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A fresh look inside the protein nano-machines

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:02 +0200

Proteins perform vital functions of life, they digest food and fight infections and cancer. They are in fact nano-machines, each one of them designed to perform a specific task. But how did they evolve to match those needs, how did the genes encode the structure and function of proteins? Researchers...

Discovery of a key regulatory gene in cardiac valve formation

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:00:00 +0200

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have identified a key regulator gene for the formation of cardiac valves - a process crucial to normal embryonic heart development. The heart is the first functional organ that develops in vertebrate embryos. In humans, it starts to beat four w...

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

Wed, 24 May 2017 11:13:27 +0200

Scientists at Rice University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have discovered that laser-induced graphene (LIG) is a highly effective anti-fouling material and, when electrified, bacteria zapper. LIG is a spongy version of graphene, the single-atom layer of carbon atoms. The Rice lab of...

Experimental therapy for immune diseases hits Achilles heel of activated T cells

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:16 +0200

Immune diseases like multiple sclerosis and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis unleash destructive waves of inflammation on the body, causing death or a lifetime of illness and physical impairment. With safe and effective treatments in short supply, scientists report the discovery of an experimental...

Taking a closer look at genetic switches in cancer

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:09 +0200

Many things go wrong in cells during the development of cancer. At the heart of the chaos are often genetic switches that control the production of new cells. In a particularly aggressive form of leukemia, called acute myeloid leukemia, a genetic switch that regulates the maturation of blood stem ce...

A New T-cell Population for Cancer Immunotherapy

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:05 +0200

Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have, for the first time, described a new T cell population that can recognize and kill tumor cells. T lymphocytes (short T cells) are a special type of cells that recognize germs and protect our body from infections. Their second important job is...

Fat can neutralize listeria

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:03 +0200

Certain fatty acids are not just part of a healthy diet. They can also neutralise the harmful listeria bacterium, a new study shows. This discovery could eventually lead to improved methods to combat dangerous and drug-resistant bacteria. It´s every consumer´s nightmare, bringing home food from the ...

Blood discovery could benefit preemies, help end platelet shortages

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:00:24 +0200

The emergency call issued by the American Red Cross earlier this year was of a sort all too common: Donations of platelets were needed, and desperately. But a new discovery from the School of Medicine may be the key to stopping shortages of these vital blood-clotting cells, cells that can represent ...

Plasmon-powered upconversion nanocrystals for enhanced bioimaging and polarized emission

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:00:22 +0200

Lanthanide-doped upconversion nanocrystals (UCNCs) have recently found great potential in the applications of near-infrared bioimaging and nonlinear optoelectronic devices due to their tunable spectral characteristics and excellent photostability. In particular, their near-infrared excitation bands ...

Epigenetic program leading to vessel differentiation

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:00:20 +0200

Clarification of how human blood vessels are constructed is desperately needed to advance regenerative medicine. A collaborative research group from Kumamoto University, Kyoto University, and the University of Tokyo in Japan investigated the changes in gene functions that occur when stem cells becom...

Developing life-transforming drugs for Huntington's disease sufferers

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:00:18 +0200

Scientists at the University of Sussex have started work on a multi-million pound project to develop drugs to treat the debilitating loss of cognitive function associated with Huntington's disease. The uncontrolled movements that characterise Huntington's disease generally appear in middle age -- ho...

Towards more effective therapies to fight breast cancer

Mon, 22 May 2017 07:00:30 +0200

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in Italy and in the world. Today, however, it seems possible to design more selective and effective drugs through numerical simulations. This is what has been revealed by research carried out by the "Istituto Officina dei Materiali" (IOM) of t...

Deconstructing osmosis provides insight for medical and industrial use

Mon, 22 May 2017 07:00:29 +0200

Osmosis, the fluid phenomenon responsible for countless slug deaths at the hands of mischievous children, is fundamentally important not only to much of biology, but also to engineering and industry. Most simply put, osmosis refers to the flow of fluid across a membrane driven by a (solute) concentr...

Helping to solve a great mystery in the organization of our DNA

Mon, 22 May 2017 07:00:08 +0200

After decades of research aiming to understand how DNA is organized in human cells, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have shed new light on this mysterious field by discovering how a key protein helps control gene organization. Humans have nearly 30,000 genes that determine traits from eye col...

Understanding the architecture of our 'second brain'

Mon, 22 May 2017 02:00:00 +0200

Scientists have made an important step in understanding the organisation of nerve cells embedded within the gut that control its function -- a discovery that could give insight into the origin of common gastrointestinal diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. The findi...

Brain fights West Nile Virus in unexpected way

Fri, 19 May 2017 14:00:05 +0200

In a turnabout, a biochemical self-destruct trigger found in many other types of cells appears to guard the lives of brain cells during an infection with West Nile virus. UW Medicine scientists led research showing that this chemical pathway doesn't have to sacrifice brain cells to destroy the virus...

Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs

Fri, 19 May 2017 14:00:01 +0200

Using neutron crystallography, a Los Alamos research team has mapped the three-dimensional structure of a protein that breaks down polysaccharides, such as the fibrous cellulose of grasses and woody plants, a finding that could help bring down the cost of creating biofuels. The research focused on a...

Sensors detect disease markers in breath

Fri, 19 May 2017 14:00:00 +0200

A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building's air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to de...

Positive market response to first edition of LABVOLUTION in Hannover

Fri, 19 May 2017 11:46:39 +0200

LABVOLUTION got off to a fine start and is on the right track for the future. That sums up the outcome of the European trade fair dedicated entirely to lab equipment and lab workflow optimization. Crowded aisles, brisk traffic at exhibitors’ stands and an upbeat mood among exhibitors and visitors ad...

Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Fri, 19 May 2017 11:20:06 +0200

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is often very difficult, in part because they are extremely water-repellent. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) h...

Enzymatic enantioselective desymmetrization

Fri, 19 May 2017 07:00:12 +0200

Enzymicals is focused on the development and piloting of chemo-enzymatic processes for the production of fine- and special chemicals. As an example Enzymicals presents a competitive process for production of optical pure (1S,2R)-1-Methyl cis-1,2,3,6-tetrahydrophthalate.  This molecule is a major syn...

Microbial fuel cell converts methane to electricity

Fri, 19 May 2017 07:00:07 +0200

Transporting methane from gas wellheads to market provides multiple opportunities for this greenhouse gas to leak into the atmosphere. Now, an international team of researchers has taken the first step in converting methane directly to electricity using bacteria, in a way that could be done near the...

How different drugs interact with the same target

Thu, 18 May 2017 18:23:32 +0200

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is involved in a range of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis. Several drugs that target TNF are available to treat these conditions; however, despite acting on the same target, their clinical effective...

Merck Continues to Grow Profitably in the First Quarter

Thu, 18 May 2017 13:27:17 +0200

Merck significantly increased both net sales and EBITDA pre exceptionals in the first quarter of 2017. In addition, the company confirmed and specified its outlook for the full year. “For Merck, 2017 is another year of many challenges as well as tremendous opportunities. I am confident that we will ...

The stickiness of molecules

Thu, 18 May 2017 11:07:12 +0200

When building with molecules, it is important to understand how they stick to each other. The problem is that the methods used to measure this are themselves an influencing factor on the process. Researchers at TU Eindhoven, led by Professor Bert Meijer, present a method that excludes this influence...

Biophysicists say iodine is the solution of biomolecule structures

Thu, 18 May 2017 07:00:13 +0200

An international team including researchers from MIPT has shown that iodide phasing--a long-established method in structural biology--is universally applicable to membrane protein structure determination. Knowledge of these structures enables a molecular-level understanding of the workings of eyesig...

3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring

Thu, 18 May 2017 07:00:03 +0200

Used 3-D printing to create bioprosthetic mouse ovary to restore fertility, boost hormone production Targeted to women who survived childhood cancer, have had treatments that affect hormones and fertility "The holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine" CHICAGO --- The brave new world of...

Merck: Optimizing the Further Development of the Darmstadt Site

Wed, 17 May 2017 13:23:22 +0200

Merck announced that it will purposefully develop its structures at the Darmstadt site further. The aim is to be able to benefit in the best possible way from the global growth opportunities of the three business sectors over the long term.“Darmstadt is a strong site with strong prospects. Our Group...

Plasma membrane protein may help generate new neurons in the adult hippocampus

Wed, 17 May 2017 02:00:00 +0200

New research sheds important light on the inner workings of learning and memory. Specifically, scientists show that a plasma membrane protein, called Efr3, regulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor-tropomyosin-related kinase B signaling pathway (BNDF-TrkB) and affects the generation of new neurons...

A key to metastasis

Wed, 17 May 2017 02:00:00 +0200

When cancer cells split off from a tumor to seed deadly metastases, they are thought to travel as clusters or packs, a phenomenon known as collective invasion. The members of an invasive pack are not all alike, scientists at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have learned. Lung cancer cell...

New lung 'organoids' in a dish mimic features of full-size lung

Wed, 17 May 2017 02:00:00 +0200

New lung "organoids"--tiny 3-D structures that mimic features of a full-sized lung--have been created from human pluripotent stem cells by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). The team used the organoids to generate models of human lung diseases in a lab dish, which could be use...

Creating anticancer nanomaterials by simulating underwater volcanic conditions

Tue, 16 May 2017 11:00:17 +0200

Researchers at Aalto University, Finland, have developed anticancer nanomaterials by simulating the volcano-induced dynamic chemistry of the deep ocean. The novel method enables making nanoclusters of zinc peroxide in an environmentally friendly manner, without the use of additional chemicals. The a...

Memory insight may prove beneficial for those with brain damage

Tue, 16 May 2017 11:00:08 +0200

Scientists have discovered that there is more than one way to strengthen your memory, opening up the possibility of new treatment strategies for brain damage. In a new study, published in Nature Human Behaviour and led by the University of Glasgow, researchers have found that multiple parts of the b...

'Molecular prosthetics' can replace missing proteins to treat disease

Tue, 16 May 2017 07:00:15 +0200

Researchers have demonstrated that a small molecule can transport iron in human cells and live animals when proteins that normally do the same job are missing, a condition that often causes severe anemia in patients. Such "molecular prosthetics" might treat a host of incurable diseases caused by pro...

Bacteria in marine sponge produce toxic flame retardant-like compounds

Tue, 16 May 2017 07:00:09 +0200

A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego-led research team discovered for the first time that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that specialize in the production of toxic compounds nearly identical to man-made fire retardants. The new findings put the resea...

A way to pack grains and drugs most efficiently

Tue, 16 May 2017 02:00:00 +0200

Scientists have discovered a way to solve a problem that has baffled humans for so long it is mentioned in the Bible: achieving the most efficient packing of objects such as grains and pharmaceutical drugs. Lead researcher Dr Mohammad Saadatfar from The Australian National University (ANU) said the ...

Liquid-crystal and bacterial living materials self-organize and move in their own way

Mon, 15 May 2017 14:00:03 +0200

Smart glass, transitional lenses and mood rings are not the only things made of liquid crystals; mucus, slug slime and cell membranes also contain them. Now, a team of researchers is trying to better understand how liquid crystals, combined with bacteria, form living materials and how the two intera...

Disentangling chloroplast genetics

Mon, 15 May 2017 14:00:01 +0200

Proper DNA inheritance is essential for healthy cell growth and division. The same goes for the genetic material found in chloroplasts: the energy centers of all plant cells. Chloroplast genomes -- likely vestiges of ancestral bacteria -- are organized into DNA-protein complexes called nucleoids. Wh...

New breakthrough makes it easier to turn old coffee waste into cleaner biofuels

Mon, 15 May 2017 11:15:51 +0200

Future Americano, cappuccino and latte drinkers could help produce the raw material for a greener biofuel that would reduce our reliance on diesel from fossil fuels. Purpose-grown feedstocks (used to extract oils) for biodiesels are controversial because of their cost and the demand they place on la...

Possible reasons for loss of smell

Mon, 15 May 2017 10:41:32 +0200

Studies have shown that loss of the sense of smell can be among the first warning signs of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Now a researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wants to shift the search for clues about this process back even further, to ...

Microdevice provides novel method of measuring cell mechanical properties

Mon, 15 May 2017 10:41:27 +0200

The mechanical properties of cells have an impact on biological processes ranging from wound healing and disease to cellular aging and differentiation. Currently, the most popular method of measuring the mechanical properties of a cell is by atomic-force microscopy (AFM). Very simply, AFM works by m...

ZEISS: Significant Growth in Revenue and Earnings

Fri, 12 May 2017 14:00:02 +0200

The ZEISS Group had a very successful end to the first six months of fiscal year 2016/17 (ended 31 March) and saw its revenue rise by 10 percent to EUR 2.550 billion (1st half of 2015/16: EUR 2.322 billion). At EUR 384 million, the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were significantly higher th...

Newron Receives EUR11.3m Milestone Payments

Fri, 12 May 2017 13:39:29 +0200

Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. announced the receipt of milestone payments linked to the approval of its lead compound Xadago® (safinamide) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease by the US Food and Drug Administration. The payments were made by Newron’s partner Zambon, who holds the rights to devel...

Recognized for Excellence in China: Analytik Jena Fares Well at a Trade Conference

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:09 +0200

Analytik Jena has now achieved particular recognition in China: At this year’s Annual Conference of China Scientific Instruments (ACCSI) the Company received multiple awards, including being named as one of the ten most influential foreign suppliers. Two Analytik Jena products also received recognit...

Genome sequence of fuel-producing alga announced

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:06 +0200

The genome of the fuel-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii has been sequenced by a team of researchers led by a group at Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The report comes after almost seven years of research, according to Dr. Tim Devarenne, AgriLife Research biochemist and principal investiga...

Gene-delivery system prevents vision loss from inherited eye disease

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:05 +0200

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed gene-carrying nanoparticles that home in on target cells and prevent vision loss in mice with a human form of Leber congenital amaurosis. The condition is one of the most common causes of blindness in children, according to the National I...

Controlling bacteria's necessary evil

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:03 +0200

Microbes are everywhere -- on every surface, every object, every plant and animal. Yes, including on and inside you. True, some of them cause disease. Wait -- don't reach for the hand sanitizer just yet. Many of them are co-residents in our bodies, providing beneficial services in exchange for some ...

NUMAFERM revolutionizes peptide production

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:01 +0200

The Dusseldorf university spin-off NUMAFERM specializes in the biotechnical production of peptides and is able, through its newly developed platform technology, to dramatically reduce costs for this raw material. For the further technological development and an accelerated market entry, NUMAFERM Gmb...

Cardior Pharmaceuticals raises €15 million in series A financing

Thu, 11 May 2017 17:55:57 +0200

Cardior Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off from Hannover Medical School (MHH), today announced the completion of a €15 million Series A financing round led by LSP (Life Sciences Partners), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), BioMedPartners (with its new BioMedInvest III Fu...

Medigene AG: Dave Lemus steps down as COO

Thu, 11 May 2017 14:00:05 +0200

Medigene AG announced that the Company's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Dave Lemus, leaves the Company's Executive Management Board, and transitions into a consulting role to Medigene's Supervisory and Management Boards. Mr. Lemus has served as the Company's COO since the beginning of 2016, stepping...