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Latest Boris Joffe Stories

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2009-04-21 08:00:00

The photoreceptor cells in the retinas of nocturnal mammals have a unique nuclear organisation and act as light-guiding micro-lenses. This improves nocturnal visionThe DNA of a mammalian cell is about two metres long if all base pairs were aligned in one string. To fit this genetic material in a nucleus of only a few microns diameter, the DNA is wrapped around millions of so-called histon proteins that are arranged like pearls on a string, leading to a 10,000-fold compaction of the DNA. This...

2009-04-17 11:25:08

The eyes of nocturnal mammals have very large numbers of highly-sensitive rod photoreceptors (the cell type responsible for night vision). They have to perceive light which is less than a millionth of the intensity of daylight. An international team headed by LMU researchers Dr. Boris Joffe, Dr. Irina Solovei and Professor Thomas Cremer has now succeeded in demonstrating that a nocturnal lifestyle and the challenges posed by it have a dramatic effect on the organisation of the nuclei of rod...

2009-04-16 14:19:26

Researchers have discovered an important element for making night vision possible in nocturnal mammals: the DNA within the photoreceptor rod cells responsible for low light vision is packaged in a very unconventional way, according to a report in the April 17th issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication. That special DNA architecture turns the rod cell nuclei themselves into tiny light-collecting lenses, with millions of them in every nocturnal eye."The conventional architecture seen in almost...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.