Category Archives: Biochemistry

Researchers Pinpoint Protein at Heart of ALS Communication Breakdown

MRI of ALS patient. Image courtesy Frank Gaillard.

No cure exists for Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neuromuscular illness affecting tens of thousands of Americans. But scientists may have found how a key protein helps drive its degenerative progress.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
UA, Barrow Researchers Explain ALS Key Protein Breakdown

Understanding the Reach (and Limits) of the FDA Antimicrobial Ban

Photo by Lars Klintwall Malmqvist.

A Food and Drug Administration ban on over-the-counter antiseptic  soaps and cosmetics containing certain active ingredients goes into effect Sept. 6.  But it’s up to consumers to avoid products the ban doesn’t cover.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
FDA Antimicrobial Ban Leaves Many Products Unchanged

Bark Scorpion Arose from Rare Genetic Event

Arizona bark scorpion glowing under ultraviolet light. Photo by Bryce Alexander.

More than 450 million years ago, the entire genetic instruction book of spiders’ and scorpions’ common ancestor doubled, according to a genomic comparison of the common house spider and the Arizona bark scorpion.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Rare Whole Genome Duplication Gave Rise To Arizona Bark Scorpion

Tobacco Leaves Could Provide Cheap, Scalable Way to Make Zika Vaccine

Tobacco leaves drying. Photo by MRaccine.

Tobacco might have finally found the image upgrade it’s been looking for, as scientists hope to use the plant to produce a safe and cheap Zika vaccine.

If successful in humans, the plant-based approach could provide an effective solution for countries affected by the disease.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Scientists Use Tobacco Plant As Cheap, Scalable Zika Vaccine Factory