The microscopic technique, developed by researchers at Queen Mary Univ. of London, represents a major advance for cell biologists as it will allow them to investigate structures deep inside the cell, such as viruses, bacteria and parts of the nucleus in depth.
Writing in Nature Communications, researchers at The Univ. of Manchester and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have demonstrated that membranes can be directly 'written' on to a graphene surface using a technique known as Lipid Dip-Pen Nanolithography (L-DPN).
You might not think to look to a urine test to diagnose an eye disease. But a new Duke Univ. study says it can link what is in a patient's urine to gene mutations that cause retinitis pigmentosa, or RP, an inherited, degenerative disease that results in severe vision impairment and often blindness.
Working with a synthetic gene circuit designed to coax bacteria to grow in a predictable ring pattern, Duke Univ. scientists have revealed an underappreciated contributor to natural pattern formation: time. A series of experiments published by the Duke team show that their engineered gene circuit functions as a timing mechanism, triggering a predictable ring growth pattern that adjusts to the size of its environment.
A Case Western Univ. team studied how proteins bind to RNA, a process required for gene expression. It is known that some proteins only bind RNAs with certain sequences. Other proteins have been deemed “non-specific” because they interact with RNAs at seemingly random places. But the team has published a study showing that non-specific proteins actually do have the ability to be specific about where they bind to RNA.
Scientists at the Univ. of Southern California have created a mathematical model that explains and predicts the biological process that creates antibody diversity, the phenomenon that keeps us healthy by generating robust immune systems through hypermutation.
The 2013 Nobel Prize honors three scientists who have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell is a factory that produces and exports molecules. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles. The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell.
For years scientists have been working to fundamentally understand how nanoparticles move throughout the human body. One big unanswered question is how the shape of nanoparticles affects their entry into cells. Now researchers have discovered that under typical culture conditions, mammalian cells prefer disc-shaped nanoparticles over those shaped like rods.
A new technique developed by researchers at the Stanford Univ. School of Medicine could pave the way to an era of personalized epigenomics. The technique could quickly yield huge amounts of useful information about which genes are active in particular cells. The technology involved is cheap, fast and easy to use, and all that would be needed from the patient is a blood sample or needle biopsy.
With high-tech optical tools and sophisticated mathematics, Rice Univ. researchers have found a way to pinpoint the location of specific sequences along single strands of DNA, a technique that could someday help diagnose genetic diseases. Proof-of-concept experiments in the Rice laboratory of chemist Christy Landes identified DNA sequences as short as 50 nucleotides at room temperature.
A global hunt for genes that influence heart disease risk has uncovered 157 changes in human DNA that alter the levels of cholesterol and other blood fats—a discovery that could lead to new medications. Each of the changes points to genes that can modify levels of cholesterol and other blood fats and are potential drug targets.
The announcements of this year's Nobel Prize winners will start Monday with the medicine award and continue with physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. The secretive award committees never give away any hints in advance of who could win, but here's a look at five big scientific breakthroughs that haven't yet received a Nobel prize.
Non-coding RNAs constitute the “dark matter of the genome”, as they are abundant but their function is largely unknown. Researchers in Canada have discovered how these RNA direct telomerase, a molecule essential for cancer development, toward structures on our genome called telomeres in order to maintain its integrity and in turn, the integrity of the genome.
A massive data analysis of natural genetic variants in humans and variants in cancer tumors has implicated dozens of mutations in the development of breast and prostate cancer, a Yale Univ.-led team has found. The newly discovered mutations are in regions of DNA that do not code for proteins but instead influence activity of other genes.
Researchers are developing a system that uses tiny magnetic beads to quickly detect rare types of cancer cells circulating in a patient's blood, an advance that could help medical doctors diagnose cancer earlier than now possible and monitor how well a patient is responding to therapy.
They were mystery diseases that had stumped doctors for years—adults with strange symptoms and children with neurological problems, mental slowness or muscles too weak to let them stand. Now scientists say they were able to crack a quarter of these cases by decoding the patients' genes. Their study is the first large-scale effort to move gene sequencing out of the lab and into ordinary medical care.
Similar to using Java to write code for a computer, chemists soon could be able to use a structured set of instructions to “program” how DNA molecules interact in a test tube or cell. A Univ. of Washington team has developed a programming language for chemistry that it hopes will streamline efforts to design a network that can guide the behavior of chemical-reaction mixtures in the same way that embedded electronic controllers guide cars.
Researchers hope to hijack a natural process called RNA interference to block the production of proteins linked to disease and treat medical conditions for which conventional drugs do not work, including cancer, heart disease, HIV and Parkinson’s disease. Scientists working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory took a significant step in that direction: They used x-rays to shed light on a key component of RNA interference in cells.
Using a new and super-sensitive instrument, researchers have discovered where a protein binds to plant cell walls, a process that loosens the cell walls and makes it possible for plants to grow. Finding that binding target has been a major challenge for structural biologists because there are only tiny amounts of the protein involved in cell growth and cell walls are very complex.
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute discovered that an antibody that binds and neutralizes HIV likely also targets the body’s own “self” proteins. This finding could complicate the development of HIV vaccines designed to elicit this protective antibody, called 4E10, and others like it, as doing so might be dangerous or inefficient.
The basics of conception are familiar to any high school freshman biology student, yet scientists have yet to find the initial molecular mechanisms that set off the cascade of events that form a developing embryo. Yale Univ. geneticists report they have identified one such trigger of life: The finger that pushes that first domino that makes all the other ones fall and initiates the making of an embryo.
Pinning down an effective way to combat the spread of HIV, the viral precursor to AIDS, has long been a challenge for scientists and physicians, because the virus is an elusive one that mutates frequently and, as a result, quickly becomes immune to medication. A team of Drexel Univ. researchers is trying to get one step ahead of the virus with a microbicide they’ve created that can trick HIV into “popping” itself into oblivion.
A team of researchers at NIST and Applied Research Associates, Inc. has demonstrated an improved microfluidic technique for recovering DNA from real-world, complex mixtures such as dirt. According to the researchers their technique delivers DNA from these crude samples with much less effort and in less time than conventional techniques and yields DNA concentrations optimal for human identification procedures.
A “vicious cycle” produces mucus that protects uterine and pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their proliferation, according to researchers at Rice Univ. The researchers offer hope for a therapeutic solution. They found that protein receptors on the surface of cancer cells go into overdrive to stimulate the production of MUC1, which covers the exposed tips of the elongated epithelial cells that coat internal organs to prevent infection.
Researchers have discovered the details of how cells repair breaks in both strands of DNA, a potentially devastating kind of DNA damage. When chromosomes experience double-strand breaks, cells utilize their genetically similar chromosomes to patch the gaps via a mechanism that involves both ends of the broken molecules. To repair a broken chromosome, a unique configuration of the DNA replication machinery is deployed.