Genetics & Molecular Biology

Is alcoholism genetic as well as behavioral?  Studies have suggested it in the past and scientists at Brookhaven National Lab say they have the first experimental evidence of it.

Their study compared the brain's response to long-term alcohol drinking in two genetic variants of mice. One strain lacked the gene for a specific brain receptor dopamine D2, which responds to dopamine, the brain's "feel good" chemical, to produce feelings of pleasure and reward. The other strain was genetically normal.

In the dopamine-receptor-deficient mice (but not the genetically normal strain), long-term alcohol drinking resulted in significant biochemical changes in areas of the brain well know to be involved in alcoholism and addiction.

'Copy Number Variants' (CNVs) are hot. A CNV is a sizeable chunk of DNA that's either missing from your genome or present in extra copies. Chunks of DNA get copied or deleted on a surprisingly frequent basis. We've all got CNVs, most cases they are probably benign, but CNVs are becoming an increasingly appreciated as a significant source of medically important genetic variation. 'Recently appreciated' because we now have the technology to detect CVNVs reliably.
Two women who took part in the world's first controlled study of a genetic screening test before IVF have given birth to healthy babies.

The babies are the first deliveries in a pilot study of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) by microarray, a new method of screening oocytes, female gametocytes involved in reproduction, before in vitro fertilization (IVF) for a full range of chromosomal disorders. 
The smallest entity of life is the single cell, which exists not only as single cell organisms, but as evolution proceeds, as members of a bigger and more complex living organism. During the progression of life, an organism encounters many experiences, and encodes these experiences as memories or knowledge.
People considered Jatropha some kind of miracle plant which will produce tonnes of oil without nutrition, water and good land and good seed or good climate. Researchers are not needed. Agrotechnology is not to be developed and all one has to do is to find some wasteland and put some seeds and within a year or two open a refinery . This is against the basic principles of biology and plant physiology. All plants including Jatropha need a soil base, which must have some level of organic matter, pH in neutral zone or nearabout, nitrogen and other nutrients in abundance and minerals and growth regulators in proper interactive role. People were very buisy bying lands or acquiring them so that the land will remain and its cost will appreciate let the plants die.
Ever wonder what the smallest protein is? Apparently it's TRP-Cage, a protein with only 20 amino acids derived from the saliva of Gila monsters.

Trp-cage - smallest protein

You can find the structure file and images in the PDB database (www.pdb.org) with PDB ID = 1L2Y. This highly stable mini-protein is important for studies of protein stability, protein folding, and 3D structure.

Even with this small size, it displays secondary structural elements, such as an alpha helix, found in many proteins. So far there are no known proteins with less than 20 residues, but we'll see what happens in the future.

It is very difficult to see some plus point in something good. It’s very easy to criticize. All animals who have frontal eyes are fighter type like lion , tiger, and man also. Man is part of animal kingdom and not a super creation or master of creation It is in his habit to quarrel. Perhaps he derives a pleasure to pick up a quarrel . Mahatma Gandhi gave a principle of non violence. How many want to follow it ? Where is eternal peace ? If you are at peace with yourself you will be at peace with others. All animals with eyes on both side of the nose are quite animals e.g. birds . They don’t quarrel. Humans developed language and not other way round. When humans will stop quarreling and work for world peace and happiness. Earth belongs to all of us
The longest human protein is Titin with 34,350 amino acids. The smallest human protein is 44 amino acids but it could be an abortive translation from the 5' UTR of another mRNA. The smallest functional polypeptide is glutathione with only three amino acids.

BTW, proline is technically not even an amino acid much less a polypeptide. Chignolin is a man-made decapeptide so if you synthesize a GG dipeptide, it would be the smallest possible amino acid polymer.

If you remember your visit to an airport of Moskow, or Indira Gandhi Airport terminal 2 of yesteryears, or airports of even european countries some 20 or 30 years ago there was a distinct feeling where you have landed. There was reflection of culture of the region , its food, its local variety of handicrafts and a flair of the country quite apparent of your country of landing. It has changed. If you are guided to any airport of the world as far as I have seen and open your eyes after landingin some shopping area or lounge you can not tell where you are. Its an era of globalization. Same brands of cigeratte and wine and whisky are sold everywhere irrespective of culture, or national identity.
Scientists have altered cardiac muscle cells to make them controllable with light and showed an ability to cause conditions such as arrhythmia in genetically modified mice, which opens up new possibilities for researching the development and therefore treatment of arrhythmias. 

Tobias Brügmann and his colleagues from the University of Bonn’s Institute of Physiology I used a “channelrhodopsin” for their experiments - a type of light sensor. At the same time, it can act as an ion channel in the cell membrane because when stimulated with blue light, this channel opens, and positive ions flow into the cell. This causes a change in the cell membrane’s pressure, which stimulates cardiac muscle cells to contract.