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Genomics & Proteomics
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The Lead

Stanford-based alzheimer's disease research center to be launched

July 7, 2015 12:25 pm | by Bruce Goldman, Stanford University | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health will fund the establishment of an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The award, totaling slightly more than $7.3 million, will be dispensed over a five-year period.

New technique maps elusive chemical markers on proteins

July 7, 2015 12:20 pm | by Salk Institute for Biological Studies | News | Comments

Salk researchers developed a new technique that allows scientists to better understand an...

Bioprinted “play dough” capable of cell and protein transfer

July 6, 2015 9:51 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a new technique allowing the bioprinting at ambient temperatures of a...

Why the BRCA gene resists cancer treatment

July 6, 2015 8:48 am | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Yale Univ. researchers have discovered why a key molecular assistant is crucial to the function...

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Discovery of nanotubes offers new clues about cell-to-cell communication

July 6, 2015 8:27 am | by Ian Demsky, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

When it comes to communicating with each other, some cells may be more "old school" than was previously thought. Certain types of stem cells use microscopic, thread-like nanotubes to communicate with neighboring cells, like a landline phone connection, rather than sending a broadcast signal, researchers have discovered.

Gas sensors promise advances in Earth science

July 6, 2015 8:19 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Rice Univ. has been awarded a $1 million grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop gas-releasing microbial sensors for the study of soil and marine life. The grant is in support of the work of biogeochemist Caroline Masiello, biochemist Jonathan Silberg, microbiologist George Bennett, synthetic biologist Matthew Bennett and graduate student Shelly Cheng.

Delivering drugs to the right place

June 26, 2015 6:37 am | by Julie Cohen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara | News | Comments

For the 12 million people worldwide who suffer from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an inherited disorder with no known cure, a new treatment option may be on the horizon. PKD is a condition in which clusters of benign cysts develop within the kidneys. They vary in size, and as they accumulate more and more fluid, they can become very large. Among the common complications of PKD are high blood pressure and kidney failure.

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A new means to killing harmful bacteria

June 25, 2015 11:50 am | by Helen Knight, MIT News correspondent | News | Comments

The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to public health, damaging our ability to fight deadly infections such as tuberculosis. What’s more, efforts to develop new antibiotics are not keeping pace with this growth in microbial resistance, resulting in a pressing need for new approaches to tackle bacterial infection.

Pinpointing the Onset of Metastasis

June 24, 2015 1:43 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Within the oncology community, a debate is raging about two controversial topics. The first is overdiagnosis. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, some leading cancer experts say that zealous screening is finding ever-smaller abnormalities that are being labeled cancer or precancer with little or no justification.

New tech could find tiny RNA cancer beacons in blood

June 23, 2015 11:40 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Cancerous tumors cast off tiny telltale genetic molecules known as microRNAs and Univ. of Michigan researchers have come up with an efficient way to detect them in blood. The researchers say their approach could open the door to a single, inexpensive blood test to simultaneously screen for multiple types of cancer, eventually perhaps more than 100 different kinds.

Unpacking the mysteries of bacterial cell cycle regulation

June 22, 2015 12:50 pm | by Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst | News | Comments

As part of their long-term investigation of regulatory factors in the bacterial cell cycle, molecular biologists at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst now report finding a surprising new role for one factor, CpdR, an adaptor that helps to regulate selective protein destruction, the main control mechanism of cell cycle progression in bacteria, at specific times.

New model to study HIV latency in brain cells

June 19, 2015 12:45 pm | by Helmholtz Zentrum Muchen | News | Comments

Over 35 million people worldwide are currently infected by HIV. Antiviral therapies can keep the virus from multiplying. However, no drug can cure infection so far, because various cell types continue to carry the virus in a latent, quiescent, state. Scientists have now established a model for latent HIV infection of brain cells. The researchers used this model to identify various compounds that affect latency of the virus in the brain.

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Wine-making shortcut gives bubbly a fruitier aroma

June 18, 2015 4:24 pm | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The best sparkling wines take months to ferment to perfection. In recent years, many winemakers have turned to commercial yeast products to give this process a boost. How they ultimately affect bubbly has been an open question, but now scientists have stepped in to find out. They report their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers successfully target Achilles heel of MERS virus

June 17, 2015 7:49 am | by Elizabeth K. Gardner, Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A Purdue Univ.-led team of researchers studying the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have found molecules that shut down the activity of an essential enzyme in the virus and could lead the way to better treatments for those infected.

Evolution study finds massive genome shift in one generation

June 15, 2015 10:53 am | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

A team of biologists from Rice Univ., the Univ. of Notre Dame and three other schools has discovered that an agricultural pest that began plaguing U.S. apple growers in the 1850s likely did so after undergoing extensive and genome-wide changes in a single generation. This new result came from applying the latest tools of genome sequencing and analysis to preserved evidence from experiments carried out at Notre Dame in the 1990s.

Cell density remains constant as brain shrinks with age

June 15, 2015 7:54 am | by Sharon Parmet, Univ. of Illinois Chicago | News | Comments

New, ultra-high-field magnetic resonance images of the brain by researchers at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago provide the most detailed images to date to show that while the brain shrinks with age, brain cell density remains constant. The study, of cognitively normal young and old adults, was published in NMR in Biomedicine.

Setting the circadian clock

June 15, 2015 7:46 am | by Kat J. McAlpine, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | Videos | Comments

Often referred to as the "body clock", circadian rhythm controls what time of day people are most alert, hungry, tired or physically primed due to a complex biological process that is not unique to humans. Circadian rhythms, which oscillate over a roughly 24–hr cycle in adaptation to the Earth's rotation, have been observed in most living things on the planet, and are responsible for regulating many aspects of organisms' functions.

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Scientists map surface of immune cells

June 15, 2015 7:37 am | by Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen | News | Comments

The immune system must constantly adapt to its environment in order to protect a body effectively. The so-called T cells are an important example in this regard. One of their functions is to form the immune system's "memory". Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technische Universität München recently examined the surface of precursors of these T cells and identified previously unknown proteins there.

Gene variants linked to MS disrupt key regulator of inflammation

June 11, 2015 10:49 am | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

With genetic roots of many autoimmune diseases pinpointed, scientists are zeroing in on the variety of molecular mechanisms triggered by these harmful variants. A team led by Yale School of Medicine researchers has implicated a central regulator of inflammation as a cause of many cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as ulcerative colitis.

Longstanding problem put to rest

June 11, 2015 9:51 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Comparing the genomes of different species is the basis of a great deal of modern biology. DNA sequences that are conserved across species are likely to be functionally important, while variations between members of the same species can indicate different susceptibilities to disease. The basic algorithm for determining how much two sequences of symbols have in common is now more than 40 years old.

Fragile X proteins involved in proper neuron development

June 11, 2015 8:31 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited intellectual disability and the greatest single genetic contributor to autism. Unlocking the mechanisms behind fragile X could make important revelations about the brain. In a new study, researchers from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison show that two proteins implicated in fragile X play a crucial role in the proper development of neurons in mice.

“Protein map” reveals traffic of life in a cell

June 8, 2015 8:20 am | by Jovana Drinjakovic, Univ. of Toronto | Videos | Comments

Protein locations in a cell have been recorded in unprecedented detail as part of a “protein map” developed by Univ. of Toronto scientists. The new map allows researchers to look much more closely into what happens in a cell when disease strikes and will also help scientists determine better treatments.

Researchers edit plant DNA using mechanism evolved in bacteria

June 5, 2015 10:36 am | by James Hataway, Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of Georgia have used a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas to modify the genome of a tree species for the first time. Their research, published online in New Phytologist, opens the door to more rapid and reliable gene editing of plants. By mutating specific genes in Populus, the researchers reduced the concentrations of two naturally occurring plant polymers.

A new technique for blueprinting cell membrane proteins

June 5, 2015 8:17 am | by Trinity College Dublin | News | Comments

Biochemists from Trinity College Dublin have devised a new technique that will make the difficult but critical job of blueprinting certain proteins considerably faster, easier and cheaper. The breakthrough will make a big splash in the field of drug discovery and development, where precise protein structure blueprints can help researchers understand how individual proteins work.

How dividing cells end up the same size

June 5, 2015 8:03 am | by Ken Kingery, Duke Univ. | Videos | Comments

There aren't any giants or midgets when it comes to the cells in your body, and now Duke Univ. scientists think they know why. A new study appearing in Nature shows that a cell's initial size determines how much it will grow before it splits into two. This finding goes against recent publications suggesting cells always add the same amount of mass, with some random fluctuations, before beginning division.

Decaying RNA molecules tell a story

June 5, 2015 7:56 am | by European Molecular Biology Laboratory | News | Comments

Once messenger RNA (mRNA) has done its job—conveying the information to produce the proteins necessary for a cell to function—it is no longer required and is degraded. Scientists have long thought that the decay started after translation was complete and that decaying RNA molecules provided little biological information.

Chemists weigh intact virus mixture with mass spectrometer

June 3, 2015 7:41 am | by Jocelyn Duffy, Carnegie Mellon Univ. | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon Univ. chemists have separated and weighed virus particles using mass spectrometry (MS). This is the first time that researchers successfully used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS to analyze a mixture of intact virus particles.

Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

June 2, 2015 8:06 am | by Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, Univ. of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.

Yeast protein network could provide insights into obesity

June 1, 2015 11:20 am | by Ker Than, Caltech | News | Comments

A team of biologists and a mathematician have identified and characterized a network composed of 94 proteins that work together to regulate fat storage in yeast. The findings, detailed in PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that yeast could serve as a valuable test organism for studying human obesity.

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