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2011-08-15 12:18:10

Salmonella cells have hijacked the protein-building process to maintain their ability to cause illness, new research suggests. Scientists say that these bacteria have modified what has long been considered typical cell behavior by using a beta form of an amino acid "“ as opposed to an alpha form "“ during the act of making proteins. Beta versions of amino acids occur in nature under rare and specific circumstances, but have never been observed as part of protein synthesis. Before...

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2011-08-05 09:26:04

Scientists at the University of York, using an 'amino acid time capsule', have led the largest ever program to date the British Quaternary period, stretching back nearly three million years. It is the first widespread application of refinements of the 40-year-old technique of amino acid geochronology. The refined method, developed at York's BioArCh laboratories, measures the breakdown of a closed system of protein in fossil snail shells, and provides a method of dating archaeological and...

2011-08-02 07:02:40

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The ability to tag proteins with a green fluorescent light to watch how they behave inside cells so revolutionized the understanding of protein biology that it earned the scientific teams who developed the technique Nobel Prizes in 2008. Now, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a similar fluorescent tool that can track the mysterious workings of the various forms of cellular RNA. "These fluorescent RNAs offer us a tool that will be critical for...

2011-07-29 14:42:29

New technology called 'Spinach,' modeled after Nobel Prize"“winning green fluorescent protein The ability to tag proteins with a green fluorescent light to watch how they behave inside cells so revolutionized the understanding of protein biology that it earned the scientific teams who developed the technique Nobel Prizes in 2008. Now, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a similar fluorescent tool that can track the mysterious workings of the various forms of...

2011-06-27 14:40:50

By accounting for the floppy, fickle nature of RNA, researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Irvine have developed a new way to search for drugs that target this important molecule. Their work appears in the June 26 issue of Nature Chemical Biology. Once thought to be a passive carrier of genetic information, RNA now is understood to perform a number of other vital roles in the cell, and its malfunction can lead to disease. The versatile molecule also is...

2011-05-31 16:09:27

A large number of illnesses stem from misfolded proteins, molecules composed of amino acids. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now studied protein misfolding using a special spectroscopic technique. Misfolding, as they report in Nature, is more frequent if the sequence of the amino acids in the neighboring protein domains is very similar. Proteins are the main molecular machines in our bodies. They perform a wide range of functions, from digesting and processing nutrients,...

2011-05-31 12:36:52

Researchers pinpoint a small RNA that spurs cells to manufacture a particular splice variant of a key neuronal protein, potentially promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD) or other types of neurodegeneration. The study appears in the May 30 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org). Like a movie with an alternate ending, a protein can come in more than one version. Although scientists have identified numerous proteins and RNAs that influence alternative splicing, they haven't deciphered...

2011-05-31 06:47:52

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Researchers pinpoint a small RNA that triggers cells to manufacture a particular splice variant of a key neuronal protein, potentially promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD) or other types of neurodegeneration. Like a movie with an alternate ending, a protein can come in more than one version. Although scientists have identified numerous proteins and RNAs that influence alternative splicing, they haven't deciphered how cells fine-tune the process to produce specific...

2011-05-20 07:59:07

Packing flaws create 'sticky,' interactive proteins that spread in small populations Over four billion years of evolution, plants and animals grew far more complex than their single-celled ancestors. But a new comparison of proteins shared across species finds that complex organisms, including humans, have accumulated structural weaknesses that may have actually launched the long journey from microbe to man. The study, published in Nature, suggests that the random introduction of errors into...

2011-05-18 16:32:56

How do genes control us? This fundamental question of life still remains elusive despite decades of research. Genes are blueprints for proteins, but it is the proteins that actually carry out vital functions in the body for maintaining life. Diseases such as cancer are not only characterized by altered genes, but also by disturbed protein production. But how is protein production controlled? Researchers of the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch of the Helmholtz...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'