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Genetics News
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:32:53 EST
Genetically speaking, mammals are more like their fathers
You might resemble or act more like your mother, but a novel research study reveals that mammals are genetically more like their dads. Specifically, the research shows that although we inherit equal amounts of genetic mutations from our parents -- the mutations that make us who we are and not some other person -- we actually 'use' more of the DNA that we inherit from our dads.
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:10:20 EST
How is the membrane protein folded? From molecular biology toward new medical care
A key factor in the biosynthesis and stable expression of multi-pass transmembrane proteins has been discovered, and its loss is thought to cause retinal degeneration. The factor works especially for multi-pass membrane proteins, in the integration of polypeptides into the membrane and/or protein folding. Understanding the mechanisms underlying protein folding and trafficking may contribute to the large-scale, therapy-based production of target proteins.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:13:33 EST
Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan
A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled. It is theorized to have a cell membrane, composed of small organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees below zero.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:27:49 EST
HIV controls its activity independent of host cells
A major hurdle to curing people of HIV infection is the way the virus hides in a reservoir composed primarily of dormant immune cells. It is generally believed that HIV does not replicate in these cells because the virus depends on active cellular machinery to do so. Now, two new papers propose that the virus itself -- not cells -- controls whether HIV is replicating, and that periods of latency paradoxically give the virus a survival advantage.
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 11:25:04 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.
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 14:48:59 EST
Fighting Colorado potato beetle with RNA interference
Colorado potato beetles are a dreaded pest of potatoes. Since they do not have natural enemies in most regions, farmers try to control them with pesticides. However, this strategy is often ineffective because the pest has developed resistances against nearly all insecticides. Now, scientists have shown that potato plants can be protected from herbivory using RNA interference.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:14:12 EST
Living in genetic comfort zone: How to avoid influence of genetic variation
The phenotype of organisms is shaped by the interaction between environmental factors and their genetic constitution. A recent study by a team of population geneticists shows that fruit flies live in a sort of genetic comfort zone at a specific temperature. The scientists found that, despite their underlying genetic differences, two separate strains of flies had a very similar gene expression pattern at 18°C. This effect of 'canalization', which has also been described in humans, allows organisms to continue to grow and develop stable even in the face of genetic and environmental stress.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:13:58 EST
Asian herb holds promise as treatment for Ebola virus disease
New research focuses on the mechanism by which Ebola virus infects a cell and the discovery of a promising drug therapy candidate. A small molecule called Tetrandrine derived from an Asian herb has shown to be a potent small molecule inhibiting infection of human white blood cells in vitro or petri dish experiments and prevented Ebola virus disease in mice.
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