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Latest Actin Stories

2014-05-26 12:36:49

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Like our own bodies, cells have their own skeletons called 'cytoskeletons' and are made of proteins instead of bones. These network-like structures maintain the cell's shape, provide mechanical support, and are involved in critical processes of the cell's lifecycle. The cytoskeleton is an object of intense scientific and medical research, which often requires being able to observe it directly in cells. Ideally, this would involve...

Malaria Pathogen's Cellular Skeleton Under A Super-microscope
2014-04-18 13:17:53

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research This news release is available in German. The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Germany used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite in high detail. Their results, published in the scientific journal...

2014-02-18 14:09:05

Researchers from Warwick Medical School have discovered the key role of a protein in shutting down endocytosis during mitosis, answering a question that has evaded scientists for half a century. The study, published today in the journal eLife, is the first to outline the role of actin, a protein, in shutting down clathrin-dependent endocytosis during mitosis. Endocytosis is the process by which cells absorb molecules that are too large to pass through the plasma membrane, such as...

2013-12-17 04:20:03

Tokyo, Dec 17, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - Beginning with their discovery of spontaneous oscillatory contraction (SPOC) of muscle, Prof. Shin'ichi Ishiwata and his team at Waseda University's Faculty of Science and Engineering have been experimentally characterizing this phenomenon over the last 25 years. Recently, the team, in collaboration with Dr. Katsuhiko Sato of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (Kobe) and Vice Director Yoshiki Kuramoto of the International Institute for Advanced...

Researchers Help Develop A Dynamic Model Of Tissue Failure
2013-12-12 17:45:57

University of Pennsylvania The idea of growing replacement tissue to repair an organ, or to swap it out for an entirely new one, is rapidly transitioning from science fiction to fact. Tissue engineering techniques are improving in their ability to generate three-dimensional masses of cells and provide them with vascular systems for keeping them alive, but a more mathematically rigorous approach for designing these tissues is still needed. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania,...

Molecular Muscles Inside Cells Help Them Sense, Respond To Their Environments
2013-10-21 07:27:59

Johns Hopkins Medicine Johns Hopkins researchers used suction to learn that individual "molecular muscles" within cells respond to different types of force, a finding that may explain how cells "feel" the environment and appropriately adapt their shapes and activities. A summary of the discovery, published online Oct. 20 in the journal Nature Materials, specifically sheds light on how forces outside of cells are translated into internal signals. A computer model the researchers...

2013-07-29 16:33:05

Crystal structure of a key initiation protein while bound is captured in one of two newly reported studies University of Oregon biochemists have determined how tiny synthetic molecules disrupt an important actin-related molecular machine in cells in one study and, in a second one, the crystal structure of that machine when bound to a natural inhibitor. The accomplishments -- done in the name of fundamental understanding, or basic science -- provide new windows on the complexities of...

New Research Challenges 50 Years Of Muscle Knowledge
2013-07-10 10:54:49

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For the past 50 years, scientists and health professionals have operated with the knowledge that biceps are packed with long ropes of filaments. When the bicep is used to lift a heavy object or flex, these filaments were understood to shorten or contract the muscle and give it its power. A new study from the University of Washington (UW) challenges this notion, saying that while the general idea of filaments contracting is the same,...

2013-04-30 10:57:44

A team of international researchers led by Northwestern Medicine scientists has identified how a defective protein plays a central role in a rare, lethal childhood disease known as Giant Axonal Neuropathy, or GAN. The finding is reported in the May 2013 Journal of Clinical Investigation. GAN is an extremely rare and untreatable genetic disorder that strikes the central and peripheral nervous systems of young children. Those affected show no symptoms at birth; typically around age three the...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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