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Latest Actin Stories

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:...

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2009-09-11 07:58:32

Every moment, millions of a body's cells flawlessly divvy up their genes and pinch perfectly in half to form two identical progeny for the replenishment of tissues and organs "” even as they collide, get stuck, and squeeze through infinitesimally small spaces that distort their shapes. Now Johns Hopkins scientists, working with the simplest of organisms, have discovered the molecular sensor that lets cells not only "feel" changes to their neat shapes, but also to remodel themselves back...

2009-07-21 19:15:00

Cells rely on tiny molecular motors to deliver cargo, such as mRNA and organelles, within the cell. The critical nature of this transport system is evidenced by the fact that disruption of motors by genetic defects leads to fatal diseases in humans. Although investigators have isolated these motor to study their function in a controlled environment outside the cell, it has been difficult for researchers to follow these fascinating molecular transporters in their natural environment, the...