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Latest Cell wall Stories

2009-09-08 07:19:48

Unraveling a microbe's multilayer defense mechanisms could lead to effective new treatments for potentially lethal fungal infections in cancer patients and others whose natural immunity is weakened. Although not as well known as bacterial infections, such as MRSA and E.coli, fungal infections such as that caused by the yeast Candida albicans can be more serious and lead to a higher death rate. Using mutant forms of the C. albicans yeast which lacked different parts of the yeast cell wall,...

2009-06-23 10:15:00

A fundamental question about how sugar units are strung together into long carbohydrate chains has also pinpointed a promising way to target new medicines against tuberculosis. Working with components of the tuberculosis bacterium, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison identified an unusual process by which the pathogen builds an important structural carbohydrate. In addition to its implications for human health, the mechanism offers insight into a widespread but poorly...

2009-06-14 12:33:33

Cellulose is a fibrous molecule that makes up plant cell walls, gives plants shape and form and is a target of renewable, plant-based biofuels research. But how it forms, and thus how it can be modified to design energy-rich crops, is not well understood. Now a study led by researchers at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology has discovered that the underlying protein network that provides the scaffolding for cell-wall structure is also the traffic cop for delivering the...

2009-05-23 11:27:09

While proving a long-held theory that suberin blocks water and nutrient absorption in plants, a Purdue University scientist learned more about manipulating the substance to better feed plants. It has long been believed that suberin, a waxy substance between some plant cells, acts as a barrier for the movement of water in a plant's roots. David E. Salt, a professor of plant molecular physiology, discovered a mutant form of the plant Arabidopsis - enhanced suberin 1 or ESB1 - with twice as much...

2009-05-22 15:03:14

Manipulating a natural waxy substance found in plants allows for easier absorption of beneficial nutrients, a Purdue University scientist in Indiana said. Botanists have long believed the substance suberin acted as a barrier for the movement of water in plants. David Salt, a plant molecular physiologist, confirmed the theory by testing a mutant form of the plant Arabidopis, which has twice as much suberin as other varieties of that plant, Purdue said in a release Friday. It's been known for...

2009-04-23 08:56:49

Los Alamos researchers crack code for binding lignocellulosic biomassLos Alamos National Laboratory researchers have discovered a potential chink in the armor of fibers that make the cell walls of certain inedible plant materials so tough. The insight ultimately could lead to a cost-effective and energy-efficient strategy for turning biomass into alternative fuels.In separate papers published today in Biophysical Journal and recently in an issue of Biomacromolecules, Los Alamos researchers...

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2009-01-27 11:57:05

Land plants' ability to sprout upward through the air, unsupported except by their own woody tissues, has long been considered one of the characteristics separating them from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them. Now lignin, one of the chemical underpinnings vital to the self-supporting nature of land plants "“ and thought unique to them "“ has been found in marine algae by a team of researchers including scientists at UBC and Stanford University. Lignin, a...

2008-12-18 12:28:32

U.S. scientists say the discovery of a mechanism plants use to stop cellulose production may lead to a way of enhancing plant biomass used in biofuels. Purdue University Professor Nicholas Carpita says small-interfering RNAs play a role in plant development by shutting off genes involved in primary cell wall growth to begin development of thicker, secondary cell walls. These small RNAs were known to play a role in fending off disease-causing pathogens, but we are only now beginning to...

2008-09-12 03:00:21

By Naran, Radnaa Chen, Guibing; Carpita, Nicholas C The viscous seed mucilage of flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a mixture of rhamnogalacturonan I and arabinoxylan with novel side group substitutions. The rhamnogalacturonan I has numerous single nonreducing terminal residues of the rare sugar L-galactose attached at the O-3 position of the rhamnosyl residues instead of the typical O-4 position. The arabinoxylan is highly branched, primarily with double branches of nonreducing terminal...

2008-07-31 17:51:42

Scientists have long searched for traces of ancient life on Earth in order to understand the history of life on our planet. Fossilized bones have helped us understand the age of the dinosaurs. Insects trapped in drops of amber have inspired Hollywood films and researchers alike. These remnants of ancient life on Earth provide important clues about our planet's past. Now, a team of researchers working in New Mexico has found traces of life inside salty halite crystals. The...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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