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Molecular Biology News
Mon, 25 May 2015 12:04:20 EDT
Team pinpoints genes that make plant stem cells, revealing origin of beefsteak tomatoes
A team of scientists has identified a set of genes that control stem cell production in the tomato. Mutations in these genes explain the origin of mammoth beefsteak tomatoes. More importantly, the research suggests how breeders can optimize fruit size in potentially any fruit-bearing crop.
Thu, 21 May 2015 21:06:33 EDT
Supercomputer unlocks secrets of plant cells to pave the way for more resilient crops
Scientists have moved a step closer to identifying the nanostructure of cellulose -- the basic structural component of plant cell walls. The insights could pave the way for more disease resistant varieties of crops and increase the sustainability of the pulp, paper and fiber industry -- one of the main uses of cellulose.
Thu, 21 May 2015 16:05:37 EDT
Beyond average: New platforms genetically barcode tens of thousands of cells at a time
Two separate research teams have developed high-throughput techniques to quickly, easily and inexpensively give every individual cell in a sample a unique genetic barcode. This allows scientists to analyze complex tissues by profiling each individual cell--no averaging required.
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:37:38 EDT
Bacteria cooperate to repair damaged siblings
A certain type of soil bacteria can use their social behavior of outer membrane exchange to repair damaged cells and improve the fitness of the bacteria population as a whole, new research demonstrates. This is the first evidence that a bacterium can use cell-content sharing to repair damaged siblings, the authors say.
Thu, 21 May 2015 13:36:30 EDT
Thunder god vine used in traditional Chinese medicine is a potential obesity treatment
An extract from the thunder god vine, which has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, reduces food intake and causes up to a 45 percent decrease in body weight in obese mice. The weight-loss compound, called Celastrol, produces its potent effects by enhancing the action of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin. The findings are an early indicator that Celastrol could be developed into a drug for the treatment of obesity.
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:49:32 EDT
Symbiosis turns messy in 13-year cicadas
Bacteria that live in the guts of cicadas have split into many separate but interdependent species in a strange evolutionary phenomenon that leaves them reliant on a bloated genome, a new paper has found.
Wed, 20 May 2015 10:00:19 EDT
What happens inside a membrane? Novel method to watch ion channels in action (and much more)
Little is known about how the proteins forming ion channels -- the 'pores' on the cell membrane -- change when they open and close, especially the portion that is 'embedded' in the membrane. Scientists have invented a method, based on the combined and innovative use of known techniques, which allowed them to observe in detail a specific membrane protein and its structural changes.
Tue, 19 May 2015 13:28:04 EDT
Bloom preservation with urine chemical and acids?
If you want your cut gerberas to last longer in the vase, you could try a flower food made from acids and urea.
Tue, 19 May 2015 12:22:15 EDT
Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump
Using nature for inspiration, scientists have developed an entirely artificial molecular pump, in which molecules pump other molecules. The machine mimics the pumping mechanism of proteins that move small molecules around living cells to metabolize and store energy from food. The pump draws its power from chemical reactions, driving molecules step-by-step from a low-energy state to a high-energy state. The pump one day might be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles, researchers say.
Tue, 19 May 2015 12:21:04 EDT
Chameleon proteins make individual cells visible
Researchers discovered a new mechanism of how fluorescent proteins can change color. It enables the microscopic visualization of individual cells in their three-dimensional environment in living organisms.
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