From Parkinson’s to obesity, the School of Kinesiology is using exercise as a prescription to make a difference in people’s lives.
In the dim light of a School of Kinesiology lab, infrared light-sensitive tape glows on a dozen points of a subject’s body, like stars of a constellation. While she moves, these anatomical landmarks are tracked 200 times per second, appearing on a screen behind her. (more…)
Enzyme map created by using a high-powered X-ray device
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The human body is full of proteins called enzymes that help nearly every function in the body. Scientists have been studying enzymes for decades in order to learn how they work and how to create better drugs and medical treatments for many ailments. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed a 3-D map of an enzyme called Proline utilization A (PutA). PutA facilitates metabolism by adding oxygen to molecules. John Tanner, a professor in the MU Department of Biochemistry, says mapping this enzyme will give researchers a better understanding of its function, which could help drug manufacturers create more effective drugs. (more…)
Fin’s emergence in many species challenges assumption that it’s a useless remnant
Adipose fins therefore represent a prime example of convergent evolution and offer a new model for exploring the evolution of vertebrate limbs and appendages, report University of Chicago scientists in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on March 5. (more…)
Screening more than 100 spider toxins, Yale researchers identified a protein from the venom of the Peruvian green velvet tarantula that blunts activity in pain-transmitting neurons. The findings, reported in the March 3 issue of the journal Current Biology, show the new screening method used by the scientists has the potential to search millions of different spider toxins for safe pain-killing drugs and therapies.
The researchers note that they tested the spider toxins on only one of a dozen suspected human pain channels. (more…)
Studying phages, viruses that infect bacteria, can help researchers to better understand how portions of the world’s oceans function without oxygen.
Though small, viruses could hold the secrets of how vast portions of the world’s oceans function without oxygen.
University of Arizona undergraduate researcher Sarah Schwenck and postdoctoral associate Jennifer Brum are conducting a research project in the Tucson Marine Phage Lab, which is headed by assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Matthew Sullivan. (more…)
A carnivorous, cannibalistic tadpole may play a role in understanding the evolution and development of digestive organs, according to research from North Carolina State University. These findings may also shed light on universal rules of organ development that could lead to better diagnosis and prevention of intestinal birth defects.
NC State developmental biologist Nanette Nascone-Yoder, graduate student Stephanie Bloom and postdoc Cris Ledon-Rettig looked at Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) and Lepidobatrachus laevis (Budgett’s frog) tadpoles. These frog species differ in diet and last shared a common ancestor about 110 million years ago. Like most tadpoles, Xenopus exist primarily on a diet of algae, and their long, simple digestive tracts are not able to process insects or proteins until they become adult frogs. Budgett’s is an aggressive species of frog which is carnivorous – and cannibalistic – in the tadpole stage. (more…)
Investigation by researchers from the University of Exeter and ETH Zurich has shed new light on a protein which is linked to a common neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
The team has discovered that a protein previously identified on mitochondria – the energy factories of the cell – is also found on the fat-metabolising organelles peroxisomes, suggesting a closer link between the two organelles.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is currently incurable and affects around one in every 2,500 people in the UK, meaning that it is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, thus understanding the molecular basis of the disease is of great importance. Symptoms can range from tremors and loss of touch sensation in the feet and legs to difficulties with breathing, swallowing, speaking, hearing and vision. (more…)
Like finally seeing all the gears of a watch and how they work together, researchers from UCLA and UC Berkeley have, for the first time ever, solved the puzzle of how the various components of an entire telomerase enzyme complex fit together and function in a three-dimensional structure.
The creation of the first complete visual map of the telomerase enzyme, which is known to play a significant role in aging and most cancers, represents a breakthrough that could open up a host of new approaches to fighting disease, the researchers said. (more…)