How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves

Plants produce toxic substances to defend themselves against herbivores. In a new study, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and the University of M√ľnster, Germany, were able to describe ...

Researchers discover molecular basis for alkaline taste

Whether or not animals can taste basic or alkaline food and how they do it has remained a mystery until now. A research group led by Yali Zhang, Ph.D., principal investigator at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, recently ...

Reconstructing the evolutionary history of detoxifying enzymes

Our body produces lots of enzymes that break down toxic substances. One class of such enzymes are the flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs), which are present in all tetrapods. Humans have five different FMO genes, of which ...

The humble sea campion flower can show us how species adapt

The speed of environmental change is very challenging for wild organisms. When exposed to a new environment individual plants and animals can potentially adjust their biology to better cope with new pressures they are exposed ...

Sharing is caring with fire ant venom

Venom is associated with being harmful, but red imported fire ants are using their venom for its medicinal benefits by sharing the toxic substance with their nestmates, according to a study published in the Journal of Insect ...

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