Molecular Biology and Evolution

How a scorpion gets its sting

Defensins, as their name implies, are small proteins found in plants and animals that help ward off viral, bacterial or fungal pests. One fascinating question of invertebrate evolution is how these proteins evolved into venoms ...

Jan 14, 2014 4 / 5 (1) 0

Fight or flight and the evolution of pain

Hard wired into the survival mechanisms of all animals is the perception of pain. Different stimuli, such as heat or cold, foul odors, chemicals or a blunt blow can trigger pain receptors in the body that, in the blink of ...

Jan 07, 2014 3.5 / 5 (2) 0

Avoiding poisons: A matter of bitter taste

In most animals, taste has evolved to avoid all things bitter—-a key to survival—- to avoid eating something that could be poisonous via taste receptors, known as Tas2r, that quickly spring into action and elicit the ...

Nov 18, 2013 5 / 5 (1) 0