Quantcast

Latest LSm Stories

2012-10-11 12:57:01

Experimental studies of ancestral visual pigments and their mutational variants cast doubt on simplifying assumptions widely used in evolutionary studies of proteins A key assumption that biologists have relied on widely over the past quarter-century in studying the evolution of protein molecules is "highly questionable," according to an article published in the November issue of BioScience. The article, by Shozo Yokoyama, a vision researcher at Emory University, summarizes experimental...

2012-10-08 13:59:56

A University of Michigan biophysical chemist and his colleagues have discovered the smallest and fastest-known molecular switches made of RNA, the chemical cousin of DNA. The researchers say these rare, fleeting structures are prime targets for the development of new antiviral and antibiotic drugs. Once believed to merely store and relay genetic information, RNA is now known to be a cellular Swiss Army knife of sorts, performing a wide variety of tasks and morphing into myriad shapes....

2012-08-20 16:30:14

Scientists have cracked a molecular code that may open the way to destroying or correcting defective gene products, such as those that cause genetic disorders in humans. The code determines the recognition of RNA molecules by a superfamily of RNA-binding proteins called pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins. When a gene is switched on, it is copied into RNA.  This RNA is then used to make proteins that are required by the organism for all of its vital functions.  If a gene...

2012-07-20 01:50:16

New research has shown that a protein does something that scientists once thought impossible: It unfolds itself and refolds into a completely new shape. This protein, called RfaH, activates genes that allow bacterial cells to launch a successful attack on their host, causing disease. The researchers determined that RfaH starts out in its alpha form, composed of two spiral shapes. Later, in its beta form, it resembles spokes on a wheel and is called a barrel. When RfaH refolds, it...

2012-07-05 23:58:43

The findings have implications for the development of new anti-cancer drugs Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a series of intricate biochemical steps that lead to the successful production of proteins, the basic working units of any cell. The study, which appears in the July 6, 2012 edition of the journal Cell, sheds light on the assembly of a structure called the ribosome, a large and complex protein-producing machine inside all living...

2012-06-19 14:03:05

UCLA biochemists have mapped the structure of a key protein—RNA complex that is required for the assembly of telomerase, an enzyme important in both cancer and aging. The researchers found that a region at the end of the p65 protein that includes a flexible tail is responsible for bending telomerase's RNA backbone in order to create a scaffold for the assembly of other protein building blocks. Understanding this protein, which is found in a type of single-celled organism that lives...

2012-06-18 16:32:54

Alfonso Valencia's group discover proteins made by combining different genes in healthy cells and tissues To date this has been considered a rarity confined to anomalous processes like cancer The authors believe their finding opens a new line of research inquiry with multiple implications in Human Genomics and cancer Sequencing the human genome was just the first step. The next challenge is of the kind that makes history: to decode the genome, and understand how the information...

2012-06-11 21:50:23

Researchers work to untangle knots, slipknots in species separated by a billion years of evolution Strings of all kinds, when jostled, wind up in knots. It turns out that happens even when the strings are long strands of molecules that make up proteins. A new study by scientists at Rice University and elsewhere examines structures of proteins that not only twist and turn themselves into knots, but also form slipknots that, if anybody could actually see them, might look like shoelaces...

2012-06-11 14:00:30

Scientists at the Babraham Institute have gained a new understanding of how the growth of the placenta is regulated before birth, which has important implications for a healthy pregnancy. The research, published today (10 June) in the journal Nature Cell Biology shows that the controlled release of a specific molecule, called miR-675, slows down growth of the placenta before birth. RNA molecules are best known as the intermediary between the cell's DNA and the making of proteins necessary...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.