Tag Archives: molecule

How to rejuvenate ageing immune cells

Researchers from UCL have demonstrated how an interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immunity is involved in the process of ageing.

The two new studies, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), could help to enhance our immunity to disease through dietary intervention and help make existing immune system therapies more effective. As we age our immune systems decline. Older people suffer from increased incidence and severity of both infections and cancer. In addition, vaccination becomes less efficient with age. (more…)

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Blocking cells’ movement to stop the spread of cancer

Insights into how cells move through the body could lead to innovative techniques to stop cancer cells from spreading and causing secondary tumours, according to new UCL research.

Scientists discovered that cells can change into an invasive, liquid-like state to readily navigate the narrow channels in our body. This transformation is triggered by chemical signals, which could be blocked in order to stop cancer cells from spreading. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Kiwamu Tanaka, Plant Biologist

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka, an aspiring scientist, is currently doing research on Role of extracellular ATP in plant growth and development at the Division of Plant Sciences in the University of Missouri. He completed his doctoral work at The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences in the Kagoshima University, Japan. Recently we spoke with Dr. Tanaka to know about his research work, especially regarding the study published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6168.290), and also about why it is important, how life as a research scientist is, and so on. So let’s hear from Dr. Tanaka:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Dr. Kiwamu Tanaka: My scientific career has focused on plant-microbe interactions that can be utilized to enhance crop plant growth for agricultural purposes. Especially I had had a strong interest in biological nitrogen fixation by nodulation which is the result of a symbiosis between legume plants and special soil bacteria rhizobia. Nodulation results in the formation of a specialized organ, the nodule, where biological nitrogen fixation takes place. Given that plants cannot utilize aerial nitrogen, even though this is a primary nutrition for plants, nodulation is a great natural system by plant-microbe interaction. (more…)

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SOFS Take to Water

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry Create First Soluble 2D Supramolecular Organic Frameworks

Supramolecular chemistry, aka chemistry beyond the molecule, in which molecules and molecular complexes are held together by non-covalent bonds, is just beginning to come into its own with the emergence of nanotechnology. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are commanding much of the attention because of their appetite for greenhouse gases, but a new player has joined the field – supramolecular organic frameworks (SOFs). Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have unveiled the first two-dimensional SOFs that self-assemble in solution, an important breakthrough that holds implications for sensing and separation technologies, energy sciences, and, perhaps most importantly, biomimetics. (more…)

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Taking a New Look at Carbon Nanotubes

Berkeley Researchers Develop Technique For Imaging Individual Carbon Nanotubes

Despite their almost incomprehensibly small size – a diameter about one ten-thousandth the thickness of a human hair – single-walled carbon nanotubes come in a plethora of different “species,” each with its own structure and unique combination of electronic and optical properties. Characterizing the structure and properties of an individual carbon nanotube has involved a lot of guesswork – until now.

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have developed a technique that can be used to identify the structure of an individual carbon nanotube and characterize its electronic and optical properties in a functional device. (more…)

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Flawed Diamonds: Gems for New Technology

Using ultra-fast laser pulses, a team of researchers led by UA assistant professor Vanessa Huxter has made the first detailed observation of how energy travels through diamonds containing nitrogen-vacancy centers – promising candidates for a variety of technological advances such as quantum computing.

A team of researchers led by University of Arizona assistant professor Vanessa Huxter has made the first detailed observation of how energy travels through diamonds that contain nitrogen-vacancy centers – defects in which two adjacent carbon atoms in the diamond’s crystal structure are replaced by a single nitrogen atom and an empty gap. (more…)

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Method makes it easier to separate useful stem cells from ‘problem’ ones for therapies

UCLA study IDs small molecule that destroys potentially dangerous cells

Pluripotent stem cells can turn, or differentiate, into any cell type in the body, such as nerve, muscle or bone, but inevitably some of these stem cells fail to differentiate and end up mixed in with their newly differentiated daughter cells.  

Because these remaining pluripotent stem cells can subsequently develop into unintended cell types — bone cells among blood, for instance — or form tumors known as teratomas, identifying and separating them from their differentiated progeny is of utmost importance in keeping stem cell–based therapeutics safe.  (more…)

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