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Cell Biology News
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 16:24:15 EST
Common gene variant influences food choices ... for better or worse
Scientists have recently discovered that for girls who are carriers of a particular gene variant (DRD4 VNTR with 7 repeats), the crucial element that influences a child's fat intake is not the gene variant itself. Instead, it is the interplay between the gene and girls' early socioeconomic environment that may determine whether they have increased fat intake or healthier than average eating compared to their peers from the same class background.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:17:22 EST
Ancient gene network helps plants adapt to their environments
A team of scientists has discovered the purpose of a highly conserved genetic tool that is present in both mosses and flowering plants, organisms whose common ancestor dates back 450 million years. The gene network, which comprising a snippet of non-coding genetic material called a small RNA and the protein it regulates, has been used over the eons to make plants more sensitive to environmental cues and facilitate robust, yet flexible, responses to those cues.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:07:16 EST
Barley helps improve blood sugar levels, reduce appetite
Barley can rapidly improve people's health by reducing blood sugar levels and the risk for diabetes, a recent study shows. The secret lies in the special mixture of dietary fibers found in barley, which can also help reduce people's appetite and risk for cardiovascular disease.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:06:20 EST
Slime can see: Tiny cyanobacteria use principle of the lens in the human eye to perceive light direction
Scientists have been trying to figure out how it is possible for bacteria to perceive light and react to it ever since they started using microscopes 300 years ago. Scientists have now solved this riddle: In studies on so-called cyanobacteria, the researchers demonstrated that these tiny organisms of only a few micrometers in size move toward a light source using the same principle of the lens in the human eye.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:06:16 EST
Bacterial molecules discovered in processed foods could unlock key to healthier diets
Our favorite foods could be made healthier thanks to a new technique which has identified harmful bacterial molecules in certain processed foods such as burgers and ready meals. The study identifies a particular kind of contaminating molecule known as 'pathogen-associated molecular patterns' (PAMPs), which are released by certain types of bacteria as they grow during some food processing and refrigeration processes, and may increase our risk of developing conditions such as coronary artery disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:04:08 EST
The herbivore dilemma: How corn plants fights off simultaneous attacks
When some maize varieties generate defensive compounds against caterpillars they become more susceptible to aphids, researchers have found.
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:03:52 EST
Tick genome reveals inner workings of a resilient blood-guzzler
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the tick that transmits Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in North America.
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:15:05 EST
A new role for vitamin B6 in plants
Vitamin B6 is essential for all living organisms. Researchers have discovered an unexpected role for this micronutrient, in relation to nitrogen metabolism. The results indicate that one of the vitamers informs the plant of its content in ammonium, a basic nitrogen compound needed for the biosynthesis of various molecules essential for life. In the future, vitamin B6 could be used to ascertain the nitrogen status of plants and eventually prevent the overuse of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, say authors of a new report.
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:02:51 EST
Leishmania parasites reveal their sexuality
With 16 million people affected worldwide, mainly in developing countries, leishmaniosis (also called leishmaniasis) is a major public health problem. It is, however, a neglected disease, from the point of view of both treatment and research effort spent on it. In particular, little is yet known in biological terms about the parasites responsible, called Leishmania. How do they reproduce? How do they evolve and adapt to their environment and hosts, and to drugs, and so on? A recent study lifts the veil on their complex biology.
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:54:51 EST
Researchers create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products
Researchers have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.
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