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Molecular Biology News
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:25:08 EST
Feast-and-famine diet could help extend life, study suggests
Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be hard to maintain. In a new study, researchers looked at intermittent fasting. They measured participants' changes in weight, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, cholesterol, markers of inflammation and genes involved in protective cell responses over 10 weeks. They found that intermittent fasting caused a slight increase to SIRT 3, a well-known gene that promotes longevity and is involved in protective cell responses.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:25:04 EST
Transient details of HIV genome packaging captured
Once HIV-1 has hijacked a host cell to make copies of its own RNA genome and viral proteins, it must assemble these components into new virus particles. The orchestration of this intricate assembly process falls to a viral protein known as Gag. For one thing, Gag must be able to discern viral RNA from the host cell’s and squirrel it away inside new viral particles — no easy task considering only two to three percent of the RNA found in the cytoplasm is from HIV-1. Exactly how Gag selectively packages viral RNA has been widely speculated but never directly observed.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:49:09 EST
Role of specialized protein affirmed in assuring normal cell development
A specialized DNA-binding protein called CTCF is essential for the precise expression of genes that control the body plan of a developing embryo, scientists have demonstrated. The findings focus on mouse brain cells that work to manage an animal's movements. The results add important details to how so-called Hox genes help cells keep their positions straight and in the right positions back to front.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:48:59 EST
Fighting Colorado potato beetle with RNA interference
Colorado potato beetles are a dreaded pest of potatoes. Since they do not have natural enemies in most regions, farmers try to control them with pesticides. However, this strategy is often ineffective because the pest has developed resistances against nearly all insecticides. Now, scientists have shown that potato plants can be protected from herbivory using RNA interference.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:13:58 EST
Asian herb holds promise as treatment for Ebola virus disease
New research focuses on the mechanism by which Ebola virus infects a cell and the discovery of a promising drug therapy candidate. A small molecule called Tetrandrine derived from an Asian herb has shown to be a potent small molecule inhibiting infection of human white blood cells in vitro or petri dish experiments and prevented Ebola virus disease in mice.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:20:50 EST
Altering perception of feeding state may promote healthy aging
Targeting mechanisms in the central nervous system that sense energy generated by nutrients might yield the beneficial effects of low-calorie diets on healthy aging without the need to alter food intake, suggests new research.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:16:29 EST
A taxi ride to starch granules
Plant scientists have discovered a specific protein that significantly influences the formation of starch in plant cells. The findings may be useful in the food and packaging industries, they say.
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:48:47 EST
Research cracks code governing infections single-stranded RNA viruses
Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections caused by simple, single-stranded RNA viruses similar in many respects to viruses that cause the common cold, polio and the winter vomiting norovirus infections.
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:17:47 EST
Antifreeze protein from ticks fights frostbite in mice
A protein that protects ticks from freezing temperatures also prevents frostbite when introduced in mice, a new study has found. The research is the first to demonstrate the protein's ability to boost frostbite resistance in an adult mammal.
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:24:58 EST
Molecular feedback loop gives clues to how flowers drop their petals
As Valentine's Day fades into the past, you may be noticing a surfeit of petals accumulate around your vase of flowers. A study sheds new light on the process that governs how and when plants shed their petals, a process known as abscission.
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