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Microbiology News
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:26:45 EDT
Enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects disovered
An important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases, has been discovered by researchers. Near the end of cell division, the enzyme Cdc14 activates Yen1, an enzyme that ensures any breaks in DNA are fully repaired before the parent cell distributes copies of the genome to daughter cells, the researchers found. This process helps safeguard against some of the most devastating genome errors, including the loss of chromosomes or chromosome segments.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:15:59 EDT
Following a protein's travel inside cells is key to improving patient monitoring, drug development
A technique to detect subcellular location of a protein has been developed by scientists. In science, "simple and accessible detection methods that can rapidly screen a large cell population with the resolution of a single cell inside that population has been seriously lacking," said one engineer involved in the study. Their work involved a simple and unique tweak to the conventional cell staining process allowed the researchers to accurately define the subcellular location of the protein by measuring the amount of the residual protein after release.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:51:56 EDT
Cell division speed influences gene architecture
Speed-reading is a technique used to read quickly. It involves visual searching for clues to meaning and skipping non-essential words and/or sentences. Similarly in humans, biological systems are sometimes under selective pressure to quickly "read" genetic information. Genes that need to be read quickly are usually small, as the smaller the encoding message, the easier it will be to read them quickly. Now, researchers have discovered that, besides size, the gene architecture is also important to the optimization of the “reading” process.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:20:47 EDT
Cougars’ diverse diet helped them survive the mass extinction that wiped out the saber-tooth cat, American lion
Cougars may have survived the mass extinction that took place about 12,000 years ago because they were not particular about what they ate, unlike their more finicky cousins the saber-tooth cat and American lion who perished, according a new analysis of the microscopic wear marks on the teeth of fossil cougars, saber-tooth cats and American lions.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:28:19 EDT
Scientists pinpoint protein that could improve small cell lung cancer therapies
Approximately 15 percent of all lung cancers are small cell lung cancers, which grow rapidly and often develop resistance to chemotherapy. However, researchers have revealed new insights into the mechanisms leading to this resistance that may lead to improved therapies. They discovered that the expression of a protein called Noxa is critical to the effectiveness of ABT-737 because it helps regulate the function of MCL-1, another pro-survival Bcl-2 family protein.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:20:38 EDT
Bioinformatics profiling identifies a new mammalian clock gene
Over 15 mammalian clock proteins have been identified, but researchers surmise there are more. Could big data approaches help find them? To accelerate clock-gene discovery, investigators used a computer-assisted approach to identify and rank candidate clock components, which they liken to online Netflix-like profiling of movie suggestions for customers. This approach found a new core clock gene, which the team named CHRONO.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:08:51 EDT
How cells take out the trash
As people around the world mark Earth Day (April 22) with activities that protect the planet, our cells are busy safeguarding their own environment. To keep themselves neat, tidy and above all healthy, cells rely on a variety of recycling and trash removal systems. If it weren't for these systems, cells could look like microscopic junkyards -- and worse, they might not function properly.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:57:51 EDT
A new 'APEX' in plant studies aboard the International Space Station
Growing knowledge in a given field takes time, attention, and ... water? It does when you're talking about plant studies aboard the International Space Station (ISS). All of these things and some scientific know-how come into play as astronauts find out just how green their thumbs are while assisting researchers on the ground.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:12:33 EDT
Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses
A computational tool has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases. Sequencing the genomes of individuals or small families often produces false predictions of mutations that cause diseases. But this study shows that a new unique approach allows it to identify disease-causing genes more precisely than other computational tools.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:33:57 EDT
How the body fights against viruses
Scientists have shown how double stranded RNA is prevented from entering the nucleus of a cell. During the response against viral infection, the protein ADAR1 moves from the cell nucleus into the surrounding cytoplasm. There it modifies viral RNA to inhibit reproduction of the virus. But how is the human genome protected from inadvertent import of viral RNA into the nucleus?
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