will end up being all white by the time it is eight years old. Image: Horse Wallpaper [larger view]. Even though I have always…