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Genetics News
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:16:04 EDT
Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed
Adding to the growing fundamental understanding of the machinery of muscle cells, a group of biophysicists describe -- in minute detail -- how actin filaments are stabilized at one of their ends to form a basic muscle structure called the sarcomere. With the help of many other proteins, actin molecules polymerize to form filaments that give rise to structures of many different shapes. The actin filaments have a polarity, with a plus and minus end, reflecting their natural tendency to gain or lose subunits when not stabilized.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:25:54 EDT
Key molecule in flies identified that adjusts energy use under starvation conditions
In the fly Drosophila melanogaster, p53 is activated in certain cells to adapt the metabolic response to nutrient deprivation, thus having a global effect on the organism, researchers show. The researchers also reveal the molecular mechanisms through which the activity of p53 is regulated. The results obtained in Drosophila are useful to address the study of the molecular mechanisms of p53 in vertebrate models and to examine whether this protein is involved in diabetes and obesity.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:42:22 EDT
Natural products from plants protect skin during cancer radiotherapy
Plant-derived natural product chemicals could offer protection to the skin from the harmful effects of gamma radiation during cancer radiotherapy, suggests research.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:40:21 EDT
Four-billion-year-old chemistry in cells today
Parts of the primordial soup in which life arose have been maintained in our cells today according to scientists. Research has revealed how cells in plants, yeast and very likely also in animals still perform ancient reactions thought to have been responsible for the origin of life -- some four billion years ago.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:37:06 EDT
Genome analysis helps in breeding more robust cows
Genome analysis of 234 bulls has put researchers on the trail of DNA variants which influence particular characteristics in breeding bulls. For example, two variants have proven responsible for disruptions to the development of embryos and for curly hair, which is disadvantageous because more ticks and parasites occur in curly hair than in short, straight hair. These are the first results of the large 1000 Bull Genomes project on which some 30 international researchers are collaborating.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:33:31 EDT
One route to malaria drug resistance found
Researchers have uncovered a way the malaria parasite becomes resistant to an investigational drug. The discovery also is relevant for other infectious diseases including bacterial infections and tuberculosis. Fosmidomycin, an antibiotic, is being evaluated against malaria in phase 3 clinical trials in combination with other antimalarial drugs.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:28:18 EDT
Why don't genetically identical cells behave identically? Cellular noise
One researcher is like a mechanic for cells: he takes them apart to see how they function. He can tell you what part is like a gas pedal and which part is like the brakes. Now he’s can show us why these brakes don’t work the same even in cells that are genetically identical.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:39:46 EDT
Protein evolution follows modular principle
Similarities between proteins reveal that their great diversity has arisen from smaller building blocks. Proteins consist of long chains of 20 different amino acid building blocks that fold into a characteristic three-dimensional structure. It is noteworthy that some modules, known as protein domains, occur more frequently than others. Scientists suspect that many of these domains share a common evolutionary origin.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:10:42 EDT
Researchers work to save endangered New England cottontail
Scientists are working to restore New Hampshire and Maine's only native rabbit after new research based on genetic monitoring has found that in the last decade, cottontail populations in northern New England have become more isolated and seen a 50 percent contraction of their range. The endangered New England cottontail is now is at risk of becoming extinct in the region, according experts who believe that restoring habitats is the key to saving the species.
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:25:09 EDT
Distinctive developmental origin for a drainage tube in the eye
Scientists have conducted a comprehensive exploration of an eye structure known as Schlemm's canal: a key gatekeeper for the proper flow of eye fluid, presenting a number of insights relevant to glaucoma and other diseases.
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