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Molecular Biology News
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:22:48 EDT
Biology meets geometry: Geometry of a common cellular structure explored
Architecture imitates life, at least when it comes to those spiral ramps in multistory parking garages. Stacked and connecting parallel levels, the ramps are replications of helical structures found in a ubiquitous membrane structure in the cells of the body.
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:29:59 EDT
Blocking a fork in the road to DNA replication
A team of scientists has discovered the surprising manner in which an enigmatic protein known as SUUR acts to control gene copy number during DNA replication. It’s a finding that could shed new light on the formation of fragile genomic regions associated with chromosomal abnormalities.
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:49:57 EDT
Identifying the source of stem cells
When most animals begin life, cells immediately begin accepting assignments to become a head, tail or a vital organ. However, mammals, including humans, are special. The cells of mammalian embryos get to make a different first choice -- to become the protective placenta or to commit to forming the baby.
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:28:50 EDT
Ion adsorption matter in biology
Biological membranes are mainly composed of lipid bilayers. Gaining a better understanding of adsorption of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps clarify functional processes in biological cells. A new study provides a quantitative description of the equilibria between lipid membranes and surrounding solution ions. In addition to shedding some light on biological processes, these results could also have implications for, among other things, the future development of medical diagnostics.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:56:38 EDT
Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact
Scientists have created a new kind of ion channel based on short carbon nanotubes, which can be inserted into synthetic bilayers and live cell membranes to form tiny pores that transport water, protons, small ions and DNA. These carbon nanotube "porins" have significant implications for future health care and bioengineering applications.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:56:15 EDT
Scientists generate first human stomach tissue in lab with stem cells
Scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory -- creating an unprecedented tool for researching the development and diseases of an organ central to several public health crises, ranging from cancer to diabetes. Scientists used human pluripotent stem cells -- which can become any cell type in the body -- to grow a miniature version of the stomach.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:12:16 EDT
Scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life
Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:12:14 EDT
Contamination likely explains 'food genes in blood' claim
Laboratory contaminants likely explain the results of a recent study claiming that complete genes can pass from foods we eat into our blood, according to a molecular biologist who re-examined data from the controversial research paper.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:45:57 EDT
Mechanism that allows differentiated cell to reactivate as a stem cell revealed
A study, performed with fruit flies, describes a gene that determines whether a specialized cell conserves the capacity to become a stem cell again. Unveiling the genetic traits that favor the retention of stem cell properties is crucial for regenerative medicine.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:45:55 EDT
Meiotic cell division 'the other way round'
Meiosis is the two-step series of cell divisions that make sexual reproduction and genetic diversity possible. Researchers have now dived into the process of meiosis in specific plant species and revealed that these plants display an inversion of the standard meiotic phases.
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