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Genetics News
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:04:32 EDT
Blind cave fish may provide insight on eye disease, other human health issues
Blind cave fish may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to understanding human sight, but recent research indicates they may have quite a bit to teach us about the causes of many human ailments, including those that result in loss of sight. A team of researchers is looking to the tiny eyeless fish for clues about the underpinnings of degenerative eye disease and more.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:01:42 EDT
Fish intake associated with boost to antidepressant response
Up to half of patients who suffer from major depression do not respond to treatment with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Now a group of researchers has carried out a study that shows that increasing fatty fish intake appears to increase the response rate in patients who do not respond to antidepressants.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:10 EDT
Structure of an iron-transport protein revealed
Iron is the most abundant trace element in humans. As a cofactor of certain proteins, it plays an essential role in oxygen transport and metabolism. Due to the major importance of iron in a wide variety of cellular processes, and the harm caused by its uncontrolled accumulation in the body, its uptake and storage is strictly regulated. In mammals, iron is imported into cells by the membrane transport protein DMT1. Mutations of DMT1, which affect its transport properties, lead to iron-related metabolic disorders such as anemia and the iron storage disease hemochromatosis.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:08 EDT
New molecule from herb discovered, potential for drug development
A new molecule that can join together chains of amino acids – the building blocks of protein – has been discovered by researchers. Only three other known molecules have been discovered to be able to perform this function, which is an important process in the development of new drugs. The new molecule is able to do the same process 10,000 times faster than the other three and “cleanly” without leaving any residue behind, scientists report.
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:18:04 EDT
Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires
Physicists report that they've used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive human-made material.
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:46:07 EDT
Mutation associated with cleft palate in humans, dogs identified
Scientists studying birth defects in humans and purebred dogs have identified an association between cleft lip and cleft palate -- conditions that occur when the lip and mouth fail to form properly during pregnancy -- and a mutation in the ADAMTS20 gene.
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:34:46 EDT
Breeding soybeans that can tolerate heat, drought
Hot, dry conditions can wreak havoc on a field of soybeans. Now research is uncovering the molecular mechanisms that lead to drought and heat tolerance. This will help breeders develop soybean varieties that can survive heat and drought.
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:29:14 EDT
High-speed evolution in the lab: Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis
Life implies change. And this holds true for genes as well. Organisms require a flexible genome in order to adapt to changes in the local environment. Researchers want to know why individuals differ from each other and how these differences are encoded in the DNA. In two review papers, they discuss why DNA sequencing of entire groups can be an efficient and cost-effective way to answer these questions. 
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:28:24 EDT
Cellular self-destruct program has deep roots throughout evolution
In what seems like a counter-intuitive move against survival, within animals, some cells are fated to die from the triggering of an elaborate cell death program, known as apoptosis. Now, researchers have honed in on understanding the evolution of caspase-8, a key cell death initiator molecule that was first identified in humans.
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:06:14 EDT
How a molecular Superman protects genome from damage
A new role for the RNAi protein Dicer has been found in preserving genomic stability. Researchers discovered that Dicer helps prevent collisions during DNA replication by freeing transcription machinery from active genes. Without Dicer function, transcription and replication machinery collide, leading to DNA damage and massive changes across the genome -- changes that are associated with aging and cancer.
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