The Biochemical Basis of Plant Adaptations to Drought and Salinity

In a stochastic environment, plants' sessile nature means that variations in water availability have detrimental effects on the plants metabolism. The availability of water for its biological roles as a solvent and transport medium, as an electron donor in the Hill reaction, and as an evaporative coolant is often impaired by environmental conditions such as drought and salinity. The oxidative stress that results from these environmental perturbations has profound biochemical responses within the plant's genetic architecture. As both these stresses impact on the water availability of the organism, they will share many response mechanisms despite being fundamentally different stimuli.

Both drought and salinity stress the cells by increasing the concentrations of ions in the cytosol. Increased ion concentrations can have osmotic effects causing the plant to lose control over water flux; furthermore, high concentrations of ions have extremely negative impacts on the tertiary structure of proteins, which form the basis of all cellular machinery.

Bis-Tris Western Blots: A Sharper Alternative for Protein Detection

Western blotting is the most common assay to measure protein levels from cells and tissues. Standard western blots start with soluble proteins in a detergent-containing buffer. Normally, these proteins will be denatured by boiling and reducing agents (e.g. Beta-mercaptoethanol). Bis-tris westerns begin the same way, and, in fact, are completely identical to standard western blots, with a few major exceptions.

First, the buffer used to make the gels is different. As you can probably guess from its name, bis-tris gels use bis-tris-HCl buffer, whereas traditional western blots use standard tris-HCl buffer. The second difference is that the stacking gel and resolving gel use the same buffer during bis-tris western blotting. In standard applications, the stacking gel is acidic (pH 6.8) and the resolving gel is basic (pH 8.8). For bis-tris westerns, the entire gel is run under acidic conditions at pH 6.8.

An In-Depth Look at Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis and Meiosis are both cellular processes in nature which result in the division of cells and formation of new life. Mitosis involves the division of a cell into two identical cells, each containing the exact genetic makeup (genome) in their chromosomes as the original cell, but go through differentiation during a eukaryote organism's development in order to accommodate for the different cells that the body requires. Mitosis takes place in both single-celled organisms, being the method in which they are able to reproduce, and also in eukaryote somatic (body) cells, allowing them to proliferate and repair damaged tissue. Meiosis on the other hand only occurs in the sex cells of organisms and is the method by which sex cells produce gametes for sexual reproduction.

These sex cells are called germ cells, which when divided are termed gametes. Gametes are sperm in males and ova in females. 

Carbon Nano Tubes in the Human Body - There Are Some Real Opportunities and Challenges

You may not know this, but human blood causes degradation of carbon structures. You shouldn't be too surprised about this because the human body is partly made of carbon, so obviously the species has evolved to handle it, which is kind of funny if you think about it, especially for one of those people who is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. The best way to do that is go on a diet; do you see what I mean? Okay, but all jokes aside I'd like to discuss this with you for a moment if I might.

Last year, I was talking to a scientist and researcher about the possibility of using graphene and Carbon Nanotubes in the human body and human brain to interface with the human biosystem. That would be a challenge if the enzymes in the blood attacked the structures, and yes, there's probably a way around that challenge, but it is exactly that challenge which may help us deliver drugs to certain parts of the body encased in carbon nanotubes.

Gene Expression

The vast majority of genes are expressed in the proteins that they encode. This occurs in two main steps: Transcription of DNA into RNA and then Translation of RNA into polypeptide chains that fold up into proteins.


Initiation: The segment of DNA to be transcribed is split apart by RNA polymerase. RNA polymerase needs to first attach to a promoter code sequence, which is a sort of indicator sequence that shows the polymerase where to start transcription and provides a secure foothold

Note: Proteins called activators and repressor regulate the transcription speed

Biology Review: Proteins and Enzymes


Proteins are long chains of amino acids joined by peptide bonds that fold up into complex three-dimensional structures.

The functions of proteins are so diverse and important that almost every function of every living organism depends on proteins.

This helps explain why evolutionary biologists tend to believe that protein synthesis preceded the evolution of the first cells.

In cells, proteins account for about half of the dry mass.

What Does Water Do For The Body?

All around us is a little molecule that is found in the air, makes up all the rivers, lakes, and streams, and is more important to life than any other. This little guy is a simple combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, but is so important to our existence that when scientists are looking for worlds that might have life, they look for water first. No water, no life. Water, maybe life.

The fact is that water makes up about 70% of our bodies. Cells are mostly bags of watery stuff floating around. Some cells have more or less, but some, like blood cells, are made of as much as 90% water. Most of this water is a mixture of substances within cells are a common molecule existing within a larger one, but there is nowhere that water alone is stored in the body with the exception of the bladder. And of course it is only stored here until excretion and is still a combination of water and other waste products, although it is more than 95% water.

Unlimited Thought Electromagnetically Induced - Hyper Mental Agility, What's It Worth, Your Mind?

As someone who runs a think tank which happens to operate online, I put a lot of thought into the category of thinking itself. What is it for instance which allows some people to be more creative than others and solve problems, and what is it that allows some people to have almost an infallible memory to the point of having savant tendenches? The human mind is incredible, and yet, what if we can improve on this biological wonder, and give the human brain more energy, energy which it doesn't have to create from within? What if we could slightly boost it, without overheating it? Okay so, let's talk about this for a moment, because I'm not the only one asking this question.

It turns out that there are many people working on this problem, for a variety of reasons - for instance to increase the uptake in learning, rote memorization, and increase the speed of training. 

Top 10 Things You Wish You Knew About Butterfly Wings

We tend to admire butterfly wings for their captivating beauty. Our negligence in overlooking other fascinating facts about these wings is therefore quite excusable... but wouldn't you like to know more? Here are our top ten (well, maybe more) facts that you will be excited to learn.

Butterflies Have Scaled Wings

The scientific name for the butterfly/moth family is Lepidoptera. This word is derived from Greek roots meaning "scale wings." For scientists, the most obvious feature that separates butterflies and moths from other insects is their scaled wings. While we may not notice this immediately, closer inspection of a butterfly reveals the fact that their wings are made from tiny scales that are actually bulbous, modified feathers. The pigments of the scales on their wings come either from chemical pigments such as melanin or from plants and waste that build up during metamorphosis. 

Would a Human Brain Grow In a Square If It Were Grown in a Box - I Believe the Answer Might Be Yes

Can we grow add on brains, or configure a human brain in a different space? I believe so. I'd like to discuss this with you for moment, from a philosophical and theoretical biology stand point. You see, on or about June 20, 2011 I had written an interesting article titled; "Why Can't We Install an Add-on Carbon Nanotube Encased Brain Inside a Human Chest Cavity?" where I reasoned that it would be possible to build an add-on brain and attach it to the current human brain.

It also seems that since we can now grow brain tissue using stem cells in a Petri Dish that we can build an organic brain, allowing it to grow in any shape we wish. Okay so, before I get into my basic theory of why I believe that a human brain can grow in a square, or a sphere, I'd like to have you consider some other intriguing information;

First, go read an article in Neuroscience on March 29, 2012 titled; "Brain wiring a no-brainer? Scans reveal astonishingly simple 3D grid structure.