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2011-12-26 07:22:05

Biologists use technology to observe individual differences in fruit flies To track what they can't see, pilots look to the green glow of the radar screen. Now biologists monitoring gene expression, individual variation, and disease have a glowing green indicator of their own: Brown University biologists have developed a "radar" for tracking ADAR, a crucial enzyme for editing RNA in the nervous system. The advance gives scientists a way to view when and where ADAR is active in a living...

2011-09-16 11:26:27

A team of scientists at the CSIC has shown that temperature can play a critical role in the control of splicing. The team led by Josep Vilardell, ICREA scientist at the CSIC's Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona, has demonstrated that temperature, through its effects on RNA structure, can control how the genetic information will be processed. The results of this work are published this week in Molecular Cell. Hiding intronic cues For some time, scientists have been trying to...

2011-07-14 15:05:40

How the protein U2AF builds mRNA for protein production Scientists at the Technical University of Munich and the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen and along with their colleagues from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona have discovered how the U2AF protein enables the pre-mRNA* to be spliced to form the mRNA*, which serves as a template for protein synthesis in the body. Splicing requires the cooperation of different...

2011-04-07 22:12:14

Fetuses with defects in a molecular machine that edits information cells use to make proteins can develop a rare form of dwarfism, according to a new study led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center "“ Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC "“ James). The defect, triggered by a tiny gene mutation, causes microcephalic osteodysplastic primoridal dwarfism type 1 (MOPD1), a rare developmental disorder that...

2011-03-10 23:36:25

Lasers used to study splicing of pre-messenger RNA molecules From neurosurgery to bar code readers, lasers have been used in a myriad of applications since they were first introduced in the late 1950's. Now, with the work being done in Jeff Gelles' Lab at Brandeis University, researchers have developed a way to use lasers to study the splicing of pre-messenger RNA molecules, an essential process in creating proteins to sustain advanced organisms, including human life. This process of splicing...

2011-03-09 16:02:28

Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania explain how a class of RNA molecules is able to target the genetic building blocks that guide the functioning of a specific part of the nerve cell. Abnormalities at this site are in involved in epilepsy, neurodegenerative disease, and cognitive disorders. Their results are published this week in the journal Neuron. A team of researchers, led by James Eberwine, PhD, the Elmer Bobst Professor of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, and Junhyong...

2011-01-31 13:37:28

DNA was originally thought to have a single function:  to help cells make the proteins they need.  Any DNA that is not immediately required to produce proteins was written off as "junk" and deemed unworthy of study.  Recently, however, it has become clear that junk DNA performs a wide range of important tasks.  As a result, attention is shifting to asking why some organisms have so much of it and other organisms so little.  A particular puzzle is posed by so-called...

2010-11-18 16:32:57

Implications for brain diseases such as epilepsy, according to Penn study Cells have their own version of the cut-and-paste editing function called splicing. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have documented a novel form of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, which dictates a special form of a potassium channel protein in the outer membrane. The channel protein is found in the dendrites of hippocampus cells -- the seat of memory, learning, and spatial...

2010-06-09 13:53:57

A bacteria that lives in hot springs in Japan may help solve one of the mysteries of the early evolution of complex organisms, according to a study publishing next week in PLoS Biology. It may also be the key to 21st century biofuel production. Biochemists Alan Lambowitz and Georg Mohr began investigating Thermosynechococcus elongatus, a cyanobacterium that can survive at temperatures up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, after they noticed an unusually high percentage of the bacteria's genetic...

2010-04-27 18:58:45

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but it would no longer be a rose. If a grass is booted out of the grass family, where does it go? Leah Morris and Dr. Melvin Duvall from Northern Illinois University recently investigated the evolution of grasses, one of the most economic and ecologically important plant families, by sequencing the chloroplast DNA of an early diverging grass genus, Anomochloa, and comparing it to the chloroplasts of other grasses. Their results are published in the...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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