Biology

Rendering of a bacteriophage virus

A group of researchers at San Diego State University led by microbial ecologist Forest Rohwer found that the mucus that exist in the body of almost all the animals in various organs contain a type of bacteriophage (informally phage) viruses (image ©Adenosine) that can function as a second immune system that procects from infections.

Last Saturday the biochemist Christian de Duve died in his home in Nethen, Belgium. His health had deteriorated and a few weeks ago he decided to request euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium. In 1974, Christian de Duve received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine together with Albert Claude and George E. Palade for their discoveries concerning the structural and functional organization of the cell.

Australopithecus sediba, aka Malapa Hominin 1 (MH1) left, Lucy (AL 288-1) (Centre), and Malapa Hominin 2 (MH2) right

A team of scientists has reconstructed a skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, a hominid that lived about two million years ago, putting together the bones of some partial skeletons found in 2008 in Malapa, about 45 km (about 30 miles) from the capital city of South Africa, Johannesburg.