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Latest Cellular processes Stories

2010-02-21 10:42:29

Math-based computer models are a powerful tool for discovering the details of complex living systems. John Tyson, professor of biology at Virginia Tech, is creating such models to discover how cells process information and make decisions. "Cells receive information in the form of chemical signals, physical attachments to other cells, or radiation damage, for instance," Tyson said. "On the basis of this information, the cells must make the correct response, such as to grow and divide, or to...

2010-02-18 12:23:54

DNA damage sensor also responds to oxidative harm outside the nucleus HOUSTON - ATM, a protein that reacts to DNA damage by ordering repairs or the suicide of the defective cell, plays a similar, previously unknown role in response to oxidative damage outside of the nucleus, researchers report this week in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This tumor-suppressor that works in the nucleus to prevent replication of defective cells also has a second life...

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2010-02-12 09:53:57

A team of scientists from Princeton University and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey has embarked on a major new project to unravel the secret lives of cancer cells that go dormant and self-cannibalize to survive periods of stress. The work may help produce new cancer therapies to stem changes that render cancer cells dangerous and resistant to treatment. "We want to know: What role is this self-cannibalization playing in the middle of a tumor?" said team member Hilary Coller, an assistant...

2010-01-21 13:53:53

EMBO Reports selects a study by researchers at IRB Barcelona as the highlighted article of the week because of the relevance of autophagy in health All cells are equipped with a recycling program to collect and remove unnecessary cellular components. Autophagy sequesters and digests aged organelles, damaged proteins and other components, which, if not disintegrated and recycled, threaten cell viability. Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) led by Antonio...

2010-01-07 14:29:49

Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered how a protein long known to be an essential activator of DNA replication actually triggers this process in cells. The protein, called DDK (for Ddf4-dependent protein kinase), is an enzyme that attaches phosphate molecules to other proteins to modify their activity. The CSHL team has found that DDK performs this operation, called phosphorylation, on a protein called Mcm4, specifically within a domain that acts as a built-in...

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2009-12-23 07:06:16

Communication between nerve cells is vital for our bodies to function. Part of this communication happens through vesicles containing signaling molecules called neurotransmitters. The vesicle fuses with the nerve cell membrane; the neurotransmitters are released and quickly recorded by the next nerve cell. It is crucial that new vesicles constantly are produced for the nerve cell communication continuously to take place. If parts of this communication do not work, it leads to nerve pain like...

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2009-12-14 10:35:00

It's important to finish what you start, say Jeong-Sun Ju and researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. In the December 14, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, Ju et al. reveal how a mutant ATPase blocks autophagy partway through to cause a multi-tissue degenerative disease. Mutations in VCP, a member of the AAA ATPase family, cause inclusion body myopathy, Paget's disease of the bone, and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD), a rare disorder that mainly affects...

2009-12-04 15:08:06

A protein that plays a key role in copying DNA also plays a vital role in repairing breaks in it, UC Davis scientists have found. The work is helping researchers understand how cancer cells can resist radiation and chemotherapy, as well as how cells become cancerous in the first place. The protein, known as proliferating cell nuclear antigen, forms a ring that fits around the DNA double helix. This cuff-like ring helps to keep in place DNA polymerase, the enzyme that makes a copy of the DNA...

2009-12-02 19:20:52

The transmission of information from one neuron to the next is an unseen intricate ballet. Tiny vesicles "“ bubbles containing the chemical neurotransmitters that make information exchange possible"”travel to the tip of neurons (synapses), where they fuse with the cell's membrane in a process called exocytosis. The extra membrane is then captured in a process called endocytosis and recycled to form a new vesicle to enable the next cycle of release. The two processes, exocytosis...

2009-12-01 14:29:14

In order to maintain muscle strength with age, cells must rid themselves of the garbage that accumulates in them over time, just as it does in any household, according to a new study in the December issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press journal. In the case of cells, that waste material includes spent organelles, toxic clumps of proteins, and pathogens. The researchers made their discovery by studying mice that were deficient for a gene required for the tightly controlled process of...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'karpos', fruit.
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