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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest LSm Stories

2010-11-15 13:38:29

Crystal structure shows how RNA, one of biology's oldest catalysts, is made In today's world of sophisticated organisms proteins are the stars. They are the indispensible catalytic workhorses, carrying out the processes essential to life. But long, long ago ribonucleic acid (RNA) reigned supreme. Now Northwestern University researchers have produced an atomic picture that shows how two of these very old molecules interact with each other. It is a rare glimpse of the transition from an...

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2010-11-11 10:32:03

Scientists have observed, for the first time, an intermediate stage in the chemical process that repairs DNA methylation damage and regulates many important biological functions that impact health conditions such as obesity, cancer and diabetes. The observations focused on the bacterial DNA repair protein AlkB, but the results also apply to several proteins in the same family that play key regulatory roles in humans. Armed with these results, researchers may one day develop methods for...

2010-11-04 17:40:20

Telomerase is an enzyme that maintains the DNA at the ends of our chromosomes, known as telomeres. In the absence of telomerase activity, every time our cells divide, our telomeres get shorter. This is part of the natural aging process, as most cells in the human body do not have much active telomerase. Eventually, these DNA-containing telomeres, which act as protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, become so short that the cells die. But in some cells, such as cancer cells, telomerase,...

2010-10-06 17:18:38

Novelty and complexity are the result of small evolutionary changes, University of Oregon researchers show By reconstructing an ancient protein and tracing how it subtly changed over vast periods of time to produce scores of modern-day descendants, scientists have shown how evolution tinkers with early forms and leaves the impression that complexity evolved many times. Human and other animal cells contain thousands of proteins with functions so diverse and complex that it is often difficult...

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2010-10-05 07:32:36

The enigmatic Möbius strip has long been an object of fascination, appearing in numerous works of art, most famously a woodcut by the Dutchman M.C. Escher, in which a tribe of ants traverses the form's single, never-ending surface. Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University's and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, led by Hao Yan and Yan Liu, have now reproduced the shape on a remarkably tiny scale, joining up braid-like segments of DNA to create Möbius...

2010-09-15 19:11:46

Albert Einstein College of Medicine findings mark key advance in using microscopy to reveal secrets of living cells By constructing a microscope apparatus that achieves resolution never before possible in living cells, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine  of Yeshiva University have illuminated the molecular interactions that occur during one of the most important "trips" in all of biology: the journey of individual messenger Ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules from the...

2010-09-13 12:02:53

The findings could lead to new understanding of neurodegenerative diseases Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have solved a long-standing mystery of how cells conduct "quality control" to eliminate the toxic effects of a certain kind of error in protein production. The findings may lead to a better understanding of a host of neurodegenerative diseases. The research was published in an advance, online issue of the journal Nature on September 12, 2010. "It is exciting because we are...

2010-09-01 19:47:31

Bacteria tend to be more frugal when constructing proteins for use outside of the cell versus internally, saving their energy for synthesizing compounds that can be recycled, according to research published in the current issue of the online journal mBioâ“ž¢. "Because extracellular proteins are lost to the environment and not recycled like other cellular proteins, they present a greater burden on the cell, as their amino acids cannot be reutilized during...

2010-08-12 15:49:54

Within a dangerous stomach bacterium, Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed, they report in the August 13 issue of the journal Science. To the surprise of researchers, this RNA complex seems to play a critical role in the ability of the organism to infect human cells, a job carried out almost exclusively by proteins produced from DNA's instruction manual. "What these cells are doing is using ancient RNA technology...

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2010-06-15 11:04:30

Researchers at University of Ghent, Belgium, and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) develop a new procedure to identify the two extremes of protein molecules and their processing and maturing in in-vivo and ex-vivo massive proteomic studies. The research has been published online at Nature Methods, under the title of "Complementary Positional Proteomics for Screening of Endo- and Exoproteases". The world of proteins is one of the most complex and fundamental in living...