Isotopes

Biomolecular Applications of Animal Horns

Ovis canadensis (“Bighorn Sheep,” 2022) Chemistry is the basis of life. Behind every thought, feeling, movement, or biological function, there are a series of chemical reactions occurring. With this said, it comes as no surprise that the chemical composition of animal horns plays a vital role in the mechanical properties,…

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Stable Isotope Analysis: Predictive Power and Challenges

The presence of stable isotopes, i.e., elements with extra (or missing) neutrons which do not decay over time, provides a strong tool for tracing of animal activities in both the near and distant past. Quantification of these stable isotopes using mass spectrometry, followed by mathematical analysis, allows scientists to make…

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The Biochemical Basis of Fossilization

In exceptional cases, organism remains may fossilize, persisting in sediment and retaining morphological features across great lengths of time. Eluding complete biological breakdown, these special artifacts of nature are evidence of previous life on Earth and archive the planet’s diverse history. Here, we investigate several environmental conditions which influence fossilization,…

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Functional Interpretations of Chemotaxis in Migrating Organisms

There are many functional applications of chemotaxis that form the stepping stones of animal migration. Investigating trophic chains – dynamic networks of interacting species – reveals how migration and changes in population density shift environmental conditions of an ecosystem. It was shown how fish and algae populations can reduce extinction…

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