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Genetics News
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:54:42 EST
Selenium compounds boost immune system to fight against cancer
Cancer types such as melanoma, prostate cancer and certain types of leukemia weaken the body by over-activating the natural immune system. Researchers have now demonstrated that selenium -- naturally found in, e.g., garlic and broccoli -- slows down the immune over-response. In the long term, this may improve cancer treatment.
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:53:47 EST
Enabling biocircuits: New device could make large biological circuits practical
Researchers have made great progress in recent years in the design and creation of biological circuits -- systems that, like electronic circuits, can take a number of different inputs and deliver a particular kind of output. But while individual components of such biological circuits can have precise and predictable responses, those outcomes become less predictable as more such elements are combined. Scientists have now come up with a way of greatly reducing that unpredictability, introducing a device that could ultimately allow such circuits to behave nearly as predictably as their electronic counterparts.
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:18:19 EST
How our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei
The structure of pores found in cell nuclei has been uncovered by a team of scientists, revealing how they selectively block certain molecules from entering, protecting genetic material and normal cell functions. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs against viruses that target the cell nucleus and new ways of delivering gene therapies, say the scientists behind the study.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:29:20 EST
Natural resistance gene against spruce budworm found
A natural resistance gene against spruce budworm in the white spruce has been discovered. The breakthrough paves the way to identifying and selecting naturally resistant trees to replant forests devastated by the destructive pest.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:59:44 EST
Cohesin: Cherry-shaped molecule safeguards cell division
A cohesin molecule ensures the proper distribution of DNA during cell division. Scientists can now demonstrate the concept of its carabiner-like function by visualizing for the first time the open form of the complex.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:29:13 EST
Brain injuries in mice treated using bone marrow stem cells, antioxidants
For the first time, researchers have transplanted bone marrow stem cells into damaged brain tissue while applying lipoic acid (a potent antioxidant), with the aim of improving neuroregeneration in the tissue. This new way of repairing brain damage, which combines cellular treatment with drug therapy, has shown positive results, especially in forming blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis) in damaged areas of the brains of adult laboratory mice.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:27:46 EST
Novel regulatory mechanism for cell division found
A protein kinase or enzyme known as PKM2 has proven to control cell division, potentially providing a molecular basis for tumor diagnosis and treatment, researchers report. Understanding how cytokinesis goes awry is important since abnormal cell division impacts tumor cell growth and spread, they add.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:32:30 EST
Key protein decrypted: Scientists develop 3-D model of regulator protein bax
A new 3-D model of the protein Bax, a key regulator of cell death, has been developed and released by researchers. When active, Bax forms pores in the membranes of mitochondria, causing the release of proteins from the intermembrane space into the cytoplasm. This in turn triggers a series of operations ending in cell death, which are often impaired in cancer cells. Using Double Electron-Electron Resonance spectroscopy, the research group has now shown that active Bax is present on the membrane in the form of dimeric assemblies whose clamp-like structures have a central role in the pore formation process.
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:17:50 EST
Why some people may be immune to HIV-1: Clues
Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold. Now, a study of genetic variation in HIV-1 and in the cells it infects has uncovered a chink in HIV-1's armor that may, at least in part, explain the puzzling difference -- and potentially open the door to new treatments.
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:17:00 EST
Development of digits and genitals: Formation of these embryonic structures involves action of very similar group of genes
During the development of mammals, the growth and organization of digits are orchestrated by Hox genes, which are activated very early in precise regions of the embryo. These 'architect genes' are themselves regulated by a large piece of adjacent DNA. A new study reveals that this same DNA regulatory sequence also controls the architect genes during the development of the external genitals.
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