It happens to everyone: you open the fridge, excited for a slice of delicious cheese, only to find fuzzy mold growing on your food. As tempting as it may be, eating the seemingly clean, not moldy parts is not advisable, according to a paper recently published from Michigan State University, which explains a newly discovered link between moldy food and liver cancer. It goes on to provide direction on the best ways to mitigate the effects of such mold as well as to reduce the population’s intake of mold in the first place.Read More
Science Market Update
A running theme in the Science Market Update is that nature seems to have all the answers to our bioscience questions, if only we know how to ask them. For instance, how do we make an anesthetic strong enough to make a scorpion sting painless? And what can we do to keep antibiotics from becoming ineffective? Today’s question, posed by researchers at Michigan State University, is: how can we quickly gather precise water pollution data over entire rivers and lakes? To which nature answers: send in a fleet of water striders.
Words like “toxic” and “lethal” are very subjective in the world of life science research, where one creature’s poison is another creature’s pleasure. For instance, we saw some fantastic research last year at the University of Minnesota involving bacteria that ate enough chlorine to detoxify superfund sites. Following in the tiny footsteps of these microbes, bacteria under investigation at Michigan State University enjoy consuming the toxic byproducts of biodiesel plants, indicating a greener and more sustainable future for the industry.
Around the world, the number of bees is abruptly decreasing. Known as colony collapse disorder, the phenomenon is affecting agriculture on the global scale. According to a report by the United Nations, crops reliant on honeybee pollination sum up to a net worth of $200 billion, and the decline in population is increasing the cost of beekeeping by an average of 20%. Looking into the matter are bioresearchers from Michigan State University, who are busy deriving the genes responsible for pollination.
Bacterial cells commonly act as little machines in the lab of a bioresearcher. Some fluoresce as they bind to certain particles, others change color based on the presence of a certain chemical in solution. Useful as these cells are, they are generally pre-set; each lab has to find one that does the necessary job or wait for one to be discovered. Now the wait is over – thanks to a research team at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where programmable bacterial cells are quickly becoming a reality.
Occasionally in the research world, investigation in one particular study can lead to accidental and novel discoveries in another. Such was the case recently as the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where life science researchers working on zebrafish embryos stumbled upon a revelation about colon cancer that also applies to humans.
A human’s first instinct upon seeing a scorpion is to get away from it as fast as possible. The grasshopper mouse, on the other hand, routinely feeds on bark scorpions, as seen in the video below. Despite the venomous nature of their prey, the mice suffer no side effects from their mealtime and aren’t even that bothered while they’re eating. The secret of their immunity is inspiring researchers at Michigan State University to look into the medicinal properties of this mouse’s body.
The method of three-dimensional printing, which conjures up solid objects from 3D computer models, is beginning to make a larger impact on the world of life science technology. Though 3D printing was developed almost thirty years ago, its use in conjunction with biology began fairly recently but is quickly increasing. In fact, bioscientists from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor just used 3D printing to save the life of a baby.
It has long been known that mercury, which in high enough levels is toxic to humans, is found in several kinds of fish. But the reason fish contain mercury in the first place has always eluded us- until now. Life science researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor have found the reasons (indeed, there are multiple) and have concluded that the levels of mercury in fish are actually rising to this day.
The arena of renewable energy has expanded to include a number of different methods and natural resources. At Michigan State University, a new and unlikely contender has entered the scene. Decomposing microorganisms are the key behind the university’s incredibly efficient anaerobic digester, which they put into operation this Tuesday.