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Cell Biology News
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:13:39 EST
First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life
Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The existence of ultra-small bacteria has been debated for two decades, but there hasn't been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now. The cells have an average volume of 0.009 cubic microns (one micron is one millionth of a meter). About 150 of these bacteria could fit inside an Escherichia coli cell and more than 150,000 cells could fit onto the tip of a human hair.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:10:18 EST
Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved
Counter-intuitively, in vertebrates photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye. Now physicists explain why the neural wiring seems to be backwards.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:10:03 EST
Cryptochrome protein helps birds navigate via magnetic field
Researchers have found one one possible explanation for some birds' ability to sense the earth's magnetic field and use it to orient themselves: a magnetically sensitive protein called cryptochrome that mediates circadian rhythms in plants and animals.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:26:39 EST
Untangling DNA with a droplet of water, a pipet and a polymer
Researchers have long sought an efficient way to untangle DNA to study its structure -- neatly unraveled and straightened out -- under a microscope. Now, researchers have devised a simple and effective solution: they inject genetic material into a droplet of water and use a pipet tip to drag it over a glass plate covered with a sticky polymer.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:25:08 EST
Feast-and-famine diet could help extend life, study suggests
Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be hard to maintain. In a new study, researchers looked at intermittent fasting. They measured participants' changes in weight, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, cholesterol, markers of inflammation and genes involved in protective cell responses over 10 weeks. They found that intermittent fasting caused a slight increase to SIRT 3, a well-known gene that promotes longevity and is involved in protective cell responses.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:25:04 EST
Transient details of HIV genome packaging captured
Once HIV-1 has hijacked a host cell to make copies of its own RNA genome and viral proteins, it must assemble these components into new virus particles. The orchestration of this intricate assembly process falls to a viral protein known as Gag. For one thing, Gag must be able to discern viral RNA from the host cell’s and squirrel it away inside new viral particles — no easy task considering only two to three percent of the RNA found in the cytoplasm is from HIV-1. Exactly how Gag selectively packages viral RNA has been widely speculated but never directly observed.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:46:01 EST
Quick test for quality beer, milk
To guarantee a high quality of their beer, breweries monitor the production process very closely. With a new polymer powder, this monitoring will be able to be faster and simpler in the future. Manufacturers can also test drinks such as milk, juice, cola and red wine with the quick check.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:45:46 EST
Antibiotic resistant salad: Resistant Listeria monocytogenes not as widespread as thought
Antibiotic-resistant strains of the food-poisoning microbe Listeria monocytogenes in unprocessed salad products is not quite as widespread as scientists originally suspected. A new study reveals that strains of the microbe falling into six distinct groups can all be found on such products, but 82 percent of those strains succumb to at least one of sixteen common antibiotics used in veterinary and human listeriosis treatment.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:49:09 EST
Role of specialized protein affirmed in assuring normal cell development
A specialized DNA-binding protein called CTCF is essential for the precise expression of genes that control the body plan of a developing embryo, scientists have demonstrated. The findings focus on mouse brain cells that work to manage an animal's movements. The results add important details to how so-called Hox genes help cells keep their positions straight and in the right positions back to front.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:49:05 EST
Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease reversed in rats
A controlled-release oral therapy has been developed by scientists that reversed type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease in rats, according to a study. "Given these promising results in animal models of NAFLD/NASH and type 2 diabetes we are pursuing additional preclinical safety studies to take this mitochondrial protonophore approach to the clinic," said the researchers.
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