Biological networks

Category archives for Biological networks

“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…

Best Image Today

Here is today’s scientific image: This delicate, fluffy object is a cytoskeleton viewed under a fluorescence confocal microscope. Below is a time-lape video of the process. For an explanation of why the cell’s actin fibers twist around into this shape, go to our website. Indeed, all three of today’s new articles involve crucial cellular dynamics:…

Foreigner or native-born? Your immune system discriminates between them, as do those of bacteria. Yes indeed, bacteria do have immune systems – pretty complex ones at that. And like any useful immune system, the bacterial ones must have a good technique for distinguishing “foreign” from “self.” You may even have heard of the bacterial immune…

To all bits of clockwork that are adjusted in our bodies according to our day-night timetable, we can now add two more: cancer growth and the schedules of our internal complements of bacteria. Cancer, according to a new Weizmann Institute study, may grow and spread more at night. In this scenario, our cells are getting…

At the level of biomolecules, life boils down to two basic principles: sequence and folding. We know, for example, that the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA contains our genetic blueprint, but the way that our DNA is folded and wrapped up in each chromosome helps determine which genes are easily accessible for copying. Proteins…

Save the Bacteria?

Science on Tap, which happened in Tel Aviv last Weds. eve, was as great a success as ever. Ariela Saba, one of our Weizmann writers, attended one of the talks. Here is her report: Right around now – in some 55 bars all around Tel Aviv and Jaffa – Weizmann Institute scientists are starting their…

What effect does a constant stream of engaging stimuli have on our relationships? On our social structure as a whole? What percentage of our actions is influenced by others, and how does this translate, at some point, into group behavior? Neurobiologists Prof. Alon Chen and Dr. Elad Schneidman of the Weizmann Institute and their team…

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…

Poetry is finding its way into our consciousness at the Weizmann Institute: At the recent, fourth annual Science on Tap evening, which the Institute hosts in Tel Aviv, several poets joined in the fun, reading from their work before and after the talks given by scientists in over 60 filled-to-capacity pubs and cafes around the…