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Molecular Biology News
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:29:42 EDT
Shape-shifters found in the Belt Supergroup: Revelations about Tappania plana
The rise of eukaryotic organisms (organisms with complex cells, or a single cell with a complex structure) is still a mystery, but researchers have compelling evidence that Tappania plana may represent one of the earliest eukaryotic fossils. Well-preserved Tappania plana fossils from a Montana field site could be a crown-group eukaryote, providing one of the first links from this period in the fossil record to extant eukaryotes.
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:46:48 EDT
To produce biopharmaceuticals on demand, just add water
Researchers have created tiny freeze-dried pellets that include all of the molecular machinery needed to translate DNA into proteins, which could form the basis for on-demand production of drugs and vaccines.
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:35:53 EDT
Lipid receptor fosters infection of the uterus in bitches
In the female dog, cells of the uterus can accumulate lipid droplets to form so-called foamy epithelial cells during late metoestrus. These cells produce a hormone that is involved in the implantation of the embryo in the uterus. A team of researchers has now shown for the first time that the factor assisting the cells in lipid accumulation also facilitates the binding of bacteria to the epithelial cells, resulting in serious infections of the uterus in female dogs.
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:35:51 EDT
Al­tern­at­ive ox­i­dase from a mar­ine an­imal works in mam­mals, com­bats bac­terial sepsis
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a sea-squirt works as a safety valve for stressed mitochondria. This property enables it to stop the runaway inflammatory process that leads to multiple organ failure and eventual death in bacterial sepsis.
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 12:39:55 EDT
Peeling back the layers: Scientists use new techniques to uncover hidden secrets of plant stem development
Innovative new cell imaging techniques have now been pioneered to shed light on cells hidden deep inside the meristem. This new development has made it possible to explore further below the outer surface of plants and has uncovered how a key gene controls stem growth.
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 08:57:43 EDT
Popeye was right: There’s energy in that spinach
Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers have developed a cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. Based on photosynthesis, and technology paves the way for clean fuels from renewable sources.
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:30:18 EDT
Researchers describe key protein structure and a drug prototype that could assist therapeutic development
The three-dimensional, atomic structure of an important cell receptor molecule linked to the development of several diseases has now been described in a new report.
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 09:54:09 EDT
New insights into 'plant memories'
A special stretch of ribonucleic acid (RNA) called COOLAIR is revealing its inner structure and function to scientists, displaying a striking resemblance to an RNA molecular machine, territory previously understood to be limited to the cells’ protein factory (the ‘ribosome’) and not a skill set given to mere strings of RNA.
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:09:17 EDT
A protein in mosquito spit can keep Dengue virus in check
Mosquito saliva influences transmission of viruses to a bitten mammalian host. For example, it contains factors that dampen the host immune response and so facilitate infection. A study reports on a saliva protein with the opposite effect: D7, a protein present in Aedes aegypti saliva, binds to Dengue virus (DENV) and inhibits its transmission to human cells and mice. Antibodies against D7, which are present in humans exposed to mosquito bites, might therefore facilitate virus transmission and enhance disease severity.
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:52:24 EDT
Newly discovered algal enzyme for more efficient photosynthesis, better crops
For plants and algae that carry on photosynthesis, light can be too much of a good thing. On a bright, sunny day, a plant might only be able to utilize 20 percent or less of absorbed sunlight. The plant dissipates the excess light energy to prevent damage and oxidative stress, and a process called the xanthophyll cycle helps to flip the switch between energy dissipation and energy utilization.
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