Newly discovered enzyme “square dance” helps generate DNA building blocks

MIT biochemists can trap and visualize an enzyme as it becomes active — an important development that may aid in future drug development.

Raleigh McElvery | Department of Biology
March 30, 2020 | mit

~5 mins   

Tags: biology school-of-science chemistry disease dna energy health research biochemistry

Plastic: How to predict threats to animals in oceans and rivers

Scientists find out more about the threats of plastic to thousands of fish, whales and other aquatic life.

By Helen Briggs
March 27, 2020 | bbcnews

~2 mins   

Tags: animals whales oceans plastic-pollution marine-biology plastic

A stopgap measure to treat respiratory distress

Repurposing a drug used for blood clots may help Covid-19 patients in danger of respiratory failure, researchers suggest.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
March 24, 2020 | mit

~7 mins   

Tags: research medicine koch-institute biology biological-engineering school-of-science school-of-engineering covid-19 pandemic disease viruses

Tagging data show that blue sharks are true globalists

You won't see a blue shark near the beach, but thanks to 50 years of tagging data, scientists are learning about their wide-ranging lives at sea.

Jasmin Graham, Ph.D. Candidate in Marine Science, Florida State University
March 24, 2020 | conversation

~5 mins   

Tags: oceans fisheries sharks marine-biology tagging noaa significant-figures

Why do snakes produce venom? Not for self-defence, study shows

Relax, snakes aren't out to get you.

Kevin Arbuckle, Senior Lecturer in Biosciences, Swansea University
March 23, 2020 | conversation

~6 mins   

Tags: reptiles snakes herpetology snake-venom self-defence animal-biology predator-prey-interaction

Thank you for your patients

An unusual synergy between cancer researchers, clinical centers, and industry leads to promising clinical trials for a new combination therapy for prostate cancer.

Bendta Schroeder | Koch Institute
March 23, 2020 | mit

~7 mins   

Tags: koch-institute school-of-engineering school-of-science biology biological-engineering research medicine cancer

The growth of an organism rides on a pattern of waves

Study shows ripples across a newly fertilized egg are similar to other systems, from ocean and atmospheric circulations to quantum fluids.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
March 23, 2020 | mit

~7 mins   

Tags: biology cells evolution mathematics physics research school-of-science

Buildings grown by bacteria -- new research is finding ways to turn cells into mini-factories for materials

Researchers are turning microbes into microscopic construction crews by altering their DNA to make them produce building materials. The work could lead to more sustainable buildings.

Wil Srubar, Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering and Materials Science, University of Colorado Boulder
March 23, 2020 | conversation

~7 mins   

Tags: climate-change carbon-dioxide-co2 sustainability polymers biology infrastructure minerals built-environment material-science construction synthetic-biology buildings cyanobacteria

Bacterial enzyme could become a new target for antibiotics

Scientists discover the structure of an enzyme, found in the human gut, that breaks down a component of collagen.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
March 17, 2020 | mit

~6 mins   

Tags: research biology chemistry microbes school-of-science national-institutes-of-health-nih national-science-foundation-nsf

Vodka won't protect you from coronavirus, and 4 other things to know about hand sanitizer

Most commercial hand sanitizers are mainly alcohol, but forget about hitting the liquor store and mixing your own.

Jeffrey Gardner, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
March 13, 2020 | conversation

~4 mins   

Tags: bacteria microbiology microbes coronavirus viruses hand-washing quick-reads questions-answered covid-19 hand-sanitizer

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