Squishing blood stem cells could facilitate harvest for transplants
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 16:33:44 EDT

How deformable cells are, and thus how stiff or squishy they are, plays an important role in retaining blood-forming stem cells in their marrow niches and thus preserving their long-term repopulation capabilities.

Obese mouse mothers trigger heart problems in offspring
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:05:28 EDT

Mitochondria manufacture energy in every cell of the body, including heart muscle cells. A new study shows that cardiac mitochondria are abnormal in the offspring of mouse mothers that become obese due to a high-fat, high sugar diet. Those offspring then pass on the mitochondrial defects at least two more generations.

Colourful male fish have genes to thank for their enduring looks
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 10:57:36 EDT

Striking colors that are seen only in the males of some species are partly explained by gene behavior, research into guppy fish suggests.

A social bacterium with versatile habits
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 10:57:25 EDT

Related individuals of a soil bacterial species live in cooperative groups and exhibit astonishing genetic and behavioral diversity.

Study in mice examines impact of reused cooking oil on breast cancer progression
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:48:35 EDT

Compounds in thermally abused cooking oils may trigger genetic, biochemical changes that hasten the progression of late-stage breast cancer, promoting tumor cells' growth and proliferation.

Plant immunity cut to size
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:19:50 EDT

An international team has found a link between a class of enzymes and immune signals that is rapidly triggered upon physical damage in plants. This new discovery will increase our understanding of the plant immune system and might be exploited to improve crop health and yield in the future.

First evidence bacterial-induced apoptosis in algae
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:19:02 EDT

Biologists show the first evidence of apoptosis, or programmed cell death in algae. The outcomes have broad-reaching implications, from the development of targeted antibiotics to the production of biofuels in industry.

Two-step path to shrinking worker bee gonads
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:18:58 EDT

The dramatic difference in gonad size between honey bee queens and their female workers in response to their distinct diets requires the switching on of a specific genetic program, according to a new study. The finding may aid analysis of the interplay of genes and nutrition that drive caste dimorphism in honey bees.

Using more-specific 'genetic scissors' may avoid problems associated with gene editing
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:03:04 EDT

A new study suggests that there could be a way to bypass barriers to making CRISPR gene-editing treatments a viable option. Researchers found that using more-precise gene-editing technology that induces fewer breaks in DNA may keep stem cells' natural damage-response pathways under control.

Study finds cells maintain a complete molecular 'memory' of their embryonic origins
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:03:02 EDT

In research that casts cells as curators of their own history, scientists have discovered that adult tissues retain a memory, inscribed on their DNA, of the embryonic cells from which they arose. The discovery led to one even more intriguing -- that the memory is fully retrievable: under certain conditions, cells can play the story of their development in reverse to switch on genes that were active in the fetal state.

Key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 09:22:09 EDT

Researchers reveal that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug therapy.

Hidden proteins found in bacteria
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 16:49:09 EDT

Scientists have developed a way to identify the beginning of every gene -- known as a translation start site or a start codon -- in bacterial cell DNA with a single experiment and, through this method, they have shown that an individual gene is capable of coding for more than one protein.

Research paves way for new source for leukemia drug
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:56:02 EDT

Chemistry researchers have patented a method for making anti-leukemia compounds that until now have only been available via an Asian tree that produces them.

New mobile element found in mosquito parasite has potential for disease control
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:10:45 EDT

An interdisciplinary team of scientists has identified a new mobile DNA element in the Wolbachia parasite, which may contribute to improved control strategies for mosquito vectors of diseases such as Dengue and West Nile virus.

Chromatin changes rapidly in response to low oxygen
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:05:41 EDT

A study reveals new insights into how cells respond to oxygen deprivation. The researchers found that chromatin, the complex of DNA and proteins where all genes reside, quickly changes in response to low oxygen.

Rabbits like to eat plants with lots of DNA
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:22:16 EDT

Rabbits prefer to eat plants with plenty of DNA, according to a new study.

Active substance from plant slows down aggressive eye cancer
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:22:13 EDT

An active substance that has been known for 30 years could unexpectedly turn into a ray of hope against eye tumors. This is shown by a new study. The plant leaves of which contain the tested substance is anything but rare: At Christmas time you can find it in every well-assorted garden center.

Effects on offspring of epigenetic inheritance via sperm
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:21:14 EDT

As an organism grows and responds to its environment, genes in its cells are constantly turning on and off, with different patterns of gene expression in different cells. But can changes in gene expression be passed on from parents to their children and subsequent generations? Researchers have now demonstrated that epigenetic information carried by parental sperm chromosomes can cause changes in gene expression and development in the offspring.

Breakthrough in fight against plant diseases
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 10:19:59 EDT

Scientists have identified specific locations within plants' chromosomes capable of transferring immunity to their offspring.

Are there Zika reservoirs in the Americas?
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 18:22:38 EDT

A researcher travels the Americas, collecting feces from nonhuman primates to determine the risk of Zika reservoirs.

First Anatolian farmers were local hunter-gatherers that adopted agriculture
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:17:42 EDT

An international team has analyzed eight prehistoric individuals, including the first genome-wide data from a 15,000-year-old Anatolian hunter-gatherer, and found that the first Anatolian farmers were direct descendants of local hunter-gatherers. These findings provide support for archaeological evidence that farming was adopted and developed by local hunter-gatherers, rather than being introduced by a large movement of people from another area. Interestingly, the study also indicates a pattern of genetic interactions with neighboring groups.

Androgen receptor, treatment target for prostate cancer, imports into mitochondria
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:17:28 EDT

Androgens stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. Many drugs to target that cancer focus on stopping androgen biosynthesis or blocking the androgen receptor, or AR. Researchers have discovered a new function of the AR in prostate cells -- the AR is imported into and localizes to mitochondria of the cell, where it plays a novel role in regulating multiple mitochondrial processes.

Making xylitol and cellulose nanofibers from paper paste
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:07:57 EDT

The ecological bio-production of xylitol and cellulose nanofibers from material produced by the paper industry has been achieved. This discovery could contribute to the development of a greener and more sustainable society.

Electron accelerators reveal the radical secrets of antioxidants
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:07:43 EDT

A professor has demonstrated for the first time the value of linear particle accelerators for the generation of free radicals inside biological samples. This work will have important applications throughout biochemistry, especially for researchers studying antioxidants and photosynthesis.

Algal library lends insights into genes for photosynthesis
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:02:43 EDT

To identify genes involved in photosynthesis, researchers built a library containing thousands of single-celled algae, each with a different gene mutation. The library, which took nine years to construct, has already helped researchers identify 303 genes associated with photosynthesis including 21 newly discovered genes with high potential to provide new insights into this life-sustaining process.

Excessive phosphate fertilizer use can reduce microbial functions critical to crop health
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 13:26:59 EDT

Scientists set out to determine if nutrient history changed the function of soil microorganisms. The answer seems to be yes, and that soil treated with high amounts of phosphate can result in poorer plant performance, but even more intriguing, it appears that the soil microorganisms from this conditioned soil can negatively impact plant yield.

Chemical probe can regulate signaling pathway and block cell invasion by arboviruses
Fri, 15 Mar 2019 11:59:37 EDT

Dysregulation of the signaling pathway known as the beta-catenin-dependent Wnt can also cause embryo malformation and contribute for the development of breast and cervical cancer.

From mirror-image biology to enhanced therapeutic proteins
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:17:02 EDT

Scientists have succeeded in reconstructing biomolecules in their mirror-image form. The researchers' goal is to create a mirror-image artificial protein synthesis system. Their aim is to produce mirror-image therapeutic proteins, such as antibodies, which would be protected from biological breakdown in the body and do not provoke any immune response.

How a mitochondrial enzyme can trigger cell death
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:16:23 EDT

Cytochrome c is a small enzyme that plays an important role in the production of energy by mitochondria. It is also involved in signaling dangerous problems that warrant apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Using solid-state NMR, researchers have discovered that the signal induced by cytochrome c is more controlled than expected.

Study uncovers genetic switches that control process of whole-body regeneration
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 15:15:46 EDT

Researchers are shedding new light on how animals perform whole-body regeneration, and uncovered a number of DNA switches that appear to control genes used in the process.

Oral bacteria in pancreas linked to more aggressive tumors
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 12:31:38 EDT

The presence of oral bacteria in so-called cystic pancreatic tumours is associated with the severity of the tumour, researchers report. It is hoped that the results can help to improve diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Machine learning sheds light on the biology of toxin exposure
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 12:31:25 EDT

Scientists have developed a machine learning approach using high-quality, large-scale animal model data that sheds new light on the biology of the liver and kidneys after toxin exposure.

Novel methods for analyzing neural circuits for innate behaviors in insects
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 10:13:40 EDT

Insects show a variety of species-specific innate behaviors (instinctive behaviors). For example, a worker honeybee that has found flower nectar exhibits 8-shape waggle-dances upon returning to its beehive. A male moth that has detected a sex pheromone flies around to look for a female counterpart. There remain a number of questions about how a variety of innate behaviors are generated by functions of neural circuits in the insect brain.

Speed limit on DNA-making sets pace for life's first steps
Thu, 14 Mar 2019 07:57:56 EDT

Fruit flies make for stingy mothers, imparting only a portion of the genetic building blocks their offspring need to survive. The rest must be produced by the fertilized egg in its first few steps of growth.

Free fatty acids appear to rewire cells to promote obesity-related breast cancer
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 18:54:20 EDT

Free fatty acids in the blood are linked with higher rates of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer in obese postmenopausal women, according to a new study.

Early-life exposure to microbiota restricts colon cancer later in life, study finds
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:27:31 EDT

Exposure to microbiota, or microorganisms such as bacteria, in the early stages of life plays a crucial role in establishing optimal conditions in the intestine that inhibit the development of colon cancer in adulthood, according to a new study.

Scientists delineate pathway that helps us make antibodies
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 08:04:39 EDT

Our bodies are continuously concocting specific antibodies to thwart invaders like a virus or even pollen, and scientists have new information about how the essential production gets fired up and keeps up.

Speedy 'slingshot' cell movement observed for the first time
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 15:12:11 EDT

By slingshotting themselves forward, human cells can travel more than five times faster than previously documented.

Machine-learning model provides detailed insight on proteins
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 13:19:49 EDT

A novel machine-learning 'toolbox' that can read and analyze the sequences of proteins has been described today.

Discovery upturns understanding of how some viruses multiply
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 12:36:58 EDT

Scientists have shown that different segments of a virus genome can exist in distinct cells but work together to cause an infection.

Novel protein degradation pathway
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 12:36:40 EDT

A research team how a type of protein that is embedded in the inner nuclear membrane clears out of the system once it has served its purpose.

DNA and RNA Copying made easy
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 12:36:32 EDT

Whether revealing a perpetrator with DNA evidence, diagnosing a pathogen, classifying a paleontological discovery, or determining paternity, the duplication of nucleic acids (amplification) is indispensable. Scientists have now introduced a new, very simple, yet highly sensitive and reliable method that avoids the usual heating and cooling steps, as well as complicated instruments. The reagents can be freeze-dried, allowing this universal method to be used outside of the laboratory.

New understanding of sophistication of microbial warfare
Tue, 12 Mar 2019 09:25:29 EDT

Researchers explain how viruses make a molecular decoy that is used to subvert the CRISPR-Cas bacterial immune system.

Genes that evolve from scratch expand protein diversity
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:31:15 EDT

A new study challenges one of the classic assumptions about how new proteins evolve. The research shows that random, noncoding sections of DNA can quickly evolve to produce new proteins.

Winning the arms race: Analysis reveals key gene for bacterial infection
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 10:12:15 EDT

Researchers have applied molecular evolutionary analysis to quantify the severity of negative selection pressures on genes encoding the pneumococcal choline-binding proteins (CBPs). They found particularly strong selective constraints on the gene cbpJ, suggesting its importance for bacterial infection. Further analyses revealed its role in bacterial evasion of host neutrophils, suggesting CbpJ's value as a target for drugs against streptococci.

The evolution of grain yield
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 10:12:04 EDT

A high grain yield is undoubtedly a desirable trait in cereal crops. Floret fertility is a key factor which determines the number of grains per inflorescence of cereals such as bread wheat or barley. Nonetheless, until recently little was known about its genetic basis. Whilst investigating floret fertility, a group of researchers have now discovered the locus Grain Number Increase 1 (GNI1), an important contributor to floret fertility.

Illuminating the genome
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 13:33:47 EST

Researchers have developed a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes.

New method of scoring protein interactions mines large data sets from a fresh angle
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 13:33:42 EST

Researchers have created a novel way to define individual protein associations in a quick, efficient, and informative way. These findings show how the topological scoring (TopS) algorithm, can -- by combining data sets -- identify proteins that come together.

The ABS of molecular engines
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 10:21:26 EST

Peroxisomes are cell organelles that carry out a number of functions, including the degradation of cytotoxins. For this purpose, they require enzymes that have to be transported into peroxisomes via complicated machinery. Scientists have now detected an as-yet unknown transport step, thus gaining a better understanding of life-threatening diseases.

Cytomegalovirus infection broadens spectrum of environmental allergens
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:10:48 EST

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can convert a harmless, inhaled protein antigen into an allergen, according to a new study.

Potential treatment for cancer in butterfly disease
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:10:42 EST

New research lays foundation for upcoming clinical trial for patients with epidermolysis bullosa.

Crystal-clear view of a key neuronal receptor opens door for new, targeted drugs
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:10:36 EST

One of the most important protein signaling systems that controls neuronal guidance consists of the cell surface receptor 'Robo' and its cognate external guidance cue 'Slit.' The deficit of either of these proteins results in defects in brain structure and function. Researchers have now discovered the intricate molecular mechanism that allows the guidance receptor 'Robo' to react to signals in its environment, while avoiding premature activity that can lead to harmful outcomes.

Using laser 'tweezers,' scientists grab and study tiny protein droplets
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:14:38 EST

Physicists are using innovative tools to study the properties of a bizarre class of molecules that may play a role in disease: proteins that cluster together to form spherical droplets inside human cells. A new study sheds light on the conditions that drive such droplets to switch from a fluid, liquidy state to a harder, gel-like state.

Embryogenesis: Elucidating cellular responses to force
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:32:15 EST

Accumulated evidence suggests that physical force plays an important role in various developmental processes of fertilized animal eggs. During embryogenesis, a variety of cell populations actively migrate and change their positions, generating various types of force (e.g., traction force, compression force) that influence the properties of surrounding tissues. This in turn enables normal development where tissue arrangement is highly orchestrated. However, how embryonic cells and tissues respond to these forces remains poorly understood.

Embryos' signals take multiple paths
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 10:31:29 EST

Bioscientists uncover details about how embryonic stem cells respond to the collection of signals that direct their differentiation into blood, bone and tissue. They found two critical signaling pathways are treated differently by cells.

Using tiny organisms to unlock big environmental mysteries
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 09:14:51 EST

Biological processes that influence climate and the environment, such as carbon fixation or nitrogen recycling are parts of these planet-wide processes are actually driven by the tangible actions of organisms at every scale of life, beginning at the smallest: the microorganisms living in the air, soil, and water. And now researchers have made it easier than ever to study these microbial communities by creating an optimized DNA analysis technique.

Cell study reveals key mechanism linked to healthy development
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 07:34:46 EST

Researchers have uncovered details of the role played by a key biological component involved in healthy cell development.

Transcription factor network gets to heart of wood formation
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 17:12:52 EST

Research on high-level switches that control wood formation has applications in timber, paper and biofuels, as well as making forests healthier.

Fasting-mimicking diet holds promise for treating people with inflammatory bowel disease
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 17:12:47 EST

Fasting-mimicking diet holds promise for treating people with inflammatory bowel disease, a new study finds. A clinical trial shows reduction of inflammation in humans and in mice, the diet appears to reverse Crohn's and colitis pathology.

Engineered microbe may be key to producing plastic from plants
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 17:12:39 EST

With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable -- but frustratingly untapped -- bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous plastics.