Keyword: biochemistry

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Hairy proteins survive stomach trip

    06/10/2013 11:46:18 PM PDT · by neverdem
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 June 2013 | James Urquhart
    Swiss researchers have discovered a way to stabilise enzymes in the digestive tract by linking polymers to the enzymes. It offers a route for developing protein-based drugs that can be administered orally without rapidly degrading, and could provide new therapeutic strategies for conditions involving abnormal enzyme activity such as coeliac disease.Modifying enzymes with polymers for pharmaceuticals is nothing new and has been done for years to prolong their lifetime in the body and dampen any immune response. But protein-based drugs are typically injected or administered in a way that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. The protecting effect of the polymer may...
  • Team solves mystery associated with DNA repair

    12/14/2012 4:01:29 PM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | December 13, 2012 | NA
    Every time a human or bacterial cell divides it first must copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break – and there are many – they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene. Scientists have long sought to understand how one of these players, a repair protein known as RecA in bacterial cells, helps broken DNA find a way to bridge the gap. They knew that RecA guided a broken DNA strand to...
  • Make or break: the laws of motion

    11/30/2012 6:10:29 PM PST · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 28 November 2012 | Philip Ball
    Calling chemistry ‘molecular architecture’ is even more apt than it might seem. There was a time when architectural engineering was largely about getting buildings to stay up: to withstand the stresses and forces that act on them. But today’s architecture is responsive, mutable, adaptive and dynamic. Likewise, chemistry could appear in its first flush to be about making bonds that will last, but today’s chemistry is just as concerned with breaking as it is with making. The dynamic role of weak hydrogen bonding, for example, was illustrated with the discovery of DNA’s structure: to template replication and transcription, the molecule...
  • Receptor Scientists Nab Chemistry Nobel

    10/10/2012 7:49:50 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 10 October 2012 | Robert F. Service
    According to George Bernard Shaw: "The most intolerable pain is produced by prolonging the keenest pleasure." Not to be picky George, but actually both sensations result from the activity of a diverse family of proteins on the surface of cells. This year's Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to two Americans—Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Brian Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California—who revealed the inner workings of these proteins, which also orchestrate a variety of things such as the way we see, smell, taste, feel, and fight infections. The notion...
  • Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins

    09/21/2012 3:53:34 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | September 17, 2012 | NA
    Chemists at UC San Diego have developed a method that for the first time provides scientists the ability to attach chemical probes onto proteins and subsequently remove them in a repeatable cycle. Their achievement, detailed in a paper that appears online this week in the journal Nature Methods, will allow researchers to better understand the biochemistry of naturally formed proteins in order to create better antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, biofuels, food crops and other natural products. It will also provide scientists with a new laboratory tool they can use to purify and track proteins in living cells. The development was the...
  • Seeing cells under stress

    09/18/2012 7:42:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 17 September 2012 | Jennifer Newton
    The assembly includes a cell-stretching device, an atomic force microscopy head and an objective of the inverted microscopeAn analytical platform that imposes controlled mechanical strain onto live cells whilst monitoring changes in cell morphology and molecular signalling has been developed by scientists in Germany. Cellular processes induced by mechanical forces are crucial for bone healing and lung function. Understanding these processes could help to prevent and aid the development of therapies for mechanically induced lung and cardiovascular diseases and injuries.Christine Kranz and colleagues from the University of Ulm combined fluorescence microscopy with atomic force microscopy to analyse the cells. They...
  • Researchers Invent New Tool to Study Single Biological Molecules

    08/05/2012 11:16:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 3, 2012 | NA
    By blending optical and atomic force microscope technologies, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Existing technologies allow researchers to measure single molecules on the x and y axes of a 2-D plane. The new technology allows researchers to make height measurements (the z axis) down to the nanometer -- just a billionth of a meter -- without custom optics or special surfaces for the samples. "This is a completely new type of measurement that can be used to determine the z position...
  • The Body’s Protein Cleaning Machine

    06/19/2012 10:51:30 AM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    NY Times ^ | June 18, 2012 | CLAUDIA DREIFUS
    When Dr. Avram Hershko, 74, a biochemist at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and a winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was recently asked to name the most important fact of his life, he answered: “That I love my three grandchildren. For two, three days every week, I take them to dance class, sport and school. I am completely in their lives.” Among top scientists, responses to such a question might well focus on prizes they’ve won or the import of their research. For Dr. Hershko, whose family was separated and sent to forced labor in...
  • Two in one technique for biological imaging

    05/01/2012 5:14:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 24 April 2012 | Rebecca Brodie
    A UK based team has combined two methods into a new technique to investigate cell-substrate interactions in biomedical research.The new technique, correlative light-ion microscopy (CLIM), combines both ion and fluorescence microscopy to obtain topographical and biochemical information for the same area of a sample.The idea for the technique came to Molly Stevens and her colleagues at Imperial College London, when they observed unknown structures while conducting characterisation tests on human tissue samples. 'We realised that there was no simple and efficient method to correlate structural and biochemical information at the micro and nanoscale. Therefore, the only way forward was to...
  • Enzymes grow artificial DNA

    04/28/2012 11:37:57 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Nature News ^ | 19 April 2012 | Helen Shen
    Synthetic strands with different backbones replicate and evolve just like the real thing. Nearly all organisms share a single genetic language: DNA. But scientists have now demonstrated that several lab-made variants of DNA can store and transmit information much like the genuine article. Researchers led by Philipp Holliger, a synthetic biologist at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, say that the alternative molecules could help others to develop new drugs and nanotechnologies. They publish their results today in Science1. DNA is made up of nucleic acid bases — labelled A, C, G and T —...
  • Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

    04/28/2012 2:16:56 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    biologynews.net ^ | April 24, 2012 | NA
    Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses. Linköping researchers and their colleagues at the University Hospital in Zürich tested the luminescent conjugated polymers, or LCPs, on tissue sections from the brains of mice that had been infected with prions. The results show that the number of prions, as well as their toxicity and infectibility, decreased drastically. This is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate the possibility of...
  • Frozen Fruit Flies Come Back to Life - Feeding flies a "cryoprotectant" can save them from the cold

    02/19/2012 12:10:56 AM PST · by neverdem · 13 replies
    Popular Science ^ | 02.13.2012 | Rebecca Boyle
    A larval fruit fly is hatched in the year 2011 and frozen while still pupating, half its body water solidified in frigid temperatures. After spending many generations in a state of suspended animation, the wee Drosophila melanogaster awakens and is allowed to grow up. One day, it wonders if it will ever be able to mate — but should it bring new larvae into this dystopian future? As it turns out, the fly can successfully mate after all, and its offspring are perfectly healthy new larvae. Too bad for the fly, it dies in the lab so scientists can find...
  • Brain gene activity changes through life

    12/25/2011 11:22:02 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Science News ^ | November 19th, 2011 | Laura Sanders
    Studies track biochemical patterns from just after conception to old age Human brains all work pretty much the same and use roughly the same genes in the same way to build and maintain the infrastructure that makes people who they are, two new studies show. And by charting the brain’s genetic activity from before birth to old age, the studies reveal that the brain continually remodels itself in predictable ways throughout life. In addition to uncovering details of how the brain grows and ages, the results may help scientists better understand what goes awry in brain disorders such as schizophrenia...
  • Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK

    10/29/2011 10:23:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Science Signaling ^ | 25 October 2011 | Nancy R. Gough
    Sci. Signal., 25 October 2011 Vol. 4, Issue 196, p. eg9 [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002601] EDITORIAL GUIDES Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK Nancy R. Gough1* 1 Editor of Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, USA. Abstract: The extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) pathway is one of the superfamily of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Signals transmitted by this kinase cascade activate a pair of related proteins, ERK1 and ERK2. Research published in Science Signaling shows that, despite the wealth of knowledge about this pathway, previously unknown functions continue to...
  • Hunting elusive green fluorescent proteins

    06/01/2011 3:27:10 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 26 May 2011 | Russell Johnson
    After a 40 year hunt, scientists have tracked down the genes responsible for fluorescent proteins in Obelia medusa - a type of jellyfish. Knowledge of these genes could lead to new fluorescent protein tags for use in cell biology. The discovery of the gene encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria paved the way for GFP to be introduced as a fluorescent tag in cell biology. It is used to track the positions and interactions of proteins in cells, and led to the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2008. Fluorescent proteins similar to GFP were discovered in Obelia medusa during biochemical...
  • Homosexual Marriage Is Absurd

    04/04/2011 10:38:37 AM PDT · by kathsua · 17 replies · 1+ views
    Town Hall ^ | 4/03/11 | reasonmclucus
    Regardless of how government may artificially define marriage in legal terms, marriage is really the union of the two different types of human beings -- males and females. Two members of the same sex cannot have a marriage relationship regardless of what some politicians might say. Marriage unites members of the different sexes to form a unit that has all the human characteristics. Two men or two women cannot form such a unit. They are like two left shoes or two right shoes. A man and a woman fit together like two puzzle pieces. Two people of the same sex...
  • Enzyme logic biosensor for security surveillance

    02/18/2011 11:38:41 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 11 February 2011 | Emma Shiells
    Scientists in the US have made a system that rapidly detects both explosives and nerve agents, providing a simple yes-no response. The technique could replace two time-consuming tests that are currently used to assess these threats.Joseph Wang and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, combined their expertise in threat detection and electrochemical biosensors with the biocomputing experience of Evgeny Katz from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. The team produced an enzyme-based logic gate with the ability to simultaneously detect both nitroaromatic explosives and organophosphate nerve agents. The team fed 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and the nerve agent paraoxon into the system, in which a series of...
  • Biohydrogen produced in air

    12/18/2010 9:33:26 AM PST · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 December 2010 | James Urquhart
    A strain of nitrogen-fixing ocean microbe has been found to be the most efficient hydrogen-producing microbe to date, boosting the prospect of one day using hydrogen as an environmentally friendly fuel. The US team behind the discovery says the naturally occurring cyanobacteria Cyanothece 51142 turns solar energy into hydrogen under aerobic conditions at rates several times higher than any other known photosynthetic microbe.Normally, microbes that produce hydrogen do so under anaerobic conditions. This is because the enzymes they use for hydrogen production, namely nitrogenase and/or hydrogenase, are inhibited by oxygen. By understanding the way Cyanothece  51142 grows and fixes nitrogen, the team learned that...
  • Predicting drug response

    08/29/2010 11:07:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Highlights in Chemical Biology ^ | 27 August 2010 | Harriet Brewerton
    Scientists in China have developed a probe that could be used to test how well a patient will respond to certain drug treatments. The new probe measures the activity of N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2), an enzyme that metabolises drugs and other toxins containing aryl amines and hydrazines. The activity of NAT2 differs between individuals, which affects how well a drug will work, and dysfunction of the enzyme has been linked to breast cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases. A simple measure of NAT2 activity could help ensure patients are given drugs that they can metabolise effectively with minimal side effects. Xuhong Qian and colleagues...
  • Bio battery based on cellular power plant

    08/27/2010 5:19:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 1+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 27 August 2010 | Leigh Krietsch Boerner
    Leigh Krietsch Boerner/Boston, US Mitochondria, often called the powerhouse of the cell, have been harnessed in a new battery-like device that could one day power small portable devices like mobile phones or laptops. Mitochondria convert fatty acids and pyruvate, formed from the digestion of sugars and fats, to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's energy supply. Along the way a tiny electrical current is generated, and Shelley Minteer and coworkers from Saint Louis University in Missouri, US, have now harnessed those flowing electrons to put them to work in a new biological battery device.  Speaking at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, US, Minteer described how her team has...
  • Enzymes power molecular logic

    03/15/2010 9:13:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 361+ views
    Highlights in Chemical Technology ^ | 12 March 2010 | Nicola Wise
    A self-powered biomolecular security system has been developed by US scientists. This could be used to encrypt financial, military, or other confidential information. Recent developments in the field of biocomputing have led to biomolecular systems that use chemical information to mimic digital electronics. Now Evgeny Katz and his team at Clarkson University, Potsdam, has taken the research a step further to make a keypad lock that powers itself using a biofuel cell. The biocatalyst system is composed of three enzyme-catalysed reaction steps, explains Katz. Enzymes are applied as input signals to trigger the biochemical reactions and only when applied in the correct...
  • New HIV Hiding Spot Revealed

    03/08/2010 8:41:04 PM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies · 167+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | March 7, 2010 | Jon Cohen
    Powerful anti-HIV drugs have come tantalizingly close to eradicating the virus from people, driving the blood level of HIV so low that standard tests cannot detect it. But no one has been cured: the virus comes roaring back in everyone who stops taking the drugs. A new study has identified one of HIV's main hideaways, raising intriguing possibilities about how to remove it. The work addresses a mystery first reported in 2006 by the lab of Robert Siliciano, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has developed the most sensitive test to find HIV. Siliciano's group first...
  • To catch a cheating athlete (2010 Winter Olympics)

    02/20/2010 3:12:12 PM PST · by neverdem · 13 replies · 824+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 08 February 2010 | Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay
    /Washington DC, USAs the athletes take centre stage at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games this month, chemists will be hard at work behind the scenes to catch athletes looking to win by taking drugs or blood products to artificially boost their performance during the competition.Doping is as old as the games - the ancient Greeks ate special diets and potions to enhance their athletic prowess - but over time, the practice has become considerably more sophisticated. Sports authorities began introducing drug testing in the 1970s and today, a variety of techniques exist in specialised anti-doping laboratories to catch...
  • Dipstick test for toxic lead

    02/01/2010 1:29:34 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies · 283+ views
    Highlights in Chemical Science ^ | 01 February 2010 | Victoria Steven
    Scientists in the United States have produced a simple dipstick test for detecting lead levels in paints. Easy-to-use biosensors are important for detection of highly toxic trace metal ions in the environment. Cross-linked gold nanoparticles modified with metal-specific DNAzymes have been used in solution to create highly sensitive and selective colorimetric metal sensors based on the colour change between aggregated (blue) and dispersed (red) gold nanoparticles. However, in solution the colour change can be difficult to distinguish and nanoparticle stability is poor, explains Yi Lu at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Lu and colleagues have developed a sensor that uses...
  • Cutting edge chemistry in 2009

    12/27/2009 7:39:58 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies · 646+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 18 December 2009 | Nina Notman
    What revelations caused the biggest buzz in chemistry labs around the globe during 2009? With the help of an expert panel of journal editors, Chemistry World reviews the ground-breaking research and important trends of the year's published chemical science papers. Life in 3D DNA origami, the folding of DNA into shapes on the nanoscale, moved from 2D into 3D during 2009. Hao Yan's team at Arizona State University kicked off this craze with a tetrahedron shaped 3D container made of DNA.1 A day later, Danish researchers led by Kurt Gothelf, from Aarhus University, published details of a nanosized 3D DNA...
  • Single-celled life does a lot with very little - Bacterial biochemistry mapped in detail.

    11/27/2009 6:54:54 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies · 719+ views
    Nature News ^ | 26 November 2009 | Lucas Laursen
    <p>The blueprint of a small organism's cellular machinery has been unveiled, offering the most comprehensive view yet of the molecular essentials of life. But the research also shows just how far biologists have to go before they understand the complete biochemical basis of even the simplest of creatures.</p>
  • Non-protein antifreeze helps Arctic beetle chill out

    11/24/2009 10:35:07 PM PST · by neverdem · 1 replies · 494+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 23 November 2009 | Simon Hadlington
    Scientists in the US have discovered a new class of biological antifreeze molecules - the first that do not contain proteins. The antifreeze, extracted from an Alaskan beetle capable of surviving at -60°C, consists of linked mannopyranose and xylopyranose sugars, termed xylomannan, associated with a lipid. Large molecules that cause thermal hysteresis - a difference between the melting and freezing points of a solution - have been identified in many organisms that survive in the cold, from Antarctic fish to plants and bacteria. In all cases identified so far, thermal hysteresis appears to be caused by proteins, known as antifreeze proteins or...
  • NASA Reproduces A Building Block Of Life In Laboratory

    11/13/2009 4:12:59 PM PST · by OldNavyVet · 19 replies · 1,394+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 11 November 2009 | NASA
    NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, a key component of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces this essential ingredient of life. Pyrimidine is a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen and is the basic structure for uracil, part of a genetic code found in ribonucleic acid (RNA). RNA is central to protein synthesis, but has many other roles. "We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, a component of RNA, non-biologically in a laboratory...
  • Molecular limits to natural variation (creationist: natural selection correct in principle, but...)

    10/20/2009 8:59:42 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 29 replies · 1,228+ views
    Journal of Creation ^ | Alex Williams
    Darwin’s theory that species originate via the natural selection of natural variation is correct in principle but wrong in numerous aspects of application. Speciation is not the result of an unlimited naturalistic process but of an intelligently designed system of built-in variation that is limited in scope to switching ON and OFF permutations and combinations of the built-in components. Kirschner and Gerhart’s facilitated variation theory provides enormous potential for rearrangement of the built-in regulatory components but it cannot switch ON components that do not exist. When applied to the grass family, facilitated variation theory can account for the diversification of...
  • Strategic screening for drugs

    10/16/2009 11:07:36 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 318+ views
    Highlights in Chemical Biology ^ | 16 October 2009 | Mary Badcock
    US scientists are targeting an enzyme essential to bacterial metabolism in the search for new antibiotics.Michael Burkart of the University of California, San Diego, and Anton Simeonov from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, and coworkers have developed a high-throughput kinetic assay to screen small molecules as inhibitors of surfactin-type phosphopantetheinyl transferase (Sfp-PPTase) enzymes.Transferases are among a group of enzymes that can add and remove groups from proteins after their polypeptide backbone has been built - a process known as posttranslational modification. The enzymes are of biological and pharmaceutical interest as their inhibitors have been suggested as avenues for antibacterial,...
  • Liberating biology from a Procrustean bed of dogma (even the evos are abandoning the HMS Beagle!!!)

    09/29/2009 1:39:24 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 59 replies · 1,868+ views
    Science Literature (ARN) ^ | September 25, 2009 | David Tyler, Ph.D.
    In a Commentary essay, Carl Woese and Nigel Goldenfeld provide an analysis of biological thought that differs profoundly from that presented by those celebrating the Bicentenary of Darwin's birth and, incidentally, the recently published AP Biology Standards. "This is the story of how biology of the 20th century neglected and otherwise mishandled the study of what is arguably the most important problem in all of science: the nature of the evolutionary process. This problem [ . . ] became the private domain of a quasi-scientific movement, who secreted it away in a morass of petty scholasticism, effectively disguising the fact...
  • DNA-like Molecule Replicates Without Help

    06/13/2009 1:07:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 95 replies · 1,897+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 11 June 2009 | Robert F. Service
    Enlarge ImagePre-RNA? Hybrids between proteins and nucleic acids may have helped genetic molecules evolve.Credit: Science/AAAS Researchers pondering the origin of life have long struggled to crack the ultimate chicken-and-egg paradox. How did nucleic acids like DNA and RNA--which encode proteins--first form, when proteins are needed for their synthesis? Now, scientists report that they've cooked up molecular hybrids of proteins and nucleic acids that skirt the dreaded paradox. Although it's unknown whether such molecules existed prior to the emergence of life, they offer insight into a chemical pathway that might have helped life arise. DNA and RNA sport a backbone...
  • Making sense of solvent slaving (At least one pdf link is in there.)

    03/16/2009 12:13:21 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 442+ views
    Water in Biology ^ | March 3, 2009 | Philip Ball
    In my previous post I mentioned work by Pablo Debenedetti on ‘toy models’ of water. The places to look are: Buldyrev et al., PNAS 104, 20177 (2007) (here) for the solvation thermodynamics of ‘spherical’ water; and Patel et al., Biophys. J. 93, 4116 (2007) (here) and J. Chem. Phys. 128, 175102 (2008) (here) for water-explicit lattice models of proteins. And in discussing recent work on the mechanism of urea-induced protein denaturation, I neglected to mention Bruce Berne’s PNAS paper from late last year with Ruhong Zhou, Dave Thirumalai and Lan Hua (105, 16928; paper here). That paper on MD simulations...
  • There’s more to life than sequence

    03/15/2009 11:25:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 681+ views
    Nature News via Water in Biology ^ | March 13, 2009 | Philip Ball
    I have been meaning for some time to write about an interesting paper in JACS by Naoki Sugimoto’s group in Kobe. It found its way into an article that I wrote this week for Nature’s online news. So I’ve decided to simply post this article here – it’s not all strictly relevant to water in biology, but hopefully is interesting stuff anyway. This is the version before editing, which has more detail. Shape might be one of the key factors in the function of mysterious ‘non-coding’ DNA. Everyone knows what DNA looks like. Its double helix decorates countless articles on...
  • Peering at proteins inside cells - Nuclear magnetic resonance spies the atomic details of...

    03/07/2009 11:51:47 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 628+ views
    Nature News ^ | 4 March 2009 | Katharine Sanderson
    Nuclear magnetic resonance spies the atomic details of proteins in action. Scientists have used NMR to look at proteins including TTHA1718 (above) inside living cells.Nature The atomic structures of proteins at work inside cells can now be probed, thanks to researchers who have modified a technique that is already widely used in labs and for medical imaging.When a protein is inside a cell — rather than in a test tube — it behaves subtly differently because it may be interacting with other biological molecules that float around in the cellular space. Because proteins are hard to work with unless they...
  • Methane Emissions? Don't Blame Plants

    01/16/2009 11:29:50 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies · 439+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 14 January 2009 | Claire Thomas
    Enlarge ImageNot guilty. Plants don't appear to produce methane, as had been previously reported.Credit: Srimathy Sriskantharajah Plants do not make the powerful greenhouse gas methane, according to new research that contradicts a controversial finding made in 2006. Instead, plants appear to merely be passing gas, so to speak, originally made by soil microbes. Methane comes from a variety of sources, including gas leaks, forest fires, and, of course, cow burps. Microbes in wetland soil can produce methane anaerobically (without using oxygen), but the idea that it can be produced aerobically (using oxygen) by plants, and on a large scale,...
  • One is the loneliest number for mine-dwelling bacterium

    10/09/2008 11:01:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 802+ views
    Nature News ^ | 9 October 2008 | Laura Starr
    Sole member of world's first single-species ecosystem depends on rocks and radioactivity for life. The rod-shaped D. audaxviator was recovered from thousands of litres of water collected deep in the Mponeng Mine in South Africa.Greg Wanger, J. Craig Venter Institute / Gordon Southam, University of Western Ontario Nestled kilometres down in the hot, dark vaults of Earth's crust, scientists have discovered a remarkably lonely bacterium species. The rod-shaped bacterium, Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, lives independently of any other organism in a part of the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa, some 2.8 kilometres beneath Earth's surface. There, water flows from...
  • Great glowing jellyfish! It's the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    10/08/2008 7:08:08 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies · 1,198+ views
    Nature News ^ | 8 October 2008 | Katharine Sanderson
    Green fluorescent protein bags the biggest gong in science. Aequorea victoria, source of the green fluorescent protein.G. OCHOCKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY The molecule responsible for a jellyfish's glow has won its discoverer and developers this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) has revolutionized medical and biological science by providing a way to track the activity of individual proteins within a living cell, and thereby monitor how genes are expressed. The prize is shared equally between three scientists: Osamu Shimomura, now an emeritus professor at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Martin Chalfie of Columbia University...
  • Students stabbed and set alight (London)

    07/03/2008 10:34:39 PM PDT · by csvset · 45 replies · 266+ views
    BBC ^ | 3 July 2008 | BBC
    Students stabbed and set alight Two French research students found stabbed to death following a flat fire had been tied up and suffered horrific, excessive injuries, police have said. The bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were found in a ground-floor flat in New Cross, south-east London, on Sunday night. They had suffered a total of 243 stab wounds to the head, neck and chest before being set alight. The biochemistry students had been studying at Imperial College, London. Det Ch Insp Mick Duthie said he had no idea why the students were killed. Fiancee's tribute Speaking...
  • That’s Life

    09/05/2007 10:36:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 334+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 6, 2007 | EDWARD O. WILSON
    IN one sense we know much less about Earth than we do about Mars. The vast majority of life forms on our planet are still undiscovered, and their significance for our own species remains unknown. This gap in knowledge is a serious matter: we will never completely understand and preserve the living world around us at our present level of ignorance. We are flying blind into our environmental future. Since the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus inaugurated the modern system of classification two and a half centuries ago, biologists have found and given Latinized names to about 1.8 million species of...
  • Chasing memory: one man's epic quest

    08/19/2007 5:01:26 PM PDT · by vbmoneyspender · 13 replies · 604+ views
    The Los Angeles Times ^ | August 19, 2007 | Terry McDermott
    Gary Lynch has spent decades trying to understand how the brain processes new information so that we can recall it later. The first time I spoke with the neuroscientist Gary Lynch, the conversation went something like this: Me: I'm interested in spending time in a laboratory like yours, where the principal focus is the study of memory. I'd like to explain how memory functions and fails, and why, and use the work in the lab as a means to illustrate how we know what we know. Lynch: You'd be welcome to come here. This would actually be a propitious time...
  • Link Between Huntington's And Abnormal Cholesterol Levels Discovered In Brain

    12/01/2006 6:22:13 PM PST · by annie laurie · 13 replies · 623+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | December 1, 2006 | Mayo Clinic
    Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a protein interaction that may explain how the deadly Huntington's disease affects the brain. The findings, published in and featured on the cover of the current issue of Human Molecular Genetics, show how the mutated Huntington's protein interacts with another protein to cause dramatic accumulation of cholesterol in the brain. "Cholesterol is essential for promoting the connection network among brain cells and in maintaining their membrane integrity. Both the level of cholesterol and its delivery to the proper locations in the cell are essential for the survival of neurons," explains Mayo Clinic molecular biologist Cynthia...
  • Promising Treatment For Huntington's Disease Soon To Be Tested Clinically

    12/01/2006 6:18:22 PM PST · by annie laurie · 11 replies · 871+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 3, 2006 | Institut Curie
    At the Institut Curie, CNRS and Inserm researchers have shown that cysteamine, which is already used to treat a rare disease called cystinosis, prevents the death of neurons in Huntington’s disease. Like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, is characterized by the abnormal death of neurons. Cysteamine raises neuronal levels of BDNF protein, a trophic factor which is depleted in Huntington’s disease, and by assaying BDNF in the blood it is possible to evaluate the effect of treatment. If other studies confirm these results, cysteamine could soon be used to treat Huntington’s disease, and BDNF could serve as a biomarker of...
  • Comprehensive model is first to map protein folding at atomic level

    11/14/2006 8:40:50 PM PST · by annie laurie · 9 replies · 407+ views
    PhysOrg.com ^ | November 06, 2006 | Harvard University
    Scientists at Harvard University have developed a computer model that, for the first time, can fully map and predict how small proteins fold into three-dimensional, biologically active shapes. The work could help researchers better understand the abnormal protein aggregation underlying some devastating diseases, as well as how natural proteins evolved and how proteins recognize correct biochemical partners within living cells. The technique, which can track protein folding for some 10 microseconds -- about as long as some proteins take to assume their biologically stable configuration, and at least a thousand times longer than previous methods -- is described this week...
  • ?Sonic Hedgehog? Sounded Funny, at First

    11/11/2006 8:04:06 PM PST · by neverdem · 18 replies · 890+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 12, 2006 | JOHN SCHWARTZ
    Rename That Gene ?LUNATIC fringe,? ?head case? and ?one-eyed pinhead? might sound like insults from the schoolyard or talk radio. But these are actually examples of the kind of oddball names that scientists give to genes they discover. The idea is to make the names unique and memorable ? with so many genes being discovered and described, a little color helps scientists tell them apart. But the trouble comes when science is transmuted into medicine; what works in the lab may be jarring in the clinic. The names are causing problems for doctors who have to counsel patients about genetic...
  • Aging Drugs: Hardest Test Is Still Ahead

    11/07/2006 10:02:18 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 467+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 7, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    A new class of drugs is looming on the horizon that could, if they live up to their promise, avert heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. By suppressing the common killers of age, the drugs, sirtuin activators, could significantly prolong both health and lifespan. But is the promise a mirage or a serious possibility? The drugs are designed to mimic the effects of caloric restriction, a low calorie but healthful diet known to make laboratory mice live longer and more healthily but is too hard for all but the most ascetic of humans to keep to. One such drug,...
  • How Human Cells Get Their Marching Orders

    08/20/2006 1:02:58 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies · 431+ views
    The Treacherous NY Times ^ | August 15, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    The human body may seem to change little over the years, but beneath this deceptive calm, cells are in constant flux as old ones are discarded and new ones appear. How do the new recruits know where they are meant to go? Biologists at Stanford University say they have discovered a coordinate system in human cells that defines their position in the body. This seems to be the first time a cell-based positioning system has been reported for the adult body of any animal, though positioning systems that guide cells in embryogenesis are well known. The coordinate system, if confirmed,...
  • Nano Probe May Open New Window Into Cell Behavior

    07/25/2006 4:54:30 PM PDT · by annie laurie · 4 replies · 366+ views
    Georgia Tech ^ | July 24, 2006 | Megan McRainey
    Georgia Tech invention captures cell properties and biochemical signals in action ATLANTA (July 24, 2006) — To create drugs capable of targeting some of the most devastating human diseases, scientists must first decode exactly how a cell or a group of cells communicates with other cells and reacts to a broad spectrum of complex biomolecules surrounding it. But even the most sophisticated tools currently used for studying cell communications suffer from significant deficiencies. Typically, these tools can detect only a narrowly selected group of small molecules or, for a more sophisticated analysis, the cells must be destroyed for sample preparation....
  • A Tissue Engineer Sows Cells and Grows Organs

    07/10/2006 10:32:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies · 682+ views
    The Treasonous NY Times ^ | July 11, 2006 | ANN PARSON
    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Inside the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s spacious new headquarters here, when asked how many siblings he has, Anthony Atala gives a long gentle laugh instead of a reply. Just to have shared that he was born in Peru and comes from a large family is more than he normally divulges about his personal life to journalists. But asked about his work with urothelial cells — the cells that line the bladder, ureter and urethra — Dr. Atala bends forward and talks a blue streak. Which might be expected of a urologist and tissue engineer who...
  • Discovery Offers New Insight Into Parkinson's

    06/22/2006 11:32:44 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 501+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 23, 2006 | NICHOLAS WADE
    Biologists say they have gained a new insight into the basic cause of Parkinson's disease that, if confirmed, could lead to a novel class of drugs. The cause of the disease appears to lie in the nerve cell's internal delivery system for shuttling packets of chemicals around, a team of researchers led by Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., report in today's issue of Science. Tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's result from the death of certain neurons. Another sign of the disease is the appearance inside these neurons of clumps of protein known as Lewy bodies....