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Weird Science

Magic mushrooms produce psychoactive compounds

Magic mashroom

Little fungi pack a punch: “Magic mushrooms” of the Psilocybe species produce psychoactive compounds that alter perception when ingested. Recently, the effects on the neuronal system caused by their ingredient psilocybin have attracted the interest of pharmacologists. German scientists have now identified four of the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of psilocybin. …

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A protein that crosslinks the DNA

A protein that crosslinks the DNA

A protein that crosslinks the DNA to allow proper nuclear envelope reformation. Every one of our cells stores its genome within the nucleus — the quintessential subcellular structure that distinguishes eukaryotic cells from bacteria. When animal cells divide, they disassemble their nucleus, releasing individual chromosomes for proper segregation to daughter …

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Algae is a desirable biofuel source

Algal biofuel

You might not cook with this sugar, but from a biofuels standpoint, it’s pretty sweet. A Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. …

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