Biochemistry

Category archives for Biochemistry

“Inclusion bodies – those clumps of protein that are found in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients – are, sadly, a product of aging,” says Dr. Maya Schuldiner. “They can form naturally in practically all cells, but when these cells get old, the mechanism for clearing them away starts to fail.” That is not great…

The Poetry of Science IV

With a skull and Keats, there was little choice but to write about the new online items in rhyme. So with apologies to Shakespeare, Keats and the scientists, as well as the people at SpaceIL, here are today’s grab bag of poems. As usual, follow the links.       On a Lone Cranium Alas…

Getting the Whole Picture

What’s in a picture? Prof. Benny Shilo knows the value of a good picture. We recently mentioned his book: Life’s Blueprint, which uses photographs of things like bread dough and yeast cells to illustrate the process of biological development. Here is the image from the most recent piece we have uploaded on his research: This…

Getting cells to revert to a stem-like state – creating so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – was a true revolution, but the technique invented in 2006 is only half the game. The first challenges include getting enough adult cells to undergo the “reprogramming” in culture to be of use and removing those traces of…

Life’s Blueprint

A new book will make you stop and think about the relationship between the microscopic world and the one we pass by every day. Life’s Blueprint – The Science and Art of Embryo Creation; Benny Shilo, Yale University Press, 174 pages. When a stem cell divides, one daughter maintains the stem cell fate while the…

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…