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Cell Biology News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:57:12 EDT
New study outlines 'water world' theory of life's origins
Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans and the rest of our planet's living kingdoms. How did it all begin?
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:13:38 EDT
New technique will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. We do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism. A team developed a highly sophisticated tool that will transform the work of plant geneticists on this subject.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:11:58 EDT
Chrono, the last piece of the circadian clock puzzle?
All organisms, from mammals to fungi, have daily cycles controlled by a tightly regulated internal clock, called the circadian clock. The whole-body circadian clock, influenced by the exposure to light, dictates the wake-sleep cycle. At the cellular level, the clock is controlled by a complex network of genes and proteins that switch each other on and off based on cues from their environment.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:38:11 EDT
Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works
Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery -- and in the process have found a potentially less toxic way to fight invasive fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people a year. The researchers say they now understand the mechanism of action of amphotericin, an antifungal drug that has been in use for more than 50 years -- even though it is nearly as toxic to human cells as it is to the microbes it attacks.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:39:59 EDT
Breaking bad mitochondria: How hepatitis C survives for so long
A mechanism has been discovered that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease and why the virus is able to persist in the body for so long. The hard-to-kill pathogen, which infects an estimated 200 million people worldwide, attacks the liver cells' energy centers -- the mitochondria -- dismantling the cell's innate ability to fight infection. It does this by altering cells mitochondrial dynamics.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:38:21 EDT
Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant stress hormone
Biologists have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:56:59 EDT
Genetic pre-disposition toward exercise, mental development may be linked
A potential link between the genetic pre-disposition for high levels of exercise motivation and the speed at which mental maturation occurs has been found by researchers. These scientists studied the brains of the rats and found much higher levels of neural maturation in the brains of the active rats than in the brains of the lazy rats.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:53:01 EDT
Key to easy asthma diagnosis is in the blood
Using just a single drop of blood, a team of researchers has developed a faster, cheaper and more accurate tool for diagnosing even mild cases of asthma. This handheld technology — which takes advantage of a previously unknown correlation between asthmatic patients and the most abundant type of white blood cells in the body — means doctors could diagnose asthma even if their patients are not experiencing symptoms during their visit to the clinic.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:23:59 EDT
Regenerated esophagus transplanted in rats
Tissue engineering has been used to construct natural esophagi, which in combination with bone marrow stem cells have been safely and effectively transplanted in rats. The study shows that the transplanted organs remain patent and display regeneration of nerves, muscles, epithelial cells and blood vessels.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:13:20 EDT
Unexpected protein partnership has implications for cancer treatment
Two unlikely partners in a type of immune cell called a macrophage that work together in response to cancer drugs have been found by researchers. This partnership increases inflammation in a way that may alter tumor growth.
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