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Latest Actin Stories

2010-03-15 16:06:12

Novel method distinguishes between structurally similar folding forms Researchers at the Department of Chemistry at the Technische Universität Mnchen (TUM) have developed a method that allows the observation of local movements in proteins on a time scale of nanoseconds to microseconds. Upon examining movements of the protein villin using this method they found two structures that were otherwise barely distinguishable from one another. Quick nanosecond-scale structure changes essential...

2010-03-13 08:16:44

Changes in muscle cell structure can affect gene expression New findings that shed light on how genetic damage to muscle cell proteins can lead to the development of the rare muscle-wasting disease, nemaline myopathy, are reported March 15 in the Biochemical Journal. Professor Laura Machesky and colleagues from the CRUK Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, tested cultures of muscle cells that displayed mutations of the ACTA1 gene to determine how the mutations affected the...

2010-02-02 10:56:02

A group of Marshall University researchers and their colleagues in Japan are conducting research that may lead to new ways to move or position single molecules"”a necessary step if man someday hopes to build molecular machines or other devices capable of working at very small scales. Dr. Eric Blough, a member of the research team and an associate professor in Marshall University's Department of Biological Sciences, said his group has shown how bionanomotors can be used some day to move...

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2010-02-01 08:56:56

Understanding how aged and damaged mother cells manage to form new and undamaged daughter cells is one of the toughest riddles of ageing, but scientists now know how yeast cells do it. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show how the daughter cell uses a mechanical "conveyor belt" to dump damaged proteins in the mother cell. "This ensures that the daughter cell is born without age-related damage," says professor Thomas Nyström from the...

2010-01-14 12:39:47

Chromosomes move faster than we first thought. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, Genome Biology, details new findings about the way chromosomes move around the nucleus when leaving the proliferative stage of the cell cycle and entering quiescence "“ and the unexpected speed at which they move. Researchers from Brunel University's Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics have been trying to understand how human chromosomes occupy different territories...

2009-12-22 13:21:11

Cancer may spread throughout the human body when malignant cells travel in the blood stream. But it may be possible to slow or even stop those cells from spreading by altering their structure, according to a recent investigation led by a Texas A&M University researcher. The team "“ assembled by Gonzalo Rivera, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and scientists...

2009-12-17 16:57:01

University of Oregon-made technique is putting new light on machinery driving intracellular transport Using new technology developed in his University of Oregon lab, chemist Andrew H. Marcus and his doctoral student Eric N. Senning have captured what they describe as well-orchestrated, actin-driven, mitochondrial movement within a single cell. That movement -- documented in a paper appearing online the week of Dec. 14-18 ahead of regular publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy...

2009-12-02 13:00:59

It turns out that wearing a cap is good for you, at least if you are a mammal cell. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Engineering in Oncology Center have shown that in healthy cells, a bundled "cap" of thread-like fibers holds the cell's nucleus, its genetic storehouse, in its proper place. Understanding this cap's influence on cell and nuclear shape, the researchers say, could provide clues to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer, muscular dystrophy and the...

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2009-09-21 08:04:34

University of Central Florida Microbiology Professor Keith Ireton has uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that plays an important role in the spread of a deadly food-borne bacterium. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause pregnant women to lose their fetuses and trigger fatal cases of meningitis in the elderly or people with compromised immune systems. The bacterium has been linked to outbreaks traced to food processing plants in the U.S. and Canada. In 2002, a multi-state...

2009-09-14 08:31:11

A network of proteins underlying the plasma membrane keeps epithelial cells in shape and maintains their orderly hexagonal packing in the mouse lens, say Nowak et al. The study will appear in the September 21, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (online September 14). Spectrin, F-actin, and associated proteins form a meshwork that supports and shapes the plasma membrane of red blood cells. A similar network underlies the membranes of other cell types, including lens fiber cells:...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'