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Magic Box in the Cell Baffles the Experts

Put a string of amino acids into this magic box, and it comes out all precisely folded into a protein.  How does it do it?  A molecular machine described by Science Daily has scientists baffled.  Ironically, its name is TRiC.     TRiC is a chaperonin, a member of a class of molecular machines that […]

World’s Fastest Computer Approaches Brain Power

IBM has broken the petaflops barrier.  What’s that, you ask?  In computing lingo, it stands for a quadrillion floating-point operations per second.  The new Roadrunner supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory has set a new record for computing speed that may usher in a new era of scientific analysis of complex systems: “Roadrunner gives scientists […]

Few Typos Get Past Your Spell Checker

Inside your cells are thousands of spell checkers that put any human typist to shame.  In a process critical to all living things, RNA Polymerase II transcribes DNA into RNA rapidly with high fidelity.  Even very similar chemical letters are accurately discriminated by this wonder of a molecular machine that is described in Science Daily. […]

Asian Bees Speak European

Asian honeybees and European honeybees went their separate ways millions of years ago, say evolutionists.  Why, then, were Asian bees able to readily learn the European language?  An international team watched this happen.  They ran some affirmative-action integration experiments on the two species, and reported their results today in PLoS One.1     “The honeybee […]

Cell Electronics Is High-Tech

To describe a living cell these days, you have to borrow electronics lingo.  Notice how two recent articles described cell specs: Ham radio immunity:  What acts like a radio dial, a signal amplifier, and a precision rheostat?  Your immune system, according to Science Daily.  Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital described how the cell […]

Orchids: Epitome of Plant Evolution

“Orchids might be considered the epitome of plant evolution,” said David Roberts [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] and Kingsley Dixon [Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia] in a primer on orchids in Current Biology.1  Yet some of the facts they shared about these amazingly diverse and well-adapted plants are puzzling for evolutionary theory.     First, […]

Complex Ankle Puts Bounce in Your Step

“The ankle is incredibly efficient at working so the amount of energy you burn with the ankle is much lower than what would be predicted with just isolated muscle studies.”  That’s what kinesiologist Daniel Ferris (U of Michigan) said in an article on Science Daily.  His team measured the efficiency of the muscles and tendons […]

Moths Navigate in the Dark Against the Wind

A moth weighs little more than a piece of paper, but it does things no paper blowing in the wind can do: it can navigate with and against the wind to get where it needs to go.     Science Daily reported on work by UK scientists who used “entomological radar” to monitor where the […]

Seeing Vision in a New Light

The eye is like a camera, right?  That picture is way too simplistic.  The eye-brain visual system does image processing and gleans information from photons in diverse and remarkable ways.  Here are some recent findings by scientists: Upward mobility:  A team of Harvard scientists found some retinal ganglion cells that sense upward motion.  Writing in […]

Scientist Harnesses ATP Synthase

How would you like shorter waits at airports?  fast screening for disease?  the ability to detect biological warfare agents quickly?  That may be possible soon – thanks to an amazing man-and-nature cooperative technology reported by Science Daily.  A team led by Wayne Frasch at Arizona State is on the verge of an invention that can […]

The Gecko in the Flight Simulator

It’s a lizard!  It’s a plane!  It’s Supergecko!  Researchers at UC Berkeley (where else) put a gecko into a wind tunnel to watch it fly.  News about gecko’s magic feet that allow it to run vertically up glass is almost old hat now (08/27/2002, 01/04/2005).  Even a gecko can lose its footing, though, and thereon […]

The Root Route

Why don’t roots push a plant right out of the ground?  It’s a question only a scientist or an 8-year-old kid would ask.  The answer is more amazing than either would have realized.  Root hairs feel their way around obstacles and find the openings, in the dark, by means of a complex interplay of proteins […]

Cool Bat Tricks

Bats put on a dazzling air show.  Science Daily revealed that the acrobatic mammals have magnetic instruments.  Somehow, they are able to use the magnetite in their cells as navigational aids.  Scientists from Leeds University and Princeton conducted experiments on large brown bats.  They were able to steer the bats off course by issuing magnetic […]

Why Blood Clots Are Stretchy

A team of biophysicists at University of Illinois ran a computation for six months to find out why blood clots are stretchy.  The primary protein in the clot, fibrinogen, can stretch two to three times its resting size.  By studying the force on every atom in the protein, Science Daily said, they produced a force […]

Sea Monsters Were for Real, and Other Wonders Under the Sea

National Geographic News published a story about a real sea monster.  A fossil pliosaur nearly 50 feet in length, the largest marine reptile ever found, was discovered in permafrost just 800 miles from the North Pole, on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.  Scientists estimate it had such strong teeth and muscles […]
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