28/08/2009

Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD is a term used to describe the massive disappearance of the European honeybee. This important plant pollinator of commercial food crops is not just found in Europe, but all over the World. CCD has wiped out over a third of all honeybees in the US, but no one knows what’s causing it. Researchers at the University of Illinois have compared the genomes of healthy bees and bees from colonies affected by CCD and have found some differences that point towards the cause.

Mitochondrial DNA is found in the cytoplasm of cells. Unlike the nuclear DNA that determines all of our physical characteristics. MtDNA is only inherited from the mother and is responsible for running the little power packets (mitochondria) that help convert food to energy in the cells. But like with all genes, things can go wrong. And up until now mitochondrial inherited diseases have not been treatable with gene therapy. Now researchers on monkeys in Portland in Oregon have found a possible solution. They have been able to replace faulty mtDNA in an egg cell with healthy mtDNA from another female, then artificially inseminate the egg with sperm from the father to create 4 baby rhesus macaques free from faulty mtDNA.

The large island of Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the south-eastern coast of Africa – and was separated from the mainland at least 80 million years ago.
This separation is thought to be one of the reasons behind why Madagascar has so many unique plant and animal species – more than 80% of the plants and animals found there are ONLY found there. But there may be other reasons why there are so many of these unique species. Our reporter, Tim Healy, went to Madagascar to look try to find out just how they might have evolved.

People who multitask often think they are being very efficient, but it turns out we are actually doing more harm than good. Watching online videos, instant messaging, while writing an e-mail and talking on the phone at the same time? Sound familiar?
Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that doing too many media activities at once makes you not very good at any of them. Lead researcher Cliff Nass wants to know what this was doing to our brains.

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 30 Aug 2009 03:32 GMT

Gravitational Waves

'Ripples' from black holes detected

Gravity and ripples in the fabric of space time - what do these mean for us?