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Molecular Biology News
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 15:47:57 EDT
Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself
An evolutionary arms race between rival elements within the genomes of primates drove the evolution of complex regulatory networks that orchestrate the activity of genes in every cell of our bodies, researach shows. The arms race is between mobile DNA sequences known as 'retrotransposons' (a.k.a. 'jumping genes') and the genes that have evolved to control them.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:13:28 EDT
Protecting the body from itself: How defense cells fight disease, but not themselves
A clearer relationship between two cells that serve our body's natural defense mechanisms against diseases and infections has now been gained through new research. The findings will help the medical community better understand autoimmunity and could pave the way for treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:58:16 EDT
Green light for clever algae
Phytoplankton not only constitutes the foundation of the food chain in the oceans, it also fixes carbon through photosynthesis and generates oxygen with the help of solar energy. A considerable part of phytoplankton is made up of cryptophytes, complex single-cell algae. In the course of evolution, these algae have adapted their light-harvesting mechanisms to their environment and have thus become capable of utilizing green light.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:56:05 EDT
How plankton gets jet lagged: Hormone that govern sleep and jet lag in humans also drives mass migration of plankton
A hormone that governs sleep and jet lag in humans may also drive the mass migration of plankton in the ocean, scientists have found. The molecule in question, melatonin, is essential to maintain our daily rhythm, and scientists have now discovered that it governs the nightly migration of a plankton species from the surface to deeper waters. The findings indicate that melatonin’s role in controlling daily rhythms probably evolved early in the history of animals, and hold hints to how our sleep patterns may have evolved.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:58:19 EDT
Turmeric compound boosts regeneration of brain stem cells
A bioactive compound found in turmeric promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain, reveals new research. The findings suggest aromatic turmerone could be a future drug candidate for treating neurological disorders, such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:08:22 EDT
Genetic 'instruction set' for antibodies knocks down hepatitis C in mice
A triple-punch of antibodies both prevented hepatitis C infection and wiped out the disease after it had established itself in laboratory mice, a study has found. Instead of delivering the antibodies directly, the researchers administered a genetic 'instruction set' that, once in a cell, developed into antibodies that target the portions of the virus that do not mutate.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:12:20 EDT
Stem cell transplant does not cure SHIV/AIDS after irradiation of infected rhesus macaques
A new primate model has been developed to test treatments that might cure HIV/AIDS and suggests answers to questions raised by the 'Berlin patient,' the only human thought to have been cured so far.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:11:39 EDT
Protein controlling gut's protective force field identified: Immune-system receptor encourages growth of bacterial shield during illness
A sugary force field is activated in the gut when our defenses are down to encourage the growth of helpful bacteria and fight over-colonization by harmful micro-organisms, scientists have discovered. Scientists have found that mice who have had the gene IL-22RA1 gene removed are more susceptible to infection because they cannot produce a receptor protein that makes the cells produce sugars. Normally this process coats the surface of the intestine with a sugary substance that encourages the growth of bacteria and the restoration of balance. With the gene removed, the body was unable to produce this force field.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:28:35 EDT
Researchers engineer 'Cas9' animal models to study disease, inform drug discovery
A new mouse model to simplify application of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. The researchers successfully used the new 'Cas9 mouse' model to edit multiple genes in a variety of cell types, and to model lung adenocarcinoma, one of the most lethal human cancers.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:28:23 EDT
Unlocking long-hidden mechanisms of plant cell division
Along with copying and splitting DNA during division, cells must have a way to break safely into two viable daughter cells, a process called cytokinesis. But the molecular basis of how plant cells accomplish this without mistakes has been unclear for many years. Now a detailed new model that for the first time proposes how plant cells precisely position a 'dynamic and complex' structure called a phragmoplast at the cell center during every division and how it directs cytokinesis.
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