As far as great projects go, it’s hard to top the Human Genome Project (HGP). Still the largest collaborative biological endeavor in history, it has given us the first complete look at the blueprint for building human beings, and with that knowledge, it’s hard to think of anything that is contributing more to human health in our modern world. [Read more...]
Germs never looked so clean-cut until they met artist Charles Clary. A painter and papercrafting artist originally from Tennessee, Clary uses an Xacto knife to dissect hundreds of colorful sheets, which he stacks to create beautiful molecular reliefs. Resembling delicate microbial colonies that contaminate the walls they touch–while simultaneously evoking sound waves, fractals, and topographical landscapes–his works transform simple two-dimensional surfaces into pulsing, surreal structures. [Read more...]
Humans are interesting creatures. We look at the world with some of the most advanced eyes and minds, but often fail to realize that others see the world differently than we do. While this idea is often put forward when talking about the way other people experience the world, in this case I’m literally talking about vision, and insects in particular.
In the vast electromagnetic spectrum of wavelengths (extending from below the long wavelengths used for radio, to the short wavelengths of gamma radiation) we humans see only a miniscule fraction that we call visible light. This small sliver, spanning the distance between violet and red is the way we perceive the world around us with our eyes. However bees and other insects have a different view of the world. Their whole range of light is shifted further towards the violet end of the spectrum and further from the red. This means that, while they can’t perceive red, they see colors we simply cannot see – what we call ultra-violet. This also means is that bees see a world literally hidden before our eyes. [Read more...]
Paper wasps have brains that are less than a millionth the size of the human brain, yet new research shows they have a similar ability to recognize and remember a familiar face. [Read more...]
A new equation is the first to predict the hydrophobic interactions of molecules. Such interactions explain why oil and water don’t mix, how proteins are structured, and what holds biological membranes together. The new formula is expected to affect applications in water filtration, membrane separations, biomedical research, gene therapy methods, biofuel production, and food chemistry. [Read more...]
A fungus that’s been lurking underground for millions of years—known only through its DNA—has been cultured, photographed, named, and assigned a place on the tree of life. Researchers say it represents an entirely new class of fungi: the Archaeorhizomycetes. [Read more...]
If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of our cells look like, this video will really get the ones in your brain turning. Biovisions at Harvard University have put together some incredibly beautiful and accurate visualizations on the operation of our cells, some of them immensely technical and informative.