Category archives: Biology

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

How can we improve the communication between mathematics and life sciences?

BiologyMathematicsSociology

By Pablo Rodríguez Sánchez

Preamble In the period 2015-2019, I was hired as a mathematician by a biology department in order to perform a research that eventually would become my doctoral thesis. This text is adapted from the last chapter of that thesis, “Cycles and interactions: A mathematician among biologists” (full text available here). The symbiosis between mathematics and […]

A common gene variant associated with short height in Peruvians

A common gene variant associated with short height in Peruvians

Biology

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Like intelligence, height is genetically determined, however there are thousands of genes implicated in height determination. That is why the finding by researchers from Harvard Medical School of a gene variant responsible for shortening the average height of Peruvians in about 2.2 centimetres is so interesting. There are other rare gene variants known that cause […]

Bees seeking bacteria: How bees find their microbiome

Bees seeking bacteria: How bees find their microbiome

BiologyMicrobiology

By Invited Researcher

In late summer last year my doctor prescribed a monthlong course of antibiotics for an infection. Medicines like antibiotics are great at wiping out bacterial infections. The problems is that these drugs don’t differentiate between eliminating the “good” bacteria that may benefit our health and the “bad” bacteria causing infection. I was absolutely miserable and […]

A Tale of Primary Cilia: from overlooked organelles to key mechanically-sensing antennae

A Tale of Primary Cilia: from overlooked organelles to key mechanically-sensing antennae

BiologyPhysiology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Jose V. Torres-Perez (@Jovitope) is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciencies, Queen Mary, University of London (UK). This is the story of primary cilium, a cellular structure discovered at least 122 years ago. It was soon regarded as rudimentary and then forgotten for most researchers. Nonetheless, recent advances proved […]

Computation can push optical microscopy towards unsuspected limits

Computation can push optical microscopy towards unsuspected limits

BiologyComputer sciencePhysics

By Daniel Moreno Andrés

Man does not live by hardware alone. Indeed, great material and conceptual improvements in the machinery of optical microscopes have occurred in recent decades. The examples are numerous (some example here; https://mappingignorance.org/2013/12/23/bessel-beam-plane-illumination-microscopy-another-smart-solution-for-an-old-challenge/). However, what is being achieved only with software and computing power seems a matter of magic. It is not only that programs and […]

Weaving for a killer

Weaving for a killer

Biology

By José Ramón Alonso

Spiders build their webs using the silk they synthesize and secrete from their spinning glands, structures located in the back of the abdomen. The most primitive species have few glands and build their nets with fairly uniform silks. The most evolved spiders, on the other hand, have up to seven different spinning glands with which […]

Chromatic multiphoton serial microscopy can generate brain-wide atlas-like colour datasets with subcellular resolution

Chromatic multiphoton serial microscopy can generate brain-wide atlas-like colour datasets with subcellular resolution

BiologyBiomedicineComputer scienceNanotechnologyNeurosciencePhysics

By DIPC

In 1873, the microscopist Ernst Abbe stipulated a physical limit for the maximum resolution of traditional optical microscopy: 0.2 micrometers, or 200 nanometers (the shortest wavelength for visible light, the extreme limit of violet). This meant that scientists could distinguish whole cells, as well as some parts of the cell called organelles. However, they would […]

TRAMIL: Program of Applied Research to Popular Medicine in the Caribbean

TRAMIL: Program of Applied Research to Popular Medicine in the Caribbean

BiologyBiomedicineHealthPlant biology

By Gerardo Cebrián

Authors: Gerardo Cebrián-Torrejón1, Michelle Salas Pinel1,2 1 Laboratoire COVACHIM-M2E EA 3592, Université des Antilles, 97157 Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex. 2 Forest engineer. Heredia. Costa Rica. The Applied Scientific Research Program of Medicinal Plants, known as TRAMIL, is an investigation program of traditional and popular medicine from the Caribbean, whose purpose is to rationalize health practices based on […]