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Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:00:03 +0200

Using a newly developed method researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) have been able to shed light on the complexity of genome reorganization occurring during the first hours after fertilization in the single-cell mammalian embryo. Using a ...

Napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:00:01 +0200

A new University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and to a bacteria that the World Health Organization says is one of the world's most dangerous superbugs for humans. Researchers study the com...

Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:15 +0200

To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store. Researchers of the University of Würzburg have now discovered that the bacterial pathogens also manipulate the cells' energy suppliers in the process. When Chlamydia trachomatis infects a human cell, it faces a huge challenge: It ...

Researchers Find Gene WT1 to Impact Women’s Fertility

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:12 +0200

It has been estimated that more than 80 million people in the world have an unfulfilled desire to have children. But for every 10th couple, the reasons therefor remain unclear. Now, researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena/Germany have, together with clinical partners, found a n...

Toward glow-in-the-dark tumors

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:03 +0200

What if you could plaster cancer cells with glowing "Here We Are" signs, so surgeons could be confident that they'd removed every last speck of a tumor? That's what Haiying Liu has in mind for his new fluorescent probe. "Doctors need to pinpoint cancer tissue, but that can be hard," said Liu, a chem...

It is easier for a DNA knot...

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:02 +0200

Anyone who has been on a sailing boat knows that tying a knot is the best way to secure a rope to a hook and prevent its slippage. The same applies to sewing threads where knots are introduced to prevent them slipping through two pieces of fabric. How, then, can long DNA filaments, which have convol...

University of Illinois announces new partnership with ZEISS labs@location program

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:01 +0200

A new agreement between the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and ZEISS has named the Core Facilities at IGB as an official ZEISS labs@location Partner. The model facility will allow researchers from around the U.S. to test-drive new ...

Mobile gold fingers

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:00:09 +0200

Drugs containing gold have been used for centuries to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they might be effective against cancer and HIV. One mechanism by which they work could occur because gold ions force the zinc ions out of zinc fingers--looped, nucleic acid binding protein ...

Stem Cell Studies Approved for UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:00:07 +0200

A series of new stem cell studies that could potentially lead to breakthroughs in medicine has been approved to take place at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville. The Institutional Review Board has given the go-ahead for John Murray, M.D., and his team to begin work on the p...

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG wins patent infringement action on trifocal intraocular lens

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:00:05 +0200

The patent protects a special aphakic intraocular lens (IOL), with which light can be focused on three focal points (near, intermediate and distance vision). The patented trifocal lens reduces the impact of pupil shrinkage and lens eccentricity. VSY Biotechnology BV and its exclusive supplier Fritz ...

Tracking real-time proton induced radiation chemistry in water

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 07:00:01 +0200

Proton therapy is a promising form of radiation treatment used to kill cancerous cells and effectively halt their rapid reproduction. While this treatment can also be delivered in different modalities (i.e. electrons and X-rays), proton therapy limits damage to healthy tissue by depositing energy in...

Designer proteins fold DNA

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:16:50 +0200

Florian Praetorius and Prof. Hendrik Dietz of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a new method that can be used to construct custom hybrid structures using DNA and proteins. The method opens new opportunities for fundamental research in cell biology and for applications in biotec...

Breakthrough in organic acid production

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:00:09 +0200

Scientists from Wageningen University & Research, in association with oil and gas company Total, have developed a new process for producing organic acids via a biotechnological method. The discovery of the Monascus ruber micro-organism proved to be the crucial step in the new process. The fungus is ...

Focussing on cell membranes to develop Alzheimer's treatments

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:00:07 +0200

Thin parts of the cell membranes of neurons turn out to be particularly vulnerable to a protein that collects in the brain of people with Alzheimer's disease, according to a University of Michigan researcher. The discovery could open an avenue for developing treatments for Alzheimer's disease that w...

3-D bioprinted human cartilage cells can be implanted

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:00:06 +0200

Swedish researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy have successfully induced human cartilage cells to live and grow in an animal model, using 3D bioprinting. The results will move development closer to a potential future in which it will be possible to help patients by ...

Membrane lipids hop in and out of rafts in the blink of an eye

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:00:05 +0200

Researchers in Japan, India and France have found that molecules move into and out of a specialized region of the cell membrane, called the 'raft domain', at unexpectedly fast rates. The discovery was made possible by developing fluorescent compounds that are structurally similar to a special class ...

Growing heart tissue on spinach leaves

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 02:00:00 +0200

Researchers face a fundamental challenge as they seek to scale up human tissue regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant in people to treat disease or traumatic injuries: how to establish a vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developi...

Hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:00:01 +0200

A person doesn't have to get sick to catch a virus. Researchers hope to catch viruses for detection and vaccinations by understanding their sticky outer layers. The complex structures making the surface of a virus are small weaves of proteins that make a big impact on how a virus interacts with cell...

Fruit peels for cleaning wastewater

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:28:38 +0200

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR), and from the Center for Electrochemical Research and Technological Development (Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico en Electroquímica, CIDETEQ) and the Center of Engineering and Industrial Development (Centro de Ingeniería y Desarrollo I...

New study shows circular RNA can encode for proteins

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:00:05 +0200

A group of scientists in Israel and Germany, led by Prof. Sebastian Kadener from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have discovered a protein-encoding function for circular RNA. This kind of RNA molecule is highly active in brain cells and could play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases....

Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:00:02 +0200

The ability to deliver cargo like drugs or DNA into cells is essential for biological research and disease therapy but cell membranes are very good at defending their territory. Researchers have developed various methods to trick or force open the cell membrane but these methods are limited in the t...

FDA Grants Approval for avelumab

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:00:05 +0100

Merck and Pfizer Inc. announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BAVENCIO® (avelumab) Injection 20 mg/mL, for intravenous use, for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC). This indication is approved un...

Cracking the code of Huntington's disease

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +0100

Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients to lose their ability to move, speak, and even think. It is caused by a gene mutation that produces an abnormal form of the protein huntingtin, which aggregates and builds up inside neurons of the cortex and striatum. Small ch...

Blocking neuroblastoma cell growth

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:10 +0100

Neuroblastoma – a cancer that starts in nerve tissue outside of the brain – is the third most common cancer in children and accounts for about 15 percent of pediatric cancer-related deaths. MYC proteins drive neuroblastoma tumorigenesis in part by promoting the expression of key glycolytic enzymes s...

ATP hydrolysis energy explained through large-scale hybrid quantum/classical simulations

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:03 +0100

In ATP hydrolysis, water is used to split apart adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to create adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to get energy. ATP hydrolysis energy (AHE) is then used in the activities of living cells. Many attempts have been made to explain the molecular origin of AHE. In the 1960s, AHE was tho...

Study IDs link between sugar signaling and regulation of oil production in plants

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:00:02 +0100

Even plants have to live on an energy budget. While they're known for converting solar energy into chemical energy in the form of sugars, plants have sophisticated biochemical mechanisms for regulating how they spend that energy. Making oils costs a lot. By exploring the details of this delicate ene...

How do metals interact with DNA?

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:04 +0100

To fight cancer, every year thousands of chemical substances are screened for their potential effects on tumor cells. Once a compound able to inhibit cancer cell growth is found, it still takes several years of research until the drug gets approved and can be applied to patients. The elucidation of ...

Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:02 +0100

Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events. However, a team of MIT neuroscientists has now discovered a circuit in this structure that responds to rewarding events. In a study of mice, act...

Quantum dots illuminate transport within the cell

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:00:11 +0100

The quantum dots used by the researchers are particles of semi-conducting material just a few nanometres wide, and are the subject of great interest because of their potential for use in photovoltaic cells or computers. "The great thing about these particles is that they absorb light and emit it in ...

Research spotlights early signs of disease using infrared light

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:00:07 +0100

While more research is needed to confirm the findings the use of FITR could herald a fast and easy way to spot early signs of infection, cancer, and difficult to diagnose neurological conditions. The research led by Professors Peter Lay and Georges Grau used Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectro...

New medicine to prevent mothers dying in childbirth succeeds in first trial in humans

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:00:05 +0100

The Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) today announced positive results from a first-in-human study of a new, inhaled form of a medicine that could significantly reduce maternal deaths around the world. The results open the possibility of a streamlined pathway to registrat...

Tethered nanoparticles make tumor cells more vulnerable

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:00:07 +0100

MIT researchers have devised a way to make tumor cells more susceptible to certain types of cancer treatment by coating the cells with nanoparticles before delivering drugs. By tethering hundreds of tiny particles to the surfaces of tumor cells in the presence of a mechanical force, the researchers ...

Molecular motor-powered biocomputers

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:00:04 +0100

Crashing computers or smartphones and software security holes that allow hackers to steal millions of passwords could be prevented if it were possible to design and verify error-free software. Unfortunately, to date, this is a problem that neither engineers nor supercomputers can solve. One reason i...

Cut the long story short – and stitch it back together

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:13:13 +0100

A species of unicellular ciliate has found a special trick to make use of the cellular machinery in seemingly impossible ways. Researchers of the NCCR «RNA & Disease – The Role of RNA Biology in Disease Mechanisms» of the University of Bern have for the first time described a mechanism in detail how...

Testing the Efficacy of New Gene Therapies More Efficiently

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:13:10 +0100

Using a new cellular model, innovative gene therapy approaches for the hereditary immunodeficiency Chronic Granulomatous Disease can be tested more rapidly and more cost-effectively in the lab for their efficacy. A team of researchers from the University of Zurich and the Children’s Hospital Zurich ...

ACHEMA 2018: Preparations moving into high gear

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 06:00:04 +0100

There is still over a year to go before ACHEMA 2018 opens, nevertheless preparations are moving into high gear: more than 2,400 companies have already ordered a stand; by the time the halls open on 11 June 2018 the organisers expect the exhibitor figure to top the 3,800 mark, all set to present thei...

Cellular waste management

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 06:00:01 +0100

In two recent papers, scientists Ahmad Fazeli and Ann Wehman from the University of Würzburg have published new insights into waste disposal in animal cells. These findings may help to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases like lupus. Animal cells have developed ...

Siegfried: Management Changes

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:00:04 +0100

Siegfried Group (Zofingen) has announced two management changes. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Michael Hüsler will be leaving the company at the end of April 2017 to take up a new professional challenge. Michael Hüsler has been CFO and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee since 2009. The Board...

Novel nozzle saves crystals

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:20:16 +0100

Thanks to an innovative nozzle, scientists can now analyse more types of proteins while using fewer of the hard-to-get protein crystals. The nozzle can reduce protein consumption eightfold in serial X-ray crystallography experiments, as the team of inventors, headed by DESY scientist Saša Bajt from ...

Researchers decipher how the body controls stem cells

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:00:09 +0100

Stem cells are unspecialised cells that can develop into any type of cell in the human body. So far, however, scientists only partially understand how the body controls the fate of these all-rounders, and what factors decide whether a stem cell will differentiate, for example, into a blood, liver or...

Block Copolymer Micellization as a Protection Strategy for DNA Origami

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:00:08 +0100

Scientists from the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden / TU Dresden and the University of Tokyo led by Dr. Thorsten-Lars Schmidt (cfaed) developed a method to protect DNA origami structures from decomposition in biological media. This protection enables future applications in nanomedicine or c...

The genetic transmission of gene locks

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:00:03 +0100

Although all cells in an organism contain the same genes, only some of the genes are activated in a given cells and others remain inactive. Genes coil around histone proteins in the form of DNA threads. If a gene has to remain inactive, its histones are marked by the PRC2 enzyme so that this gene is...

Link between Vitamin D treatment and autism prevention

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:00:01 +0100

Giving vitamin D supplements to mice during pregnancy prevents autism traits in their offspring, University of Queensland researchers have discovered. The discovery provides further evidence of the crucial role vitamin D plays in brain development, said lead researcher Professor Darryl Eyles, from U...

Cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder discovered

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:11 +0100

An overactive molecular signal pathway in the brain region of the amygdala can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A research team from Würzburg has established this connection. Some people have an extreme fear of dirt or bacteria. As a result, they may develop a habit of compulsive washing...

Preventing lead spread

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:09 +0100

While lead pipes were banned decades ago, they still supply millions of American households daily with drinking water amid risks of corrosion and leaching that can cause developmental and neurological effects in young children. One common abatement: Dig up old lead lines and replace a portion of the...

Operation of ancient biological clock uncovered

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:07 +0100

A team of Dutch and German researchers under the leadership of Albert Heck and Friedrich Förster has discovered the operation of one of the oldest biological clocks in the world, which is crucial for life on earth as we know it. The researcher from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and the Ut...

Computer simulation of protein synthesis reveals high complexity of cell machinery

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:05 +0100

Life depends on proteins. These molecules are produced continually in our cells, which act as microscopic production lines - but the process is so complex we have barely begun to understand it. Exploring protein synthesis may, however, be the key to revealing how the body controls the thousands of r...

Nanocages for gold particles: What is happening inside?

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:03 +0100

In living organisms, free metal ions are stored and transported through proteins assembled into highly ordered structures such as protein cages via a reaction called biomineralization. This sophisticated biological strategy has attracted the attention of biotechnologists who speculate that natural i...

Analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether a child has autism

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:00 +0100

Scientists have developed a new, highly accurate method that analyzes metabolic biomarkers to assess whether a child is on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1.5 percent of all children, but its exact cause remains unknown, and diagnosis requires a multidisciplinary team of ...

Detecting blood clot risk using biomarkers

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 06:00:07 +0100

Cancer is one of the hardest medical conditions to overcome, and for those who do so, the battle often does not stop at remission. Many cancers predispose patients to develop blood clots, particularly patients who are diagnosed at a late stage, which often complicates their treatment and reduces sur...