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2011-01-19 23:20:54

Scientists are reporting an advance in overcoming a major barrier to the use of the genetic material RNA in nanotechnology "” the field that involves building machines thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and now is dominated by its cousin, DNA. Their findings, which could speed the use of RNA nanotechnology for treating disease, appear in the monthly journal ACS Nano. Peixuan Guo and colleagues point out that DNA, the double-stranded genetic blueprint of life, and...

2011-01-12 16:35:26

Researchers report that they are the first to show in molecular detail how one gene evolved two competing functions that eventually split up "“ via gene duplication "“ to pursue their separate destinies. The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, validates a decades-old hypothesis about a key mechanism of evolution. The study also confirms the ancestry of a family of "antifreeze proteins" that helps the Antarctic eelpout survive in the frigid waters of the...

2011-01-10 15:21:15

Scientists have invented a way to "Ëœwatch' proteins fold "” in less than thousandths of a second -- into the elaborate twisted shapes that determine their function. People have only 20,000 to 30,000 genes (the number is hotly contested), but they use those genes to make more than 2 million proteins. It's the protein molecules that domost of the work in the human cell. After all, the word protein comes from the Greek prota, meaning "of primary importance." Proteins are...

2011-01-07 18:47:37

A Jackson Laboratory research team led by Professor Patsy Nishina, Ph.D., has identified a mutation in a gene that's essential for correct protein-processing in cells. Defects in protein folding are associated with a variety of abnormalities and diseases. Cells don't come prefabricated, with pieces plunked down and tacked together like modular homes offloaded from trucks. The structural proteins that give cells shape, tubulin and actin (think beams and girders), are themselves subject to...

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2011-01-06 14:44:47

By Kitta MacPherson, Princeton University In a groundbreaking achievement that could help scientists "build" new biological systems, Princeton University scientists have constructed for the first time artificial proteins that enable the growth of living cells. The team of researchers created genetic sequences never before seen in nature, and the scientists showed that they can produce substances that sustain life in cells almost as readily as proteins produced by nature's own toolkit. "What...

2010-12-23 02:18:44

Findings could point to possible new target for cancer studies, potential treatments A scientist from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute has discovered a molecular switch that controls the synthesis of ribosomes. Ribosomes are the large machineries inside all living cells that produce proteins, the basic working units of any cell. These new findings offer a novel target for potential treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer. The study is published in the December...

2010-12-20 13:38:54

The nucleus of a cell, which houses the cell's DNA, is also home to many structures that are not bound by a membrane but nevertheless exist as distinct compartments. A team of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists has discovered that the formation of one of these nuclear subcompartments, called paraspeckles, is triggered by a pair of RNA molecules, which also maintain its structural integrity. As reported in a study published online ahead of print on December 19 in Nature Cell...

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2010-12-15 11:07:28

Interactions between proteins are at the heart of cellular processes, and those interactions depend on the interfaces where the direct physical contact occurs. A new study published this week suggests that there may be roughly a thousand structurally-distinct protein-protein interfaces "“ and that their structures depend largely on the simple physics of the proteins. Believed to be the first systematic study of the nature of the protein-protein interfaces, the research could help...

2010-12-06 14:05:24

Einstein College of Medicine research shows certain genes are 'clueless' Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have made an unexpected finding about the method by which certain genes are activated. Contrary to what researchers have traditionally assumed, genes that work with other genes to build protein structures do not act in a coordinated way but instead are turned on randomly. The surprising discovery, described in the December 5 online edition of Nature...

2010-12-02 21:59:09

People in a jetliner act and feel one way when crammed together like sardines in a can. But they have quite a different mindset when the middle seat is empty and they have more personal space. Scientists are pursuing a remarkable parallel that exists among the proteins involved in health and disease inside living cells. The cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine, focuses on how the study of proteins crowded together inside...


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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