(Searching a total of 402 Topics)
Topics about "amino acids" include:
Lysozymes are common antibacterial enzymes that protect our eyes and nose from infection, but some animals have recruited them for a rather different purpose...
Topics containing the search term "amino acids" are:
Agriculture in beetles
Think of weevils and most likely you'll think of spoiled food. But some weevils have turned to farming...
Not many foods served in a restaurant can kill you, but pufferfish is the exception. Tetrodotoxin, the toxin responsible for such culinary fatalities, reveals a fascinating story of convergent evolution...
Nuptial gifts in insects and spiders
Male dance flies lure females with a dead insect. Not very romantic, you might think, but it certainly does the trick. Hence, such nuptial gifts have evolved in numerous other arthropods...
Ink production in cephalopods and gastropods
A series of striking convergences can be found in the sea-hares (Aplysia), a group of gastropods and only remotely related to the cephalopods. Not only do they emit ink clouds (the colour is derived from ingested red algae), but they also employ chemical cues that assist in defense.
Extremophiles: Archaea and Bacteria
Surely, no organism can survive in boiling water or brines nine times the salinity of seawater? Wrong - some archaea and bacteria have independently evolved adaptations to such extreme environments...
Silk production and use in arthropods
Remarkably, fossil silk is known, especially from amber of Cretaceous age. Material includes both silk with trapped insects, possibly from an orb-web, and strands with the characteristic viscid droplets that are the key in trapping prey.
Enzymes: convergence on active sites and reaction types
Enzymes make the world go round, each an evolutionary marvel - and convergent.
Sap feeding and honey-dew production in insects
Interestingly, it has now been shown that the saliva of the aphids has an analogue to the anti-coagulant properties of blood suckers, subverting the wound repair mechanism of the plant.
Agriculture: from ants to dugongs
Human farmers tending their fields are a familiar sight. But don't forget about those fungus-farming termites or the fish with a garden of algae…
Zinc in teeth
On land, we find the employment of zinc to reinforce feeding structures in the fangs of spiders, and also in a variety of insect groups.
What do rubber bands and fleas have in common?
Taste in arthropods and mammals
The ability to taste is obviously an essential component in the life of any animal, both to assess the potential quality of food, its nutrient capacities and also to detect toxins or other dangers.