Our bodies are picky eaters when it comes to amino acids, and sometimes just a small screw-up can cause larger problems down the road. Scientists recently found an association between an amino-acid depleting mutation, and neurological problems in a small sample of humans. In mice with the same mutation, nutritional supplements reversed similar symptoms, offering the possibility of a treatment for the human disorder in the future. The results appeared in the journal Science. Read More
It’s just a lab experiment, but University of Arizona researcher Sarah Horst says that her team’s re-creation of the atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan showed that atmospheric reactions could produce some of life’s basic ingredients, and do it without the presence of liquid water.
Titan, which is larger than Mercury, boasts a thick atmosphere of mostly nitrogen with dashes of methane, carbon monoxide, and other trace ingredients (At -290 degrees Fahrenheit, Titan is a tad too frigid for liquid water). Horst brewed up an approximation of that mixture. She and her colleagues then blasted it with radio-frequency radiation, a lab stand-in for ultraviolet radiation from the sun.