Until now, researchers had only been able to study two parts of the vitamin D receptor at close range. The new 3D model obtained by a team in France gives researchers key information on the 3D structure and action mechanism of the receptor, which is crucial in several areas of pharmaceutical research.
Engineers at Brown University have designed a biological device that can measure glucose concentrations in human saliva. The technique could eliminate the need for diabetics to draw blood to check their glucose levels. The biochip uses plasmonic interferometers and could be used to measure a range of biological and environmental substances.
Calcium ions moving through cellular channels act as intracellular messengers, relaying information that regulates the activity of the proteins that control many critical processes of life and death. Scientists at RIKEN Brain Science Institute have built a new model that explains the molecular changes that open and close the internal membrane channels for calcium ions.
By tethering a disease-fighting protein in our teardrops to a tiny transistor, University of California, Irvine scientists have discovered exactly how it destroys dangerous bacteria. This protein has “jaws” that latch on and chomp through rows of cell walls like someone hungrily devouring an ear of corn.
An elegant approach to synthesizing amphotericin B, which has been used extensively as an antifungal for more than 50 years, has allowed researchers to learn its elusive mode of action. The finding may change drug development directions and improve antifungal treatments, but there is still a downside to the drug.
Until now, methods to obtain highly detailed anatomical images of whole brains have been painstakingly slow and available only to a handful of specialized research teams. Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have adapted two-photon microscopy to open 3D whole brain mapping to a much wider field of researchers.
IBM scientists have developed a flexible, non-contact microfluidic probe made from silicon that can aid researchers and pathologists to investigate critical tissue samples accurately for drug discovery and disease diagnostics.
Biotechnology company Life Technologies Corp. announced it has developed a machine to decode an individual's DNA in a day for $1,000, a long-sought price goal for making the genome useful for medical care.
Scientists in a Harvard University lab have invented a tiny device designed to read the minute electrical changes produced when DNA strands are passed through tiny holes—called nanopores—in an electrically charged membrane. The device can do this quickly and cheaply offering the possibilities of millions of arrays.
Currently, physicians use computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans for melanoma cancer detection. Soon, however, commercial production of a device invented by University of Missouri researchers that measures melanoma using photoacoustics, or laser-induced ultrasound, will begin. The device will be available to scientists for cancer studies.
An innovative design for a small-volume molecular imaging instrument by University of Pittsburgh physicists has been hampered by a major question: How does one measure a magnetic field accurately using the resonance of single electrons within a diamond crystal? It’s too difficult with normal computers, but the scientists think they may now have an answer.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have created a living neon sign composed of millions of bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in unison like blinking light bulbs. The method involved attaching a fluorescent protein to the bacteria’s biological clock, and the effect can be tuned based on the presence of toxins and pollutants.
A technique that lets researchers monitor single cancer cells in real time as they float in liquid could help doctors study the breakaway tumor cells that cause cancer growth, or metastasis. The approach uses magnets to rotate cancer cells in a way that lets their spinning speed reveal their shape and status.
As part of research to understand how miniaturization affects brain size and behavior, Smithsonian researchers measured the central nervous systems of nine species of spiders, some smaller than the head of a pin. As the spiders get smaller, their brains get proportionally bigger, sometimes filling most of their body cavity and even their legs.
Those who want to be London taxi drivers must acquire what's known as "the Knowledge," learning 25,000 complicated streets over a time span of three to four years. According to a recent study, the experience actually changes the very structure of the trainees’ brains.
Fifty years after the pioneering discovery that a protein's 3D structure is determined solely by the sequence of its amino acids, an international team of researchers has taken a major step toward predicting the structure of a protein from its sequence alone.
In a new study, scientists at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have uncovered the mechanisms that help our brain to focus, or lose focus. Computational models and advanced imaging methods have identified the filters that efficiently route only relevant information to perceptual brain regions.
Once limited to fingerprints, faces, and irises, forensic scientists can now have shared access to a greatly expanded set of biometric recently approved and standardized by NIST. It is the first international standard for the exchange of DNA data.
People permanently confined to beds or wheelchairs frequently develop bed sores. A new smart cushioning system has been developed by researchers in Germany that is intended to eliminate long-term discomforts of sitting or lying by equalizing pressure selectively.
A recent study has found that protein, not sugar, activates the cells responsible for keeping us awake and burning calories. Researchers in the U.K. targeted with fluorescence brain cells that are connected with energy expenditure and found amino acids stimulated these neurons far more than other nutrients.
Using plasmas, researchers have found that sealed plastic bags can be modified at atmospheric pressure so that human cells can adhere to and reproduce on their walls. Cell culture bags of this kind may eventually replace the Petri dishes used today.
In recent years, scientists have learned that some patients believed to be in a vegetative state actually have some awareness. A new study suggests a portable brain monitor can detect signs of this, perhaps making it possible someday for doctors to easily double-check the diagnosis at the bedside.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a first-of-its-kind device, called MelaFind, that makes detailed digital images of skin growths and uses a computer to analyze them for signs of cancer, offering a sort of second opinion to doctors.
For most people, tanning seems as simple as lying in the sun for hours and ending up as bronzed as a Jersey Shore star. But scientists know it’s a lot more complicated than that, and a new study has revealed that melanocyte skin cells detect ultraviolet light using a photosensitive receptor previously thought to exist only in the eye.
Inspired by the skin of the sea cucumber, which is normally soft and flexible but becomes rigid in self defense, biomedical engineers at Case Western Reserve University have built a nanostructured polymer mesh that is firm enough to reach the cortex, but begins unlinking in water, causing less brain damage.