James King: Dressing the meat of tomorrow – Scientific American

"Growing meat without the animal sounds like a simple idea. Certainly much simpler than manipulating the genetic code. In reality there are hidden practicalities which only become apparent when you deal with the real materials and processes of biotechnology, or at least work closely with people that do. The experience of working in the lab […]

Biology’s ‘dark matter’ hints at fourth domain of life – New Scientist

Microbial geneticists found some really divergent sequences in ocean microbes collected on the Sorcerer II study by Venter and gang. One possible thought is that these microbes are a whole new branch of life. Interesting. [via @microbeworld] Bookmarked in Delicious. Read this article…

Microbes Give Mice Intestinal Fortitude – ScienceNOW

"The findings add to the growing understanding of the complex relationship between our health and the bacteria living in and on our bodies. They also add to the growing conviction that it might one day be possible to curb diarrhea, and prevent other diseases, by making sure our guts have the right complement of bacteria." […]

Plastic – Too Good to Throw Away – NYTimes.com

"“Eliminating plastic is one of the greenest actions you can do to lower your eco-footprint,” one noted while participating in a recent online challenge to be plastic-free. Is this true? Shunning plastic may seem key to the ethic of living lightly, but the environmental reality is more complex." Really clever article questioning anti-plastic trends. The […]

Structural biology: Breaking the protein rules : Nature News

This review brings together the research that counters the fallacy that proteins need to have a defined structure (as seen in crystal structures) to have a function. There has been a range of interesting findings regarding the requirement of disorder in protein structures. And folks are starting to tease out where and how disorder is […]

Friendly bacteria fight the flu : Nature News

“Neomycin-sensitive bacteria naturally present in the mice’s bodies provided a trigger that led to the production of T cells and antibodies that could fight an influenza infection in the lungs. When antibiotics eliminated the bacteria, inflammasomes failed to launch and the virus multiplied.” Another paper of bacteria modulating the immune response for the whole body. […]

Do gut bacteria worsen malnourishment? : Nature News

“Ultimately, Smith would like to identify a bacterium or set of bacteria that protects children from kwashiorkor, and add it to the emergency rations handed out to starving children, or give it to them beforehand. “Maybe we can do earlier interventions — before they suffer,” she says.” Another interesting finding teasing out the importance of […]

Could Amateur Taxonomists Catalog Earth’s Fauna? – ScienceInsider

"Taxonomy has a reputation as one of science's least glamorous fields, and experts have been sounding an alarm over declining funding and a global dearth of practitioners. With extinctions estimated to outnumber discoveries of new species and many of Earth's most diverse taxa still unaccounted for, they say the effort to identify and catalog organisms […]

PepsiCo unveils 100% plant-based bottle – Crain’s New York Business

"PepsiCo says it is the world's first bottle of a common type of plastic called PET made entirely of plant-based materials." Until I learn more, I think this is still PET, meaning plastic, with all the "fun" of PET and recycling. All because the source is some other organic waste shouldn't mean the PET is […]

Brain Scanner as Accessory – ScienceNOW

"Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York have developed a Rat Conscious Animal PET (RatCAP) imager, which allows a rat to wear a scanner even while it moves around." Quite cool! Bookmarked in Delicious. Read this article…