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Genetics News
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:28:54 EDT
Genetic switch regulates a plant's internal clock based on temperature
Scientists have found the molecular cog in a plant's biological clock that modulates its speed based on temperature. "Temperature helps keep the hands of the biological clock in the right place," said the corresponding author of the study. "Now we know more about how that works."
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:58:05 EDT
Mown grass smell sends SOS for help in resisting insect attacks
The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant’s way of signalling distress, but new research says the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue. Such findings may help plant breeders know how to develop new varieties that are more resistant to insects and drought.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:06:03 EDT
How gene expression affects facial expressions
A person's face is the first thing that others see, and much remains unknown about how it forms -- or malforms -- during early development. Recently, researchers have begun to unwind these mysteries.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:11:14 EDT
The accelerator of molecular motors: Activation of peroxisomal processes
Peroxisomes are vital cell components that degrade cellular toxins and long-chain fatty acids. Their malfunction may result in severe, often lethal disorders. Researchers have successfully identified the "molecular accelerator" that activates the peroxisomal processes. To their surprise, it turned out to be an old acquaintance: a certain module of the familiar protein Pex22p, which has hitherto always been considered an anchor protein.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:10:44 EDT
Trees that can increase biomass production
Thanks to biotechnology, researchers have increased the production of woody species. This result is of great interest to the energy market, they say.
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:51:12 EDT
Directed evolution: Bioengineered decoy protein may stop cancer from spreading
A decoy protein has been designed by researcher to interrupt the signaling pathway that triggers the breakaway of cancerous cells; in other words the signal that initiates metastasis. Preliminary tests showed this strategy effective in mice models; infusion with this decoy protein greatly reduced metastasis in mice with aggressive breast and ovarian cancers when compared to a control group. Years of tests lie ahead, but it's a promising start for an alternative to chemotherapy.
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:51:02 EDT
Battling superbugs: Two new technologies could enable novel strategies for combating drug-resistant bacteria
Two new technologies could enable novel strategies for combating drug-resistant bacteria, scientists report. Most antibiotics work by interfering with crucial functions such as cell division or protein synthesis. However, some bacteria have evolved to become virtually untreatable with existing drugs. In the new study, researchers target specific genes that allow bacteria to survive antibiotic treatment. The CRISPR genome-editing system presented the perfect strategy to go after those genes, they report.
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:50:56 EDT
Program predicts placement of chemical tags that control gene activity
Biochemists have developed a program that predicts the placement of chemical marks that control the activity of genes based on sequences of DNA. By comparing sequences with and without epigenomic modification, they identified DNA motifs associated with the changes. They call this novel analysis pipeline Epigram and have made both the program and the DNA motifs they identified openly available to other scientists.
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:34:48 EDT
On/off switch for aging cells discovered by scientists
An on-and-off “switch” has been discovered in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. This switch points to a way to encourage healthy cells to keep dividing and generating, for example, new lung or liver tissue, even in old age. In our bodies, newly divided cells constantly. However, most human cells cannot divide indefinitely -– with each division, a cellular timekeeper at the ends of chromosomes shortens. When this timekeeper becomes too short, cells can no longer divide, causing organs and tissues to degenerate, as often happens in old age. But there is a way around this countdown, researchers have found.
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:49:22 EDT
Genetically driven 'gut feelings' help female flies choose a mate
Even among flies, mating is a complicated ritual. Their elaborate, and entirely innate, courtship dance combines multiple motor skills with advanced sensory cues. Now, researchers have determined that the Abdominal-B (Abd-B) gene, previously known as the gene that sculpts the posterior parts of the developing fly, is also important for this complex behavior, at least in the case of female flies.
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