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Genetics

Gene expression analysis shows several different genes expressing in circadian rhythms.

June 19, 2007 Ever wondered exactly why eating at night makes you put on weight, why some people are "night owls" or what controls your metabolic energy levels through the day? Instead of only 15% of our genes being regulated by circadian rhythms, as previously thought, researchers have discovered that ALL mammalian genes are affected by nature's daily clock - our entire bodies are regulated by genes whose expression oscillates on a daily cycle. What's more, if we're not exposed to a proper daily cycle of light and darkness, our genes don't have a reference point to synchronise to - and they can gradually get more and more out of sync with one another, causing organs to function ineffectively.  Read More

Clostridium Botulinum spores

May 28, 2007 Botulism toxin is the deadliest poison on the planet. 2kg of it is enough to kill every person on the planet - although this doesn't stop the rich and tasteless from injecting it into their faces as Botox, where it stops nerves from working and has a slight smoothing effect on wrinkles. The toxin is produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria - and scientists at the UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have just completed some fascinating genome research on the development of this incredibly effective killer and its survival mechanisms. Where some bacteria use complex and even elegant methods to dance around our immune systems, C. Botulinum goes for the direct hit with a "microbial sledgehammer." More please, just around the jawline.  Read More

Skimmed milk and spreadable butter - straight from the cow

May 28, 2007 Genetically selecting for superior produce has been a staple of farming for hundreds of years. The dairy industry is now looking at how it can selectively breed dairy cows to bring their output closer to the way consumers are choosing to use it. In particular, they're having good results identifying cows that can produce tasty low-fat 'skim' milk - which accounts for 75% of milk sold in some countries. What's more, they've also found a cow whose butter is spreadable right out of the fridge. Her name? Marge.  Read More

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