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2013-03-13 17:47:27

On the football field, the neophyte fan focuses on the receiver, whose daring catch and dash for the goal line captures the attention. However, focusing on that one player means the fan misses the contributions of the quarterback, the blockers and the other players who make that run happen. The same is true in the cell, where too often a single finding about one protein, enzyme or receptor seems to solve a problem. In an online report in the journal Nucleic Acids Research, Dr. Michael...

2013-02-25 10:43:41

Protein uses multiple means to help cells cope when oxygen runs low A protein known for turning on genes to help cells survive low-oxygen conditions also slows down the copying of new DNA strands, thus shutting down the growth of new cells, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Their discovery has wide-ranging implications, they say, given the importance of this copying – known as DNA replication – and new cell growth to many of the body's functions and in such diseases as cancer....

2013-02-15 15:19:12

Digesting lignin, a highly stable polymer that accounts for up to a third of biomass, is a limiting step to producing a variety of biofuels. Researchers at Brown have figured out the microscopic chemical switch that allows Streptomyces bacteria to get to work, breaking lignin down into its constituent parts. Microorganisms that can break down plant biomass into the precursors of biodiesel or other commodity chemicals might one day be used to produce alternatives to petroleum. But the...

2012-12-13 12:26:27

Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered a protein that does its best work with one foot in the grave. The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, focuses on the nontraditional lifestyle of Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor proteins, which could lead to new ways to treat cancer. “Retinoblastoma proteins are unique in that they use controlled destruction to do their jobs in a timely but restrained fashion,” said Liang...

How Fins Became Legs Revealed
2012-12-10 13:52:58

Cell Press Vertebrates' transition to living on land, instead of only in water, represented a major event in the history of life. Now, researchers reporting in the December issue of the Cell Press journal Developmental Cell provide new evidence that the development of hands and feet occurred through the gain of new DNA elements that activate particular genes. "First, and foremost, this finding helps us to understand the power that the modification of gene expression has on shaping our...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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