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Molecular Biology News
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:52 EST
Bioengineering study finds two-cell mouse embryos already 'talking' about their future
Bioengineers have discovered that mouse embryos are contemplating their cellular fates in the earliest stages after fertilization when the embryo has only two to four cells, a discovery that could upend the scientific consensus about when embryonic cells begin differentiating into cell types. Their research used single-cell RNA sequencing to look at every gene in the mouse genome.
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:19:25 EST
Link between DNA transcription, disease-causing expansions
Researchers in human genetics have known that long nucleotide repeats in DNA lead to instability of the genome and ultimately to human hereditary diseases such Freidreich's ataxia and Huntington's disease. Scientists have believed that the lengthening of those repeats occur during DNA replication when cells divide or when the cellular DNA repair machinery gets activated. Recently, however, it became apparent that yet another process called transcription, which is copying the information from DNA into RNA, could also been involved.
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:48:02 EST
Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is strongly associated with gastric ulcers and cancer. To combat the infection, researchers developed LipoLLA, a therapeutic nanoparticle that contains linolenic acid, a component in vegetable oils. In mice, LipoLLA was safe and more effective against H. pylori infection than standard antibiotic treatments.
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:19:38 EST
Body size requires hormones under control
The proper regulation of body size is of fundamental importance, but the mechanisms that stop growth are still unclear. Scientists have shed new light on how animals regulate body size. The researchers uncovered important clues about the molecular mechanisms triggered by environmental conditions that ultimately affect final body size. They show that the timing of synthesis of a steroid hormone called ecdysone is sensitive to nutrition in the fruit fly and describe the key proteins involved in this regulatory mechanism. This study explains what causes hormones to become environmentally-sensitive and provides important clues on body size regulation.
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:11:14 EST
Sialic acid shields human cells from attack by immune system
Biochemists have identified molecular structures that allow the immune system to tell friend from foe. The researchers identified and crystallized a complex that forms the contact point between the healthy human cell and the complement system. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray structure analysis, they were able to solve the molecular structure of the complex. It is composed of a glycan containing sialic acid and two domains of the complement system regulator, factor H.
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:55:59 EST
Cell's skeleton is never still
Computer models show how microtubules age. The models reported by researchers help explain the dynamic instability seen in microtubules, essential elements in cells' cytoskeletons.
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 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 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.
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