Category Archives: Animal Gate

Portable device can quickly test for sickness-causing toxins in shellfish

Mussels, oysters, scallops and clams might be ingredients for fine cuisine, but they can also be a recipe for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). That’s a gastrointestinal illness people can get if those tasty morsels contain marine toxins. Now, researchers are reporting the development of a portable, inexpensive device that can quickly and easily screen freshly caught shellfish for these substances.

Portable device can quickly test for sickness-causing toxins in shellfish

Mussels, oysters, scallops and clams might be ingredients for fine cuisine, but they can also be a recipe for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). That’s a gastrointestinal illness people can get if those tasty morsels contain marine toxins. Now, researchers are reporting the development of a portable, inexpensive device that can quickly and easily screen freshly caught shellfish for these substances.

Flowing electrons help ocean microbes gulp methane

Good communication is crucial to any relationship, especially when partners are separated by distance. This also holds true for microbes in the deep sea that need to work together to consume large amounts of methane released from vents on the ocean floor. Recent workhas shown that these microbial partners can still accomplish this task, even when not in direct contact with one another, by using electrons to share energy over long distances.

Flowing electrons help ocean microbes gulp methane

Good communication is crucial to any relationship, especially when partners are separated by distance. This also holds true for microbes in the deep sea that need to work together to consume large amounts of methane released from vents on the ocean floor. Recent workhas shown that these microbial partners can still accomplish this task, even when not in direct contact with one another, by using electrons to share energy over long distances.

‘Tree of life’ for 2.3 million species released

A first draft of the tree of life for all 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes has been released. Thousands of smaller trees have been published over the years for select branches, but this is the first time those results have been combined into a single tree. The end result is a digital resource that is available online for anyone to use or edit, much like a ‘Wikipedia’ for evolutionary relationships.

Network control: Letting noise lead the way

Researchers leverage randomness in a new computational approach to keep cells healthy. Using a newly-developed computational algorithm, they showed that this randomness within and among cells, called “noise,” can be manipulated to control the networks that govern the workings of living cells — promoting cellular health and potentially alleviating diseases such as cancer.