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Latest Organelles Stories

2012-07-04 22:48:34

Finding biocompatible carriers that can get drugs to their targets in the body involves significant challenges.  Beyond practical concerns of manufacturing and loading these vehicles, the carriers must work effectively with the drug and be safe to consume. Vesicles, hollow capsules shaped like double-walled bubbles, are ideal candidates, as the body naturally produces similar structures to move chemicals from one place to another. Finding the right molecules to assemble into capsules,...

2012-06-12 10:38:23

A small molecule developed at the Weizmann Institute prevents a cancer-causing message from entering the cell nucleus What´s good news in one setting might spell disaster in another. In cancer for instance, when a certain cell is commanded to grow and divide without restraint, it´s a welcome message for the cell itself but a tragedy for the person who harbors this cell in his or her body. Weizmann Institute scientists have managed to decipher and block one type of molecular...

2012-06-11 21:50:23

Researchers work to untangle knots, slipknots in species separated by a billion years of evolution Strings of all kinds, when jostled, wind up in knots. It turns out that happens even when the strings are long strands of molecules that make up proteins. A new study by scientists at Rice University and elsewhere examines structures of proteins that not only twist and turn themselves into knots, but also form slipknots that, if anybody could actually see them, might look like shoelaces...

2012-06-01 09:27:49

New study creates cells that act like circuits, a step toward developing cellular computers Johns Hopkins scientists have engineered cells that behave like AND and OR Boolean logic gates, producing an output based on one or more unique inputs. This feat, published in the May issue of Nature Chemical Biology, could eventually help researchers create computers that use cells as tiny circuits. Study leader Takanari Inoue, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and...

2012-05-25 10:07:17

Our cells breathe and digest, as does the organism as a whole. They indeed use oxygen to draw the energy contained in the nutrients they ingest, before discarding the waste, as carbon dioxide and water. Glucose is a preferred nutrient for the cells. Its digestion occurs in the cytoplasm, in the absence of oxygen, and leads to the formation of pyruvate and a small amount of energy. Pyruvate is then carried into mitochondria, the cell's power plants, for a complete burning, thus providing a...

2012-05-10 23:14:49

Ribonucleoprotein granules exit the nucleus via a budding mechanism akin to herpes-type viruses The movement of genetic materials, such as RNA and ribosomes, from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is a critical component in a cell's ability to make the proteins necessary for essential biological functions. Until now, it was believed the nuclear pore complex was the sole pathway between the cell nucleus and cytoplasm for these materials. New evidence published in Cell by Vivian Budnik, PhD,...

2012-05-10 13:55:04

Journal of Biological Chemistry: Mechanism of bacterial transport system published In order to interact with the environment, bacteria secrete a whole arsenal of proteins. Researchers have now found how one of the transportation systems used for this purpose — the type VI secretion system — works for the single-celled organism Agrobacterium tumefaciens. They have identified the relevant transport proteins and their energy suppliers. With colleagues at the Academia Sinica in...

2012-05-09 14:47:53

This family comprises a cluster of six genes that may be altered in neurological conditions, such as Parkinson´s and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease A team headed by Eduardo Soriano at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has published a study in Nature Communications describing a new family of six genes whose function regulates the movement and position of mitochondria in neurons. Many neurological conditions, including Parkinson´s and various types of...

2012-05-09 14:36:09

Tiny organelles called primary cilia hold the key to combat inflammation Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have found a new therapeutic target to combat inflammation. The research, published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, revealed tiny organelles called primary cilia are important for regulating inflammation. The findings could lead to potential therapies for millions of people who suffer from arthritis. Dr Martin Knight who led the research at...

2012-05-01 16:26:09

High-powered microscopes reveal workings of the cell -- results could impact treatment of Down syndrome, lissencephaly (a brain formation disorder) or cancer Scientists using high-powered microscopes have made a stunning observation of the architecture within a cell — and identified for the first time how the architecture changes during the formation of gametes, also known as sex cells, in order to successfully complete the process. The findings by the international team led by...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'