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Molecular Biology News
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:45:09 EST
Chromosomes reconfigure as cell division ends
Cells reach a state called senescence when they stop dividing in response to DNA damage. This change can matter greatly to health, but scientists do not yet have a clear picture of how this change impacts the genome. A new study shows that a cell's chromosomes become physically reconfigured at senescence, leading to significant differences in what genes are expressed.
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:49:59 EST
Cells that show where things are going
The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey or, as humans in a modern world, cross a road safely. However, the direction of motion is not explicitly represented at the level of the photoreceptors but rather must be calculated by subsequent layers of nerve cells. Scientists have now discovered that, in fruit flies, four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. This is strikingly different from mathematical models of motion detection discussed in the literature so far.
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:05:21 EST
Super-resolution microscope allows visualization of the mechanism that maintains cell polarity: The key is to repeatedly establish temporary polarity
Cells are not uniform spheres; they generally come in a variety of disparate shapes. In the broadest sense, this variation in shapes is known as cell polarity, and it is an essential property for a variety of cell functions. Growth in accordance with their polarity allows cells to shape themselves in forms appropriate to their function. It has been found that the establishment and maintenance of polarity is governed by the interdependent relationship between the polarity marker protein on the plasma membrane (cell membrane), actin, the microtubule cytoskeleton, and membrane vesicle transport. The polarity marker determines the polarity site, and with membrane vesicle transport toward it, site-specific growth (polarity growth) is achieved. However, when the plasma membrane elongates due to fusion of membrane vesicles, there have been questions about how polarity markers are maintained without being scattered over the elongated plasma membrane.
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:01:26 EST
New tool for efficiently validating the accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9 reactions
IBS researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:00:43 EST
A cancer's surprise origins caught in action
Researchers have, for the first time, visualized the origins of cancer from the first affected cell and watched its spread in a live animal. Their work could change the way scientists understand melanoma and other cancers and could lead to new, early treatments before the cancer has taken hold.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:56:36 EST
Antibiotic's killer strategy revealed
Using a special profiling technique, researchers have determined the mechanism of action of a potent antibiotic, known as tropodithietic acid, leading them to uncover its hidden ability as a potential anticancer agent.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:54:51 EST
Molecular switch lets salmonella fight or evade immune system
Researchers have discovered a molecular regulator that allows salmonella bacteria to switch from actively causing disease to lurking in a chronic but asymptomatic state called a biofilm.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:09:33 EST
Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories
Scientists have for the first time reengineered a building block of a geometric nanocompartment that occurs naturally in bacteria to give it a new function.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:09:23 EST
A newly discovered form of immunity helps explain how bacteria fight off viruses
New research identifies two new enzymes in bacteria that help fight off infection at a later stage, after an invading virus has already begun to replicate. The enzymes are part of the CRISPR-Cas system, and rather than using the typical CRISPR defense system of attacking viral DNA, they cut up viral RNA. The findings may be useful for biotechnology applications such as manipulating RNA content, and could potentially help in combating infectious disease.
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:07:36 EST
Scientists disable infectious bacteria by removing key protein
Scientists have made an exciting discovery that could provide a new way to prevent bacterial infections in both humans and plants without triggering multi-drug resistance in bacteria.
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