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Cell Biology News
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:23:35 EST
Latent HIV may lurk in 'quiet' immune cells, research suggests
HIV can lie dormant in infected cells for years, even decades. Scientists think unlocking the secrets of this viral reservoir may make it possible to cure, not just treat, HIV. Researchers have gained new insight on which immune cells likely do, and do not, harbor this latent virus.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:17:08 EST
Scientists Use Knowledge from the Food Industry to Understand Mass Extinction
The close of the Permian Period around 250 million years ago saw Earth's biggest extinction ever. At this time large volcanic eruptions were occurring in what is now Siberia. The volcanoes pumped out gases that led to acid rain. Falling on the supercontinent Pangaea, the acid rain killed off end-Permian forests. The demise of forests led to soil erosion and the production of organic-rich sediments in shallow marine waters.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:15:35 EST
Water purification: Running fuel cells on bacteria
Researchers in Norway have succeeded in getting bacteria to power a fuel cell. The "fuel" used is wastewater, and the products of the process are purified water droplets and electricity. This is an environmentally-friendly process for the purification of water derived from industrial processes and suchlike. It also generates small amounts of electricity – in practice enough to drive a small fan, a sensor or a light-emitting diode. In the future, the researchers hope to scale up this energy generation to enable the same energy to be used to power the water purification process, which commonly consists of many stages, often involving mechanical and energy-demanding decontamination steps at its outset.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:07:28 EST
Structure of world's largest single cell is reflected at the molecular level
Biologists used the world’s largest single-celled organism, an aquatic alga called Caulerpa taxifolia, to study the nature of structure and form in plants. It is a single cell that can grow to a length of six to twelve inches.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:16 EST
Powerful tool promises to change the way scientists view proteins
Life scientists now have access to a publicly available web resource that streamlines and simplifies the process of gleaning insight from 3-D protein structures. Aquaria, as it's known, is fast, easy-to-use and contains twice as many models as all other similar resources combined.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:12 EST
In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves
Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors. Enzymatic machines proofread at each step, and scientists have uncovered a new quality control mechanism along this path. But in a remarkable role reversal, the proofreading isn't done by an enzyme. Instead, one of the messengers itself has a built-in mechanism to prevent errors.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:29:18 EST
Added fructose is a principal driver of type 2 diabetes, experts argue
Recent studies have shown that added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates. Clinical experts challenge current dietary guidelines that allow up to 25 percent of total daily calories as added sugars, and propose drastic reductions in the amount of added sugar, and especially added fructose, people consume.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:55:05 EST
Among gut microbes, strains, not just species, matter
Sophisticated genomic techniques now allow scientists to estimate the strains, not just the species, in samples of the human gut's microbe collection. Differences in the strains of microorganisms present might account for the variable influence the gut's microbe community has on human health and disease. Understanding the effects of various strain combinations on such functions as metabolism, immunity and drug reactions might suggest ways to manipulate the gut microbiome to improve health.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:55:01 EST
Ancient 'genomic parasites' spurred evolution of pregnancy in mammals
Large-scale genetic changes that marked the evolution of pregnancy in mammals have been identified by an international team of scientists. They found thousands of genes that evolved to be expressed in the uterus in early mammals. Surprisingly, these genes appear to have been recruited from other tissue types by transposons -- ancient mobile genetic elements sometimes thought of as genomic parasites. The study sheds light on how organisms evolve new morphological structures and functions.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:01:59 EST
Researchers produce two bio-fuels from a single algae
A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study.
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