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Steal My Sunshine

Steal My Sunshine
Top row (l to r): Elysia chlorotica; spotted salamander adult; Lotharella globosa. Bottom row (l to r): diatom (Campylodiscus sp.); Paulinella chromatophora; diatom (Thalassiosira pseudonana). For credits, see end of article. Our world is swarming with symbioses. Sea anemones and clownfish, land plants and mycorrhizal fungi, rays and remora cleaner fish, corals and algae. Among the more profitable endosymbioses is one that allows the host to derive energy from sunlight. Catch me if you can The genesis of plastids follows a straightforward and generally agreed-upon plot: about 1.5 billion years ago, a heterotrophic eukaryote, which gained energy by consuming and digesting organic compounds, swallowed and retained a free-living photosynthetic cyanobacterium. Once established in the Archaeplastida, plastids spread laterally to remote lineages through “secondary” endosymbioses, in which a nonphotosynthetic eukaryote engulfs and retains a eukaryote containing a primary plastid. Moving in 1. Related:  Synthetic & Systems Biologybiohack

GeneArt® Strings™ DNA Fragments Strings™ DNA Fragments are suspended in 10 mM Tris pH 8.5 buffer and delivered dried (>200 ng), ready for resuspension and cloning. We recommend that you centrifuge tubes prior to opening, add the appropriate amount of water to the bottom of the tube, and incubate at least 1 hour at room temperature (alternatively incubate at 4°C overnight). After incubation, carefully resuspend Strings™ DNA Fragments and use immediately. If not used immediately, resuspended Strings™ DNA Fragments should be aliquoted and frozen at –20°C. Complete usage instructions can be found in the Strings Product Bulletin. Figure 1. The GeneArt® production team performs a biosecurity screen on each sequence entered. Strings™ DNA Fragments can be cloned using any available cloning method, just make sure to design the ends of your sequence according to the respective requirements. Table 1 lists some points to consider for frequently used cloning methods. Table 1. Table 2. Figure 2. Restriction enzyme cloning example

TeselaGen Is Building A Platform For Rapid Prototyping in Synthetic Biology As the costs of DNA sequencing and synthesis drop precipitously, a host of computer science-meets-biotech startups are cropping up in Silicon Valley. TeselaGen, which makes middleware for biotech labs that want to quickly design and iterate on new DNA constructs, is building tools that will help researchers set up and manage wetware experiments and interpret data from lab equipment. They and other startups like Genome Compiler, Transcriptic and SV Angel-backed Benchling are trying to make biotech software more elegant and speed up the development process. “Our vision is about closing the design-build-test-and-evolve loop,” said CEO Mike Fero, who was a researcher at Stanford focusing on protein localization and who was previously a vice president at a computational genomics company called Neomorphics that was sold to Affymetrix in 2000. “We want to shorten the time frame it takes to get your DNA built and run more experiments.”

How NASA might build its very first warp drive I want to see this work as much as anyone else on io9, but every time I read an article on warp drive, I expend so much mental energy trying to wrap my head around the concept that my entire left hand side goes numb. Somewhere along the line my understanding of concepts such as the nature of Spacetime is deficient. Here's the problem. When I think about the idea of expanding the conceptual framework that describes the continuum between two abstract concepts, behind a spaceship, whilst contracting the conceptual framework that describes the continuum between two abstract concepts, in front of a spaceship; all I can think of is that this like saying that when in conversation with another person, I can reach out with my hand, grasp hold of the words that are coming out of that other persons mouth and fold them in half. If someone could point me towards some legible books that I could buy that would help me understand where my understanding has gone wrong, I would be grateful. Thanks.

Synthetic biology: promises and challenges Synthetic biology: another buzzword? Life is evolving fast (at least in the first world) and the latest technological gadget becomes outdated even before we have learnt how to use it. In this respect, science is no exception. The new buzzword ‘Systems Biology’ entered the vocabulary of the scientific community only a few years ago. Now that every biologist is aware of it and almost everyone seems to be doing it, an even newer buzzword has entered the scientific arena, ‘Synthetic Biology’ (see as an example a sample of recent reviews on the topic, Benner and Sismour, 2005; Endy, 2005; Andrianantoandro et al, 2006; Heinemann and Panke, 2006). We are still arguing about the true definition of Systems Biology, the more so since it became fashionable for the funding agencies and therefore any research project should include it in the proposal, and now we need to define Synthetic Biology and explain to the non‐specialist what the difference is between the two. What is synthetic biology?

This Micro-Algae Lamp Absorbs 150-200 Times More CO2 than a Tree! (Video) CleanTechnica/via French biochemist and Shamengo pioneer Pierre Calleja has invented this impressive streetlight that is powered by algae which absorbs CO2 from the air. We have featured algae-powered lamps before but this one takes out 1 ton (!) of CO2 per year. This is as much CO2 as as a tree absorbs on average during its entire life. It seems to me that this is a pretty amazing idea that could really work and clean the air pollution from urban areas (like parking lots, tested in the video above) and at the same time look good. See also: Favorite Nature Spots of the TreeHugger Team (Part 1 of 2)

des scientifique fabriquent la vie sans ADN ! Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element? One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal — a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon, reports New Scientist. Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving. "I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said. The high-functioning "cells" that Cronin has built are constructed from large polyoxometalates derived from a range of metal atoms, like tungsten. The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? The early results have been encouraging.

Voulez-vous savoir quand vous allez mourir Combien de temps ? Sous-entendu, combien de temps me reste-t-il à vivre ? C'est la question des condamnés à mort, qu'ils l'aient été par le verdict d'un tribunal ou celui du corps médical, par exemple dans le cas d'un cancer incurable. Cette question fatidique, on a en revanche tendance à l'occulter – car elle nous rappelle à notre condition de mortels – lorsqu'on se sent en bonne santé, qu'aucun indice de maladie grave ne se trouve à l'horizon. Simplement, il arrive parfois que ces signes soient situés sous l'horizon, hors de notre champ de vision. Pourtant, si l'on en croit une étude parue le 25 février dans la revue PLoS Medicine, la chose est bel et bien possible. Après analyse des résultats, ces biologistes se sont aperçus d'un résultat étonnant : un cocktail de seulement 4 biomarqueurs (sur les 106 testés) prédisait fort bien le risque de finir ou pas dans un cercueil au cours des cinq années suivantes.

The Stonemaker Argument Hi friendly readers. I know a lot of you may have many different beliefs and philosophies on life. Now this is all well and good, but regardless of what beliefs you may hold, please, for the benefit of everyone, do not use the following argument. You may have heard this argument before, as it comes in many forms. It is often called the watchmaker argument, or the watchmaker analogy. It has been described in many different ways by many people, but the basic idea is this: This statement does have an element of truth to it. But first, l'd like to introduce you to Steve. Bionic Plants: Turning Plants Into Energy Producing Factories A group of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a system aimed at increasing the energy yield of plants through the use of nanomaterials. Using a similar system, they also hope to be able to assign plants the novel function of chemical detection, which could be used to sense explosives amongst other things. This new field of research has been entitled plant nanobionics​, and it is hoped these findings will precipitate a wave of research into this exciting new area. In a paper released in Nature Materials yesterday, a team led by Michael Strano were able to improve a plants' ability to capture light energy by 30%. In a press-release, Strano said "Plants are a very attractive technology platform. Prior to this study, chloroplasts could not be used when isolated from the plant because harmful molecules called oxygen radicals eventually start to damage the components of the chloroplast.

Bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes | Phil Hart These pictures of bioluminescence in the Gippsland Lakes in my gallery have proven quite popular, so it seems time to provide a story to accompany them. But this is not a short story, rather a convoluted one of fires and floods, of microscopic algae and the inspiring, remarkable and surprising beauty of nature. The story begins with alpine bushfires in Victoria, which started on 1st December 2006 when over 70 fires were started by a band of thunderstorms and lightning strikes which moved across the state. Smoke from the Great Divide Complex fire spreading over south-east Australia [MODIS image via Romsey Weather Site] These fires burnt a vast area of the catchment for the Gippsland Lakes, a chain of large inland lakes in eastern Victoria. In the end, it was not any ordinary rainfall event that arrived that winter. Floodwaters around Bairnsdale, East Gippsland in June 2007 Floodwaters over Glenmaggie Weir [ABC Australia] Synechococcus in the Gippsland Lakes

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