Biochemistry

Category archives for Biochemistry

A Matter of Time

  The next time you reach into the fridge for a midnight snack – take heed: New research by Weizmann Institute scientists has shown that the time at which you eat your meals might have a profound effect on your liver triglyceride levels. Their research was conducted on mice, but if found to be true…

Science Haiku 2

Since the haiku post was well received, and since we have another three pieces online today – each on a different finding and each interesting in its own right – I have decided to return to the haiku format. Among other things, there is something quite satisfying about distilling complex scientific findings down to 17…

To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day. Lao Tsu Apparently our nervous systems develop according to the Chinese philosopher’s principle of being and not being. As our nerve cells grow, they send out long extensions – axons – throughout the developing tissues. And as they reach out, some…

Getting into the Fray

“The public, blog-fueled controversy over the utilization of arsenate instead of phosphate in bacteria was, in the end, a demonstration of what is truly right with scientific quests,” says Prof. Dan Tawfik. “The original findings (that certain bacteria can use arsenate instead of phosphate) may have been overhyped. The research itself may have been underwhelming.…

Blurring, chopping and blocking. Three online items this week all deal with some pretty dynamic phenomena. The blurring is in our perceptions. It turns out that if you even think you have lost money in an experiment, your ability to distinguish between musical notes will be hampered. What’s the connection? Dr. Rony Paz has been…

A somewhat accidental discovery and random meetings between proteins in a cell: These are the subjects of two new online articles. Each, it its way, involves a technological advance that will, in turn, lead to further scientific discovery. The first involves a partnership between a physics group and a cancer-research group. Among other things, such…

Often, simply identifying the structure of a potential drug target protein and designing a molecule to block it are not enough. Just ask Prof. Irit Sagi, a chemist turned biology researcher, who recently developed a clever technique for directing the body to design its own protein-blocking molecules. Sagi studies an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase 9…

Choose Your Bond

Two completely unrelated papers have got us thinking about chemical bonds. When we refer to chemical bonds, we generally mean covalent bonds: Atoms become “wedded,” sharing electrons, and breaking them apart takes energy. By comparison, other types of bonds are weak attractions – mere flirtations, or mild sparks between hydrogen and oxygen in passing water…