The process of photosynthesis is often described as turning sunlight into sugars, and while that's broadly true, there are two distinct biochemical reactions taking place.
There are various different ways that pathogenic bacteria can damage and kill human cells, but one of the most common is by the production of toxic molecules.
December turned out to be a rather hectic month for several reasons, so I decided to take a break from blogging. Now the holidays are over, I will back to regular blogging for 2013!
I remember learning about acids and bases (or acids and alkalis) fairly early on at school. Acids were sharp vinegary substances like lemon juice, while alkalis were soapy substances, like limewater or caustic soda.
For free-living organisms, the ability to sense and respond to the outside environment is crucial for survival. Eukaryotes, such as animals and plants, often have highly complex network systems in place to monitor their surroundings and respond effectively, but bacteria have developed a remarkably simple system.
Previous posts in the Chemistry series: Hydrogen-bonds, van der Waals forces, metallic bonding, ionic bonds Everything on earth is made up of combinations of different elements - all of which can be found on the periodic table.
Milk is produced by mammals in order to provide nutrition to their growing young. It's pretty special stuff, as not only does it provide all the nutrients and energy needed to fuel a growing baby (consider that for at least six months a human infant drinks nothing but milk) it also aids in the development of both the immune system and the baby's microbiotica - the bacteria that develop in its gut and stomach.Although milk is exclusively a mammalian production, some birds, such as pigeons, penguins and flamingos, produce a milk-like substance which provides similar benefits to their young.
Any part of the human body that is open to the outside world it available for the colonisation of bacteria. While this blog has covered bacteria in the gut, the vagina and the throat, one area I've neglected to cover is the bacteria that get into the lungs.
I'm on holiday at the moment, so this post is adapted from the archives. It was originally posted at my old blog over on Field of Science. There are lots of things I enjoy about studying bacteria.
Along with the main elements of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, magnesium and sulphur, organic organisms also require trace amounts of certain other elements, including some metals.
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