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Bacteria could be rich source for making terpenes

New research shows that the genetic capacity of bacteria to make terpenes is widespread. Using a specialized technique to sift through genomic databases for a variety of bacteria, the researchers found 262 gene sequences that likely code for terpene synthases - enzymes that catalyze the production terpenes.

Posted: Dec 23rd, 2014

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A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2014

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A 'GPS' for molecules

In everyday life, the global positioning system (GPS) can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists have now developed a molecular 'GPS' with which the whereabouts of metal ions in enzymes can be reliably determined. Such ions play important roles in all corners of metabolism and synthesis for biological products.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2014

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Scientists open new frontier of vast chemical 'space'

Chemists have invented a powerful method for joining complex organic molecules that is extraordinarily robust and can be used to make pharmaceuticals, fabrics, dyes, plastics and other materials previously inaccessible to chemists.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2014

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