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Brown algae reveal antioxidant production secrets

Brown algae contain phlorotannins, aromatic (phenolic) compounds that are unique in the plant kingdom. As natural antioxidants, phlorotannins are of great interest for the treament and prevention of cancer and inflammatory, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have recently elucidated the key step in the production of these compounds in Ectocarpus siliculosus, a small brown alga model species.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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Slowing the ageing process - it's in your genes

Imagine being able to take a drug that can reduce the rate at which you age. Research by Massey University senior lecturer in genetics Dr Austen Ganley is making this dream one step closer to reality.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2013

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Researchers looking inside vessels to understand blood's ebb and flow

Researchers have known for some time that the blood vessels that transport blood to and from tissues and organs in the body are more than just bodily pipelines. Arterioles and capillaries, the small vessels, actually play a key role in regulating the flow of the blood they're carrying. Biomedical engineers at Drexel University, who study cardiovascular function, are creating a mathematical model that explains just how they do it.

Posted: Sep 4th, 2013

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Wiring microbes to conduct and produce electricity faster

A team of researchers have found evidence that altering the chemistry of an electrode surface can help microbial communities to connect to the electrode to produce more electricity more rapidly compared to unmodified electrodes. Practical applications of these systems include current generation, wastewater treatment, and biochemical and biofuel production.

Posted: Sep 4th, 2013

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Next generation cures born from the sea

The SeaBioTech project, started in 2012, is intended to close some of these knowledge gaps by looking in the seas and oceans around the globe for life forms with novel properties. The aim is to find raw material for the world's biotechnology industry, with a particular emphasis on antibiotics and other medical compounds.

Posted: Sep 2nd, 2013

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Scientists sequence genome of high-value grape, seek secrets of wine's aroma

Demystifying the chemical processes that create a wine's aroma, and the invaluable potential application of that understanding in winemaking, is the new objective of scientists in Uruguay who, with European partners, also recently sequenced the genome of the high-value Tannat grape, from which 'the most healthy of red wines' are fermented.

Posted: Sep 2nd, 2013

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Membranes contain beautiful patterns - but their function is a mystery

Biological cells are surrounded by a membrane, and here some of the most important processes for sustaining life take place. There can also be something very beautiful happening in membranes, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have discovered: Membranes can contain beautiful, mysterious patterns.

Posted: Aug 30th, 2013

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New tool enhances the search for genetic mutations

Researchers report on a new software tool known as DeNovoGear, which uses statistical probabilities to help identify mutations and more accurately pinpoint their source and their possible significance for health.

Posted: Aug 26th, 2013

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A skeleton for chromosomes

Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) found that the structure of Chromosomes is supported by a kind of molecular skeleton, made of cohesin.

Posted: Aug 26th, 2013

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