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Friday, November 18, 2011


MIT News reports that the chemical signalling of cells is two-way. The mechanism senses whether the signals have been received and the 'volume' is adjusted as necessary.

Cells receive external signals through sensing molecules--or receptors--embedded in the cell membrane. They then start a cascade of signalling molecules that carry the signals to the nucleus or other internal structures in the cell. The new research shows that the speed or other characteristics of this signalling process can change when the signals are being received.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


ScienceDaily reports new research demonstrating the impact that life experiences can have on genes and behavior. The studies examine how such environmental information can be transmitted from one generation to the next--a phenomenon known as epigenetics. The new knowledge could ultimately improve understanding of brain plasticity, the cognitive benefits of motherhood, and how a parent's exposure to drugs, alcohol, and stress can alter brain development and behavior in their offspring. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2011, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of news about the science and health of the brain.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Much as people can exchange information instantaneously in the digital age, bacteria associated with humans and their livestock appear to exchange genetic material related to human disease and antibiotic resistance freely and rapidly through a mechanism called horizontal gene-transfer (HGT), reports ScienceDaily.