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biochemistry and cell biology posts

This DNA has lumps News

by David, 26 April 2018 | 0 comments

Image through a microscope, magnifying spiral strands and shapes on a blue background

Inside most cells in your body, there’s a copy of your entire genetic code. It contains instructions that help build and maintain your body. If you imagine DNA in its double helix form, it’s a beautiful, perfect package. Except, maybe DNA doesn’t always look so perfect after all. A team of Australian researchers just discovered…

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Pop goes the bearcat News

by David, 23 October 2017 | 0 comments

bearcat lying down

An animal that smells of popcorn sounds more like a creature from a fairy tale than from reality. But the bearcat, found in Southeast Asia, is a real-life fantastic beast known for its unusual popcorn scent. The source of its smell, though, is hardly appetising.

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Microscope: Sleepy sunshine News

by David, 12 April 2017 | 0 comments

Double Helix magazine is looking for your science questions! Our Microscope column answers the thorniest science queries you can throw at us. Email us at Helix.Editor@csiro.au or via our contact details below and you could have your question published. Here’s a sample question to get you thinking. Aisha Goshti asks: Why does the Sun makes…

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Measuring malaria on your breath News

by David, 27 February 2017 | 1 comments

It’s really annoying to get bitten by a mosquito. Your skin often swells, and the bite can itch for days. But in many places in the world, that small bite isn’t just annoying. It can cause a life-threatening disease: malaria. Malaria is a very tricky disease. Once you are infected, it can take weeks before…

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Jet lagged sunflowers

by David, 22 November 2016 | 0 comments

If you’ve ever flown overseas, you might have experienced jetlag. For example, daytime in London is night in Sydney, so your body can get very confused on a journey between the two. But jetlag isn’t just a human phenomenon, or even just an animal phenomenon. Turns out sunflowers can get jet lag too!

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Hard work creates simple life

by David, 5 June 2016 | 0 comments

It takes a lot of information to make a human. It’s kept in our cells as DNA, which contains at least 20 000 genes. Some other forms of life can get by with much less DNA and fewer genes. Now one team of scientists think they’re close to making the simplest living thing possible. The team…

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Burp! Excuse us

by Jasmine, 24 March 2016 | 0 comments

In a recent blog post we reported on farts, a type of methane emission. When talking about these emissions, we made an omission. That is, we should have mentioned burps as well as farts. In cows, burps can account for 95 per cent of methane emissions. As methane is a greenhouse gas, these emissions can…

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Discovering DNA’s repair crew

by David, 16 October 2015 | 0 comments

Hidden within our cells, DNA is the hard drive of the human body. Each copy of DNA contains instructions for all the proteins needed to make a person. But this creative compendium is always under attack. This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three people who found out what’s repairing our genetic treasure.

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The secret life of soil

by , 16 January 2015 | 0 comments

Bacteria living in soil could save our lives – if only we knew they existed. A new way of looking at soil bacteria is helping researchers discover new antibiotics. We use antibiotics to help fight infections, such as a festering sore on your arm or a chest infection. Growing in these infections are unwelcome bacteria…

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Bacteria under Antarctic ice

by , 19 September 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Caitlin DevorThere’s life under ice. Scientists found an entire community of bacteria living 800 metres under the surface of glaciers in Antarctica. These bacteria rely on each other to survive in the dark, isolated, subzero lake. At the south-eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, under the ice of glaciers, lies the liquid…

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