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Cell Biology News
Wed, 27 May 2015 15:09:46 EDT
Diagnosing cancer with lumninescent bacteria: Engineered probiotics detect tumors in liver
Engineers have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics -- beneficial bacteria similar to those found in yogurt. Using a harmless strain of E. coli that colonizes the liver, the researchers programmed the bacteria to produce a luminescent signal that can be detected with a simple urine test.
Wed, 27 May 2015 12:43:59 EDT
Researchers discover surprisingly wide variation across species in genetic systems that influence aging
A new study focusing on insulin signaling uncovered surprising genetic diversity across reptiles, birds and mammals. Scientists previously assumed the process remained much the same throughout the animal kingdom, but the new research shows that the genetic pathways in reptiles evolved to include protein forms not observed in mammals.
Wed, 27 May 2015 12:43:55 EDT
Pinpointing natural cancer drug's true origins brings sustainable production a step closer
For decades, scientists have known that ET-743, a compound extracted from a marine invertebrate called a mangrove tunicate, can kill cancer cells. The drug has been approved for use in patients in Europe and is in clinical trials in the U.S. By analyzing the genome of the tunicate along with the microbes that live inside it using advanced sequencing techniques, researchers have been able to isolate the genetic blueprint of the ET-743's producer--which turns out to be a type of bacteria.
Wed, 27 May 2015 11:31:01 EDT
DNA: Expanding code of life with new 'letters'
The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as 'letters,' that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting for the first time that two new nucleotides can do the same thing -- raising the possibility that entirely new proteins could be created for medical uses.
Wed, 27 May 2015 11:29:56 EDT
Sandwich system found effective in organic apple orchards
Scientists investigated four orchard floor management systems in an organic apple orchard and evaluated weed management, soil nutrient content, soil physical conditions, apple yield, quality, and storability for each. A sandwich system used during the whole year eliminated vegetative cover competition, increased soil respiration, improved leaf and fruit calcium content, and resulted in moderate leaf and fruit nitrogen content and tree growth reduction, while producing good-quality apples with high storability, they report.
Wed, 27 May 2015 10:31:14 EDT
DNA replication: Protein scaffold created by researchers
Right before a cell starts to divide to give birth to a daughter cell, its biochemical machinery unwinds the chromosomes and copies the millions of protein sequences comprising the cell's DNA, which is packaged along the length of the each chromosomal strand. These copied sequences also need to be put back together before the two cells are pulled apart. Mistakes can lead to genetic defects or cancerous mutations in future cell generations. Researchers have now charted a protein that scaffolds the chromosome along its length to help perpetuate life.
Tue, 26 May 2015 21:50:43 EDT
Seeing the action: Novel device images minute forces, actions involved in cell membrane hemifusion
Researchers have developed a novel device to image the minute forces and actions involved in cell membrane hemifusion. To capture real time data on the behavior of cell membranes during hemifusion, the researchers pressed together two supported lipid bilayers on the opposing surfaces of the SFA. These bilayers consisted of lipid domains -- collections of lipids that in non-fusion circumstances are organized in more or less regularly occurring or mixed arrangements within the cell membrane.
Tue, 26 May 2015 12:48:09 EDT
Soy supplements don't improve asthma, study concludes
Despite previous findings suggesting a link between soy intake and decreased asthma severity, a new placebo-controlled study shows soy supplements do not improve lung function for patients with asthma. The paper highlights the importance of focusing on overall health -- not just one food -- to manage disease and the importance of performing well-designed studies.
Tue, 26 May 2015 11:06:10 EDT
How DNA is organized in our cells
A critical role for two proteins in chromatin structure has been uncovered by researchers. Their breakthrough helps explain how DNA is organized in our cells. This discovery could lead to a better understanding of what causes certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma.
Tue, 26 May 2015 09:36:17 EDT
How to get high-quality RNA from chemically complex plants
RNA extraction is a notoriously tricky and sensitive lab procedure, but new protocols are quicker, more effective, and more reliable than previous methods. The protocols are featured in bench-ready form with detailed notes and a troubleshooting guide tested extensively on a diverse selection of woody, aromatic, and aquatic plants.
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