How a mint became catmint

Catmint, also known as catnip, is well-known for its intoxicating effect on cats. The chemical responsible for the cats' strange behavior is nepetalactone, a volatile iridoid produced by catmint. An international team of ...

Leaking away essential resources actually helps cells grow

Experts have been unable to explain why cells, from bacteria to humans, leak essential chemicals necessary for growth into their environment. New mathematical models reveal that leaking metabolites—substances involved in ...

A new way to control microbial metabolism

Microbes can be engineered to produce a variety of useful compounds, including plastics, biofuels, and pharmaceuticals. However, in many cases, these products compete with the metabolic pathways that the cells need to fuel ...

Researchers detect bromine atoms in springtime Arctic

For the first time, researchers at the University of Michigan have detected bromine atoms in the atmosphere, and in doing so, have confirmed the reaction pathway through which mercury is removed from the atmosphere and enters ...

Scientists nail down important plant compound pathway

Purdue University plant molecular biochemist Natalia Dudareva and colleagues have described a complete second pathway used by plants to produce phenylalanine, a compound important for all living organisms.

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