Tag Archives | Biology


How long can our technological civilization last?

By combining the Earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology, two astrophysicists are attempting to answer questions about humanity’s future in the broadest astronomical context. In their paper, which appears in the journalAnthropocene, Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan (both from the University of Rochester) propose that climate change, ocean acidification, and species […]

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Simulation reveals evolutionary origins of modularity

Robotics researchers say they now understand why humans, bacteria and other organisms evolved in a modular fashion, a finding that they believe will lead to a deeper understanding of the evolution of complexity. The new insights, detailed in Proceedings of the Royal Society, were gained from a computer simulation that evolved over 25,000 generations. The […]

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Synthetic genome successfully transplanted into cell

Scientists have created the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome, a feat that will allow researchers to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer custom-designed bacteria. Study leader Craig Venter, of the J. Craig Venter Institute, has published details of the work in the journal Science. Venter’s research team had already chemically […]

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Researchers get amped over artificial electric eel cells

Researchers at Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) believe that by applying modern engineering design tools to one of the basic units of life, artificial cells could be built that not only replicate the electrical behavior of electric eel cells but in fact improve on them. These artificial versions of […]

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Organics Shaping Up As Next Wave In Digital Signal Processing

Fungi, E. Coli, DNA: meet the newest tools for digital signal processing. At least, that’s according to Northwestern University computer boffins Sotirios Tsaftaris and Aggelos Katsaggelos, in their recently published “point of view” piece in the Proceedings of the IEEE(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Digital signal processing uses mathematics and other techniques to manipulate […]

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Researchers Plan Soft-Bodied Robots

Anybody that’s watched a robot move around knows that the potential of hard-bodied robots remains limited by their stiff construction and lack of flexibility. To tackle this awkwardness, researchers at Tufts University have launched a multidisciplinary initiative focused on building a new class of robots that are completely soft-bodied. According to Tuft’s David Kaplan, co-director […]

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Drug Discoverers Opt For The Life Aquatic

Harbor Branch and University of Miami scientists this week left to explore newly discovered deep-sea reefs between Florida and the Bahamas in the hope of discovering marine organisms with the potential to treat diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. The reefs were discovered in 2,000 – 2,900 feet of water last December by a University […]

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