Hydrocarbon-degrading Alcanivorax found in plumes of hydrothermal vents

by Nirvan Marathe These petrol-munching bacteria show immense ecological potential… Left- Black smoker hydrothermal vent billows fluids into surrounding seawater at Niua volcano, Tonga (courtesy of United States Geological Survey). Right- Alcanivorax bacteria (courtesy of Now you might’ve heard of the bacterial genus Alcanivorax, some species within it were recruited to help BP clean…

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Human exercise motivational states are controlled by microbiome

By: Evelyn Nguyen Evolutionary biologists firmly believe that modern humans thrive out of Darwinian evolution because our ancestors possessed superior locomotive ability. The typical modern lifestyle of reduced bipedal movement, therefore unsurprisingly, has been identified as a risk factor for modern-day noncommunicable diseases such as metabolic, neurological and neoplastic conditions. As a result, targeted efforts…

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Psychopathy- environmental or genetic?

By: Nirvan Marathe Psychopathy, or antisocial personality disorder, is a neurological disorder which has been ‘romanticised’ in a sense by the media through pop culture portrayal. The illness has distinct phenotypes, included poor emotional responses, lack of empathy and general antisocial behaviour. There is an ongoing debate on whether psychopathy should be regarded as having…

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INSIGHTS FROM THE BLACK DEATH Yersinia pestis under the microscope. (Image by NIAID) By Celeste Cohen Pandemics have shaped our history and present, changing the way we consider disease and hygiene. They have also shaped pathogens, which evolve to increase their transmission and resistance. But what about us? Have we evolved as a result of…

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