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Latest Organelles Stories

2012-04-02 09:27:32

IFITM3 protein is critical to the structure and function of cellular machinery involved in blocking virus production Scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine have discovered that a mouse protein called IFITM3 contributes to the body's defense against some types of viral infections by binding to an enzyme responsible for regulating the pH of a cell's waste disposal system. This finding, published in the March 30, 2012, issue of Innate Immunity, sheds light on the cellular...

2012-03-21 15:30:04

Why does inhaling anesthetics cause unconsciousness? New insights into this century-and-a-half-old question may spring from research performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Scientists from NIST and the National Institutes of Health have found hints that anesthesia may affect the organization of fat molecules, or lipids, in a cell's outer membrane–potentially altering the ability to send signals along nerve cell membranes. "A better fundamental...

2012-03-21 10:28:57

A collaborative study by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, and published March 20 in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology, has discovered that mutations in the same gene that encodes part of the vital machinery of the mitochondrion can cause neurodegenerative disorders in both fruit flies and humans. Vafa Bayat in Dr. Hugo Bellen's lab at BCM, examined a series of mutant fruit flies for defects leading to...

2012-03-13 10:57:07

A University of Michigan cell biologist and his colleagues have identified a potential drug that speeds up trash removal from the cell's recycling center, the lysosome. The finding suggests a new way to treat rare inherited metabolic disorders such as Niemann-Pick disease and mucolipidosis Type IV, as well as more common neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, said Haoxing Xu, who led a U-M team that reported its findings March 13 in the online, multidisciplinary...

2012-03-12 15:02:25

Researchers at the UCLA stem cell center and the departments of chemistry and biochemistry and pathology and laboratory medicine have identified, for the first time, a generic way to correct mutations in human mitochondrial DNA by targeting corrective RNAs, a finding with implications for treating a host of mitochondrial diseases. Mutations in the human mitochondrial genome are implicated in neuromuscular diseases, metabolic defects and aging. There currently are no methods to successfully...

2012-03-01 13:11:47

Working in the emerging field of systems biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers mathematically predicted how bacteria that cause food poisoning hijack a cell's sense of direction and then confirmed those predictions in living cells. The study proposed a new model to explain how mammalian cells establish the sense of direction necessary to move, as well as the mechanism that a disease-causing form of E. coli bacteria employ to hijack that ability. Cells need to orient...

2012-03-01 11:08:15

Mitochondria -- subunits inside cells that produce energy -- have long been thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease. Now Mayo Clinic researchers using genetic mouse models have discovered that mitochondria in the brain are dysfunctional early in the disease. The findings appear in the journal PLoS ONE. The group looked at mitochondria in three mouse models, each using a different gene shown to cause familial, or early-onset, Alzheimer's disease. The specific mitochondria changes...

2012-02-28 11:47:38

The major difference between plant and animal cells is the photosynthetic process, which converts light energy into chemical energy. When light isn't available, energy is generated by breaking down carbohydrates and sugars, just as it is in animal and some bacterial cells. Two cellular organelles are responsible for these two processes: the chloroplasts for photosynthesis and the mitochondria for sugar breakdown. New research from Carnegie's Eva Nowack and Arthur Grossman has opened a window...

2012-02-23 13:12:13

Sugar, cholesterol, phosphates, zinc — a healthy body is amazingly good at keeping such vital nutrients at appropriate levels within its cells. From an engineering point of view, one all-purpose model of pump on the surface of a cell should suffice to keep these levels constant: When the concentration of a nutrient, say, sugar, drops inside the cell, the pump mechanism could simply go into higher gear until the sugar levels are back to normal. Yet strangely enough, such cells let in...

2012-02-21 15:10:48

Genome analysis of “living fossil” sheds light on the evolution of plants Atmospheric oxygen really took off on our planet about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event. At this key juncture of our planet´s evolution, species had either to learn to cope with this poison that was produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria or they went extinct. It now seems strange to think that the gas that sustains much of modern life had such a distasteful beginning....


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'