Tag Archives: architecture

Elusive viral ‘machine’ architecture finally rendered

Biologists have worked with the lambda virus as a model system for more than 50 years but they’ve never had an overarching picture of the molecular machines that allow it to insert or remove DNA from the cells that it infects. Now they can, thanks to an advance that highlights the intriguingly intricate way the virus accomplishes its genetic manipulations.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — For half a century biologists have studied the way that the lambda virus parks DNA in the chromosome of a host E. coli bacterium and later extracts it as a model reaction of genetic recombination. But for all that time, they could never produce an overall depiction of the protein-DNA machines that carry out the work. In a pair of back-to-back papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists produce those long-sought renderings and describe how they figured out what they should look like. (more…)

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Architecture of signaling proteins enhances knowledge of key receptors

ANN ARBOR — A team of scientists from the University of Michigan, Duke Medicine and Stanford University has determined the underlying architecture of a cellular signaling complex involved in the body’s response to stimuli such as light and pain.

This complex, consisting of a human cell surface receptor and its regulatory protein, reveals a two-step mechanism that has been hypothesized previously but not directly documented. (more…)

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Rust Never Sleeps

Berkeley Lab-led Observations of Electron Hopping in Iron Oxide Hold Consequences for Environment and Energy

Rust – iron oxide – is a poor conductor of electricity, which is why an electronic device with a rusted battery usually won’t work. Despite this poor conductivity, an electron transferred to a particle of rust will use thermal energy to continually move or “hop” from one atom of iron to the next. Electron mobility in iron oxide can hold huge significance for a broad range of environment- and energy-related reactions, including reactions pertaining to uranium in groundwater and reactions pertaining to low-cost solar energy devices. Predicting the impact of electron-hopping on iron oxide reactions has been problematic in the past, but now, for the first time, a multi-institutional team of researchers, led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have directly observed what happens to electrons after they have been transferred to an iron oxide particle. (more…)

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‘Explorers’ Use Uncertainty And Specific Area of Brain

*As they try to find the best reward among options, some people explore based on how uncertain they are about the outcome of the options.  Those who employ that thought process, unlike people who use other strategies, uniquely harness the computational power of the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex, a new study finds.*

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Life shrouds most choices in mystery. Some people inch toward a comfortable enough spot and stick close to that rewarding status quo. Out to dinner, they order the usual. Others consider their options systematically or randomly. But many choose to grapple with the uncertainty head on. “Explorers” order the special because they aren’t sure they’ll like it. It’s a strategy of maximizing rewards by discovering whether as yet unexplored options might yield better returns. In a new study, Brown University researchers show that such explorers use a specific part of their brain to calculate the relative uncertainty of their choices, while non-explorers do not. (more…)

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IBM Announces Eight Universities Contributing to the Watson Computing System’s Development

ARMONK, N.Y. – 11 Feb 2011: IBM today announced that eight universities are collaborating with IBM Researchers to advance the Question Answering (QA) technology behind the “Watson” computing system, which will compete against humans on the quiz show, Jeopardy!, airing February 14-16. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California (USC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), University at Albany (UAlbany), University of Trento (Italy), and University of Massachusetts Amherst join Carnegie Mellon University in working with IBM on the development of a first-of-its-kind open architecture that enables researchers to efficiently collaborate on underlying QA capabilities and then apply them to IBM’s Watson system  (more…)

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Byzantine Photo Exhibit Opens at Kelsey Museum of Archeology

DATES: Oct. 1, 2010-Jan. 23, 2011 and Feb. 4-May 29, 2011.

EVENT: “Vaults of Heaven: Visions of Byzantium” features a two-part series of ultra-large-scale photographs, many over six feet tall, by Turkish photographer Ahmet Ertug. (more…)

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