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Latest Melanosome Stories

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2010-01-27 15:41:43

The color of some feathers on dinosaurs and early birds has been identified for the first time, reports a paper published in Nature this week. The research found that the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx had simple bristles "“ precursors of feathers "“ in alternate orange and white rings down its tail, and that the early bird Confuciusornis had patches of white, black and orange-brown coloring. Future work will allow precise mapping of colors and patterns across the whole bird....

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2009-08-26 07:40:00

Known for their wide variety of vibrant plumage, birds have evolved various chemical and physical mechanisms to produce these beautiful colors over millions of years. A team of paleontologists and ornithologists led by Yale University has now discovered evidence of vivid iridescent colors in feather fossils more than 40 million years old. The finding, published online August 26 in Biology Letters, signifies the first evidence of a preserved color-producing nanostructure in a fossilized...

2009-08-25 15:02:27

Manipulating the functions of melanosomes--the organelles in pigment-producing cells--may enhance the activity of anticancer drugs used against melanoma, according to a new study published online August 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.To examine the role of melanosomes in the sensitivity of malignant melanoma to chemotherapeutic agents, Kevin Chen, Ph.D., Vincent Hearing, Ph.D., Michael M. Gottesman, M.D., of the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute...

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2008-07-09 12:10:00

Scientists believe they have gained new insights into determining the colors of 100 million-year-old fossilized plumage from dinosaurs. Researchers were able to determine the colors of ancient feathers found in Brazil displayed by "striking" bands of black and white, they reported in the journal Biology Letters. Before now, fossil experts were left with only a guess at the various colors exhibited by ancient birds and some dinosaurs. "It solves a conundrum," explained Professor Mike Benton...

2008-05-16 06:00:00

By Ward, Weslyn C Lamb, Erin C; Gooden, David; Chen, Xin; Burinsky, David J; Simon, John D ABSTRACT Three naturally occurring pyrrole acids were found in Sepia, human black hair, and bovine choroid and iris melanosomes using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry- pyrrole-2,3-dicarboxylic acid (PDCA), pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (PTCA) and pyrrole-2,3,4,5-tetracarboxylic acid (PTeCA). PDCA and PTCA are common markers quantified from oxidative degradation of...

2008-05-16 06:00:00

By Hu, Dan-Ning Simon, John D; Sarna, Tadeusz ABSTRACT The mammalian eye consists of several layers of pigmented tissues that contain melanin. The eye is a unique organ for pigment cell research because one can isolate and compare melanosomes from different tissues and embryonic origins. Retinal, iris and ciliary pigment epithelial cells are derived from the neural ectoderm, more specifically from the extremity of the embryonic optical cup, which is also the origin of the retina. In...

2005-12-15 15:22:40

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A little striped fish has helped scientists begin to solve one of the biggest mysteries in biology -- which genes are responsible for differences in human skin, eye and hair color. The large, international team of scientists reported on Thursday that they had found a gene that makes African zebrafish of a lighter-than-normal color -- and say the same gene helps explain the light-colored hair, skin and eyes of...

2005-12-15 15:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- A little striped fish has helped scientists begin to solve one of the biggest mysteries in biology -- which genes are responsible for differences in human skin, eye and hair color. The large, international team of scientists reported on Thursday that they had found a gene that makes African zebrafish of a lighter-than-normal color -- and say the same gene helps explain the light-colored hair, skin and eyes of many Europeans. While...

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2005-12-15 15:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- A little striped fish has helped scientists begin to solve one of the biggest mysteries in biology -- which genes are responsible for differences in human skin, eye and hair color. The large, international team of scientists reported on Thursday that they had found a gene that makes African zebrafish of a lighter-than-normal color -- and say the same gene helps explain the light-colored hair, skin and eyes of many Europeans. While...

2005-08-29 14:30:00

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Duke University chemist has found differences in how ultraviolet light affects the photochemistry of human pigments that he says may explain why red-haired people are more prone to skin cancer than those with black hair. Duke chemistry professor John Simon and his collaborators used a broadly-tunable ultraviolet laser and a special microscope to distinguish between the oxidation potentials of pigments of redheaded and black-haired people. Oxidation potentials measure how...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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