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Molecular Biology News
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:07:28 EST
Structure of world's largest single cell is reflected at the molecular level
Biologists used the world’s largest single-celled organism, an aquatic alga called Caulerpa taxifolia, to study the nature of structure and form in plants. It is a single cell that can grow to a length of six to twelve inches.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:16 EST
Powerful tool promises to change the way scientists view proteins
Life scientists now have access to a publicly available web resource that streamlines and simplifies the process of gleaning insight from 3-D protein structures. Aquaria, as it's known, is fast, easy-to-use and contains twice as many models as all other similar resources combined.
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:12 EST
In a role reversal, RNAs proofread themselves
Building a protein is a lot like a game of telephone: information is passed along from one messenger to another, creating the potential for errors. Enzymatic machines proofread at each step, and scientists have uncovered a new quality control mechanism along this path. But in a remarkable role reversal, the proofreading isn't done by an enzyme. Instead, one of the messengers itself has a built-in mechanism to prevent errors.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:14:23 EST
Damaged DNA may stall patrolling molecule to initiate repair
Sites where DNA is damaged may cause a molecule that slides along the DNA strand to scan for damage to slow on its patrol, delaying it long enough to recognize and initiate repair. These finding suggest that the delay itself may be the key that allows the protein molecule to find its target, according to researchers.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:41:00 EST
New protein detonates 'invincible' bacteria from within
The epidemic of 'superbugs,' bacteria resistant to antibiotics, knows no borders -- presenting a clear and present danger around the globe. Now a groundbreaking discovery may strengthen efforts by the medical community to fight this looming superbug pandemic. By sequencing the DNA of bacteria resistant to viral toxins, researchers identified novel proteins capable of stymieing growth in treacherous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:20:09 EST
From bacterium to biofactory
A genetic blueprint for organelles that give simple cells new functions has been developed by scientists. A research team has refuted a long-held assumption in biology: The scientists have shown that it is not only possible to extend the functions of organelles - organs of the cell - but also to form them from scratch with the help of genetic blueprints
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:08:12 EST
New mechanism unlocked for evolution of green fluorescent protein
A primary challenge in the biosciences is to understand the way major evolutionary changes in nature are accomplished. Sometimes the route turns out to be very simple. An example of such simplicity is provided in a new publication that shows, for the first time, that a hinge migration mechanism, driven solely by long-range dynamic motions, can be the key for evolution of a green-to-red photoconvertible phenotype in a green fluorescent protein.
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:24:54 EST
Things smell good for a reason
Antioxidants are natural food ingredients that protect cells from harmful influences. Their main task is to neutralize so-called 'free radicals' which are produced in the process of oxidation and which are responsible for cell degeneration. Scientists now show that vinegar flies are able to detect these protective substances by using olfactory cues.
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:03:39 EST
Respiratory chain: Protein complex structure revealed
Mitochondria produce ATP, the energy currency of the body. The driver for this process is an electrochemical membrane potential, which is created by a series of proton pumps. These complex, macromolecular machines are collectively known as the respiratory chain. The structure of the largest protein complex in the respiratory chain, that of mitochondrial complex I, has now been elucidated by scientists.
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:47:40 EST
Relationship critical for how cells ingest matter
To survive and fulfill their biological functions, cells need to take in material from their environment. In this process, proteins within the cell pull inward on its membrane, forming a pit that eventually encapsulates the material in a bubble called a vesicle. Researchers have now revealed a relationship that governs this process, known as endocytosis.
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