A new Northwestern University brain-machine technology delivers messages from the brain directly to the muscles—bypassing the spinal cord—to enable voluntary and complex movement of a paralyzed hand. The device could eventually be tested on, and perhaps aid, paralyzed patients.
By developing software that uses 3D models of proteins involved in cystic fibrosis, a team of scientists at Duke University has identified several new molecules that may ease the symptoms of the disease.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have provided the first evidence that engineered nanoparticles are able to accumulate within plants and damage their DNA. They have shown that nanoparticles of cupric oxide, a common compound, can enter plant root cells and generate mutagenic DNA base lesions.
Striking an estimated 1 million Americans each year, kidney stones produce an excruciating pain that is among the worst known to man (or woman). Some are more prone to developing the condition than others, but until recent research on kidneys in mice the cause of the stones remained a mystery. The culprit is in the genes.
In a recent study, a Pacific National Northwest Laboratory team led by 2010 Scientist of the Year Richard D. Smith at least doubled the number of proteins found to be subject to a type of regulation based on a sugar known as O -GlcNAc. The finding is potentially crucial to an understanding of the type of regulatory system that allows protein tangling associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
In the first successful study of intact baleen whale head anatomy using computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, biologists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have now learned that baleen whales have specialized fats leading to their auditory system. It’s a sophisticated hearing adaptation previously associated only with toothed whales.
A new quantum mechanical-based biosensor designed by a team at University of California, Santa Barbara offers potential for detecting biomolecules at ultra-low concentrations. The research team’s technology beats the fundamental limits of a conventional field-effect transistor (FET) designing a Tunnel-FET sensor that is faster and four orders of magnitude more sensitive.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have discovered promising anti-diabetic substance in the amorfrutin class of natural substances, which are found in licorice and Amorpha fruticosa bush found in North America. The binding of these molecules, the scientists say, reduces the plasma concentration of certain fatty acids and glucose associated with diabetes or fatty liver conditions.
The simple answer is auxin, a plant hormone. But the transport of auxin through the plant is a complex and little-understood process. Recent research in Europe has identified an important new link in this process, finding that auxin is stored in specific sites.
A study of the expression of approximately 1,000 genes in the brains of individual humans and mice has shed light on the human brain’s structure and its high degree of similarity among humans. Only 5% of the nearly 1,000 genes surveyed in three particular regions show differences in expression between humans, and even compared mice there is great consistency.
Chloroplasts were once living beings in their own right, before being swallowed up by larger cells and used as solar power generators. Until recent research that fast-forwarded the lengthy evolutionary process, the mechanism for this change were not understand. According this new work, chloroplast genes take a direct route to the cell nucleus, where the gene function can be correctly read despite the structural differences in the DNA.
New research using a spectroscopic technique called circular dichroism has analyzed an oxygen-carrying protein myoglobin that can refold in an environment that is almost completely devoid of water molecules. The findings are challenging one of the key beliefs in chemistry: that proteins are dependent on water to survive and function.
An international team of scientists conducting a global search for hypervirulent strains of Salmonella , the most common cause of infection, hospitalization, and death due to foodborne illness in the U.S., have developed a way to force the normally stealthy bacteria to reveal its biological weaponry before infection.
In the past, biologists trying to explain why some species have faster-changing genomes than others have focused on features such as body size, generation time, fecundity, and lifespan. The problem with previous tests is that they based their measurements of metabolism on animals at rest, rather than during normal physical activity. A recent study of frogs have found the correlation between fitness and genomes.
Technological advances have produced implantable, electronic solutions for dosing and therapeutic functions in humans. However, these medical devices use probes, actuators, and electronic controls that need power. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies have recently succeeded in wirelessly transmitting power from a portable transmitter module to a receiver, offering the possibility of wirelessly-powered medical devices.
Using genetic engineering techniques, researchers in Germany have generated cells that emit green fluorescent light when stimulated by the binding of a cognate antigen. Previously antigens, which induce destructive immune responses, could not be identified directly without some prior knowledge of their structure.
After running on 48 computer processors for four weeks and completing 32 billion searches, a computer program designed to compare multiple genomes has revealed identical long strings of genetic code shared by different plant species. Previous efforts had revealed identical codes in animals, but this is the first to uncover the phenomenon in plants.
Small-angle neutron scattering instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can be used for a surprising variety of biological studies. Recently, researchers in The Netherlands successfully analyzed and characterized the internal protein structure and composite particles of a cow named Martha.
Over the years, experts have claimed human use of fire from as long as 1.5 million years ago, but until recent excavation and analysis work at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa the claims have only been conjecture. Researchers say that while the new evidence is not “rock solid”, the fires that once burned deep inside the cave offer pretty strong evidence.
Today, scientists map entire genomes mostly for research, but as genome mapping gets faster and cheaper, scientists and consumers have wondered about possible broader use: Would finding all the glitches hidden in your DNA predict which diseases you'll face decades later? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, say experts.
Using high-throughput gene sequencing techniques, scientists studying 1,600-year-old cotton from the banks of the Nile have found what they believe is the first evidence that punctuated evolution has occurred in a major crop group within the relatively short history of plant domestication.
On Friday, the U.S. government's biosecurity advisers said they support publishing research studies showing how scientists made new easy-to-spread forms of bird flu because the studies, now revised, don't reveal details bioterrorists could use. The announcement could end debate sparked by the government’s request last December that scientists refrain from publishing all the details of their work.
From an extensive study that grew out of an initial research cruise to the Gulf of Mexico in October 2010, scientists have published the first evidence of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea corals. The team used underwater vehicles and 2D gas chromatography to determine precisely the source of the petroleum hydrocarbons they found.
Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology report they have created the first full 3-D images of B12 and its partner molecules twisting and contorting as part of a crucial reaction called methyltransfer. The reaction is crucial to biological systems and has implications for fuel development.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new way to analyze proteins that doesn't require any pretreatment. The technique is extremely fast, allowing scientists to see, for the first time, how a protein changes its shape over picoseconds.