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Latest Actin Stories

A New Look At How Plants Sense Gravity
2013-02-04 16:31:22

American Journal of Botany Gravity affects the ecology and evolution of every living organism. In plants, the general response to gravity is well known: their roots respond positively, growing down, into the soil, and their stems respond negatively, growing upward, to reach the sunlight. But how do plants sense gravity and how do they direct or signal their cells to grow in response to it? Although botanists understand a great deal about how this works, a recent article in the recent issue...

2013-01-07 10:59:04

Scientists know that cells in all higher organisms cells need to bind to each other for the development, architecture, maintenance and function of tissues. Mysteries have remained, however, about exactly how cells manage this feat. Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now solved part of this puzzle by defining the structure of a protein known as α-catenin, which is essential to this process. The work was published online ahead of...

2012-07-20 01:55:31

Max Planck scientists bring the basis of muscle movement into sharper focus Muscle contraction and many other movement processes are controlled by the interplay between myosin and actin filaments. Two further proteins, tropomyosin and troponin, regulate how myosin binds to actin. While theoretical models have in fact described exactly how these muscle proteins interact, this interaction has never previously been observed in detail. Stefan Raunser and Elmar Behrmann from the Max Planck...

2012-06-11 19:54:23

An actin-ratchet tightens the contractile ring that severs budding daughter cells from their yeast mothers During the final stage of cell division, a short-lived contractile ring constricts the cellular membrane and eventually separates the dividing cell in two. Although this "molecular muscle's" composition, mainly actin and myosin, is similar to its skeletal counterpart, the force-producing mechanism is fundamentally different, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical...

2012-05-09 12:03:38

University of Guelph researchers have found the location and effect of abnormal heart proteins that can cause cardiac failure, a discovery that points to potential new ways to treat the most costly health problem in the world. The study appears today in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Public Library of Science. It is available online: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036821 "In order to cure heart disease, you have to understand its fundamental...

2012-04-09 09:35:14

Cells on the move reach forward with lamellipodia and filopodia, cytoplasmic sheets and rods supported by branched networks or tight bundles of actin filaments. Cells without functional lamellipodia are still highly motile but lose their ability to stay on track, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in the April 9, 2012, online issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Their study provides new insight into cell motility, a complex and integrated process, which, when...

Image 1 - Proteins Shine Light On Cellular Processes
2012-03-22 04:12:05

A new design triples efficiency of cyan fluorescent proteins Scientists have designed a molecule which, in living cells, emits turquoise light three times brighter than possible until recently. This improves the sensitivity of cellular imaging, a technique where biological processes inside a living organism are imaged at high resolution. The results have been published in Nature Communications on 20 March 2012. The lead author of the publication is Antoine Royant from the Institut de...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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