Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

How you get Ingrown Toenails, explained by Science

ingrown_toenail

Having a ingrown toenail could ruin your day and a lot after if you don’t have it fixed. Yet, even though ingrown nails and other nail-related conditions are common and pesky, very little is known about them. Now, a team at University of Nottingham have published a mathematical model that explains what forces are tugged beneath your finger nails and what exactly happens when…

Biology, Health & Medicine, News

Paralyzed man Walks again after Nose Cells Transplant into the Spinal Chord

nose_cell

Regeneration of the spinal chord following a paralyzing injury was thought to be impossible, but groundbreaking efforts stirred by surgeons in Poland and Britain have turned this paradigm upside down. A team of dedicated surgeons and scientists transplanted  cells from the nasal cavity of a patient who had been paralyzed from the waist down for more than two years into…

Biology, Genetics, Health & Medicine, News

A Rogue gone Good: Mitochondria was initially an Energy Parasite

Image: knowingneurons.com

A new milestone study found that mitochondria – the energy factories in animal and plant cells – were initially very similar to parasitic bacteria some two billion years ago, and only later did they become energy sources. Very little is known about the origins of mitochondria, but by probing the genomes of bacteria closely related to the energy cell scientists at University…

Biology, News, Science, Technology

Building houses with bacteria

Image via Eco-Cement.

Houses of the future might be built with bacteria – at least partially. It may sound like science fiction, but a Spanish company located in Madrid is working to make that a concrete reality. It all starts with a common type of soil bacterium being. Put it in some soil, provide it with nutrients, and keep the temperature steady at about 30…

Animals, Biology, News

Ancient 385-million-year old Fish pioneered Sex

Microbrachius dicki fossils are very common, yet nobody noticed these vertebrates bore differentiated sexual organs. Photo: ROGER JONES

Paleontologists have identified the first known animals that used internal fertilization instead of spawning – armor-coated swimmers, called antiarchs, which lived around 385 million years ago in lakes in what is now Scotland. The discovery is truly monumental since its the earliest known example of sexual dimorphism or differences in appearance between the sexes in the fossil record. Sex emerged in…

Animals, Biology, News

Males may be Wired to choose Sex over Food

"Adaptive behavioral prioritization requires flexible outputs from fixed neural circuits. In C. elegans, the prioritization of feeding versus mate searching depends on biological sex (males will abandon food to search for mates, whereas hermaphrodites will not) as well as developmental stage and feeding status. Previously, we found that males are less attracted than hermaphrodites to the food-associated odorant diacetyl, suggesting that sensory modulation may contribute to behavioral prioritization," the researchers write in Current Biology. Image: Current Biology.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so the old adage goes, but how different are men and women? I won’t go into debates like whether or not men and women are neurologically the same – it’s a far too exhaustive and exhausting subject for such a short article. Clearly, however, men and women are different in…

Biology, Chemistry, News

Of Yeast and Flies: The Science of why Beer is so Delicious

Delicious beers - image via Cottage Life.

Whether you enjoy a strong malty taste, or a fruity savor, or even just a subtle aroma in your beer – you have yeast to thank for. Yeast imbues beer with aromatic molecules that account for most, if not all of the final flavor. But why is it that they create all this wide array of flavors? Kevin Verstrepen, a yeast geneticist…

Biology, Genetics, News

Genes that Define How Tall You Grow Identified

height_gene

It’s common knowledge that babies born out of tall parents will most likely grow to be just as tall, but it’s only recently that scientists report finding most of the genes responsible for height. Information like this could prove to be useful in diagnosing genetic growth deficiencies or, in the not so distant future, genetic manipulation to enhance growth in height. Short…

Animals, Biology, News

Sharks have Social Personalities too: some are friendlier than Others

Juvenile spotted cat sharks (Scyliorhinus canicula) were studied for their social interactions. They can found throughout the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, but during the test the sharks were monitored in large tanks containing three habitats in Plymouth. Photo: University of Florida

When people think of sharks, the most immediate response might be jaws, fright or blood, but if you’re willing to set prejudice aside you might find that these animals aren’t that different from most of us; at least in one important respect: social interactions….