Category Archives: Biology

The identification of previously unknown proteins is a difficult task and often requires to follow unconventional thinking. In my previous post, I have described how the TRPV1 ion channel (formerly known as the capsaicin receptor) was discovered by combining […]

Doing research in molecular biology is not straightforward, because most of the experimental work is based in the study of molecules which cannot be seen by the unaided eye. Instead, we rely on indirect evidence given by methods which are […]

Flavor is a brain construction: we have olfactory and taste receptors and our central nervous system combines both types of information in what we call flavor. Malaria is an infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans […]

Cataglyphis, the desert ant, is a genus in the subamily Formicinae. The most famous species is C. bicolor, the Sahara Desert ant. There, the midday sun is so hot that even the permanent residents, sand lizards, insects and […]

The definition of life is not a simple one. According to classical textbooks, “living things are born, grow, reproduce and die”. But one doesn’t have to look too far to find some caveats in this interpretation. For example, when bacteria […]

Author:
Uxio Labarta is a research professor at IIM-CSIC (Vigo, Galicia). From the Laboratory of Mussels Ecology and Culture Management, he works on the ecology, physiology, and bioeconomic management of bivalve molluscs. The Lab of Mussels was created in […]

Rabies is a fatal viral disease largely transmitted to humans by infected animals—predominantly from domestic dogs. The contagion is usually through the saliva from rabid animals. The disease is entirely preventable through prompt administration of post-exposure prophylaxis to bite victims […]

«Mosquito» is one of the few words, together with «guerrilla», «adobe», «cigarrillo» and some others that Spanish culture has brought to other languages. I am not sure whether we should be proud of this legacy. The «little fly» is one […]

The nose is one of the strangest structures of human anatomy. It is much more different from our closest relatives than other parts of the body, it is sexually dimorphic, being on average larger in males than in females, and […]

Cooperation is the process of groups of individuals working or acting together for common or mutual benefit. Members of social insect societies cooperate in sophisticated modes. The specialization of individual ants in performing particular tasks or roles tend to increase […]