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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Latest Nature Chemical Biology Stories

2014-04-16 12:13:16

Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery – and in the process have found a potentially less toxic way to fight invasive fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people a year. The researchers say they now understand the mechanism of action of amphotericin, an antifungal drug that has been in use for more than 50 years – even though it is nearly as toxic to human cells as it is to the microbes it attacks. A report of the new findings appears in Nature Chemical...

2013-10-14 11:25:10

Discover chemical compounds that block the ability of bacteria to make vitamins and amino acids Researchers at McMaster University are addressing the crisis in drug resistance with a novel approach to find new antibiotics. "We have developed technology to find new antibiotics using laboratory conditions that mimic those of infection in the human body," said Eric Brown, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. He is the lead author of the paper published in...

2013-08-05 10:05:27

A nano-machine cell killer: EPFL researchers decipher the attack strategy of certain bacteria, including the infamous Staphylococcus aureus This is a veritable mechanics of aggression on the nanoscale. Certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, have the ability to deploy tiny darts. This biological weapon kills the host cell by piercing the membrane. Researchers at EPFL have dismantled, piece by piece, this intriguing little machine and found an assembly of proteins that, in...

2013-07-22 11:12:34

Gladstone-led study also finds target that boosts protein clearance, prolongs cell life Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's. Names forever linked to what they represent: diseases that ravage the brain's neurons and leave entire regions to wither and die. These and other so-called neurodegenerative diseases are often associated with the buildup of toxic proteins that lead to the death of neurons. But now, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that the progression of...

2013-02-06 12:22:35

A tiny weed reveals an unexpected chemical connection between hormone pathways You might think you have nothing in common with mustard except hotdogs. Yet based on research in a plant from the mustard family, Salk scientists have discovered a possible explanation for how organisms, including humans, directly regulate chemical reactions that quickly adjust the growth of organs. These findings overturn conventional views of how different body parts coordinate their growth, shedding light on...

2012-12-24 15:17:26

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified two molecules that play an important role in the survival and production of nerve cells in the brain, including nerve cells that produce dopamine. The discovery, which is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, may be significant in the long term for the treatment of several diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. The same scientists have previously shown that receptors known as "liver X receptors" or LXR, are necessary...

2012-12-03 16:53:17

UCSF scientists use tiny zebrafish to screen for drugs to help control obesity, diabetes, other conditions A tiny, translucent zebrafish that glows green when its liver makes glucose has helped an international team of researchers identify a compound that regulates whole-body metabolism and appears to protect obese mice from signs of metabolic disorders. Led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the work demonstrates how a fish smaller than a grain of rice...

2012-10-22 22:19:48

Biochemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a genetic sequence that can alter its host gene's activity in response to cellular energy levels. The scientists have found this particular energy-sensing switch in bacterial genes, which could make it a target for a powerful new class of antibiotics. If similar energy-sensing switches are also identified for human genes, they may be useful for treating metabolism-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease....

2012-07-09 10:07:58

Humans have known for centuries that copper is a potent weapon against infection. New research shows that the bacteria that cause serious urinary tract infections "know" this, too, and steal copper to prevent the metal from being used against them. Blocking this thievery with a drug may significantly improve patients' chances of fighting off infections, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings appear online July 8 in Nature Chemical...

2012-06-11 11:53:36

Technique will help scientists understand how cells' common sugar molecules influence inflammation, cancer metastasis, and related conditions Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed chemical compounds that can make key modifications to common sugar molecules ("glycans"), which are found on the surface of all cells in our body. The new study presents powerful new tools for studying these molecules' function, for example in cell signaling and immunity, and for...