Computer modeling has helped a team of scientists, including several scholars from the University of Chicago, to decode previously unknown details about the process by which HIV forces cells to spread the virus to other cells. The findings, published Nov. 7 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may offer a new avenue for drugs to combat the virus. (more…)
Tag Archives: cell
Study identifies essential molecule for transport of protein from neuron cell body to axon
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have solved a longstanding mystery of the central nervous system, showing how a key protein gets to the right spot to launch electrical impulses that enable communication of nerve signals to and from the brain.
Nerve impulses are critical because they are required for neurons to send information about senses, movement, thinking and feeling to other cell types in the neural circuitry. And an impulse is not fired up just once; it is initiated and then must be repeatedly transmitted along axons – long, slender extensions of nerve cell bodies – to keep the nervous system’s messages stable during their rapid travel. (more…)
Newly Discovered Receptors in Plants Help Them Recover from Environmental Changes, Pests, and Plant Wounds, MU Study Shows
Discovery could lead to herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides that naturally work with plants to make them stronger
COLUMBIA, Mo. – ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the main energy source inside a cell and is considered to be the high energy molecule that drives all life processes in animals and humans. Outside the cell, membrane receptors that attract ATP drive muscle control, neurotransmission, inflammation and development. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found the same receptor in plants and believe it to be a vital component in the way plants respond to dangers, including pests, environmental changes and plant wounds. This discovery could lead to herbicides, fertilizers and insect repellants that naturally work with plants to make them stronger. (more…)
Innovation could lead to faster drug therapies and increased understanding of proteins on the microscopic level
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Membrane proteins are the “gatekeepers” that allow information and molecules to pass into and out of a cell. Until recently, the microscopic study of these complex proteins has been restricted due to limitations of “force microscopes” that are available to researchers and the one-dimensional results these microscopes reveal. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a three-dimensional microscope that will yield unparalleled study of membrane proteins and how they interact on the cellular level. These microscopes could help pharmaceutical companies bring drugs to market faster. (more…)
For the first time, scientists have used new technology which analyses the whole genome to find the cause of a genetic disease in what was previously referred to as “junk DNA”.
Pancreatic agenesis results in babies being born without a pancreas, leaving them with a lifetime of diabetes and problems digesting food.
In a breakthrough for genetic research, teams led by the University of Exeter Medical School and Imperial College London found that the condition is most commonly caused by mutations in a newly identified gene regulatory element in a remote part of the genome, which can now be explored thanks to advances in genetic sequencing. (more…)
A growing body of evidence suggests that the brain plays a key role in glucose regulation and the development of type 2 diabetes, researchers write in the Nov. 7 ssue of the journal Nature. If the hypothesis is correct, it may open the door to entirely new ways to prevent and treat this disease, which is projected to affect one in three adults in the United States by 2050.
In the paper, lead author Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, UW professor of medicine and director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence, and his colleagues from the universities of Cincinnati, Michigan, and Munich, note that the brain was originally thought to play an important role in maintaining normal glucose metabolism With the discovery of insulin in the 1920s, the focus of research and diabetes care shifted to almost exclusively to insulin. Today, almost all treatments for diabetes seek to either increase insulin levels or increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. (more…)
The deep biosphere—the realm of sediments far below the seafloor—harbors a vast ecosystem of bacteria, archaea, and fungi that are actively metabolizing, proliferating, and moving, according a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Delaware (UD).
“This is the first molecular evidence for active cell division in the deep biosphere,” says WHOI postdoctoral investigator Bill Orsi, who was the lead author on the study. Previous studies and models had suggested cells were alive, but whether the cells were actually dividing or not had remained elusive. (more…)
In a new discovery reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Brown University and Lifespan researchers show that in the brain cells of rats, obesity impedes the production of a hormone that curbs appetite and inspires calorie burning. The root cause appears to be a breakdown in the protein-processing mechanism of the cells. In the lab, the researchers showed they could fix the breakdown with drugs.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — With obesity reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world, scientists have only begun to understand why it is such a persistent condition. A study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry adds substantially to the story by reporting the discovery of a molecular chain of events in the brains of obese rats that undermined their ability to suppress appetite and to increase calorie burning. (more…)