biochemistry

Scientists create new class of “Turing patterns” in colonies of E. coli

Scientists have shown how a new class of Turing patterns work by using synthetic biology to create them from scratch in the lab. Shortly before his death, Alan Turing published a provocative paper outlining his theory for how complex, irregular patterns emerge in nature—his version of how the leopard got its spots. These so-called Turing …

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Researchers make their own enzyme pathway to get CO₂ out of the air

Enlarge Olivier Le Moal | Getty Images Before this century is over, we’re almost certainly going to need to pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. While we already know how to do carbon capture and storage, it takes a fair amount of energy and equipment, and someone has to pay …

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Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds

Enlarge / Scientists mixed chitin—an organic polymer found in abundance in arthropods, as well as fish scales—with a mineral that mimics the properties of Martian soil to create a viable new material for building tools and shelters on Mars. Javier G. Fernandez Space aficionados who dream of one day colonizing Mars must grapple with the …

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Researchers find a chemical that makes locusts swarm

Enlarge NOAA The year 2020 may be one for the record books in terms of apocalyptic tidings. In addition to the usual background of fires, floods, and earthquakes, the plague is still around. And you might have heard something about a pandemic. But what really nails down the apocalyptic vibe is the fact that the …

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Researchers engineer photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen

Enlarge State of Oklahoma The price of photovoltaic power has plunged, making it competitive with fossil fuel-powered electrical generation. But there is still a range of applications, like ships and aircraft, where electrical power doesn’t help much. And storing the electricity produced by solar power so that it can be used at night remains an …

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