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Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target

In the battle against insect pests, new research indicates that it may all come down to the sense of smell. A group of Rockefeller University scientists who had previously identified a key gene essential for the sense of smell in fruit flies now shows that this gene's function appears to be evolutionarily conserved across very different insect species. . Research by Leslie Vosshall's laboratory h...

Color-blind method opens new doors in DNA sequencing

A "color-blind" method of fluorescence detection developed by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Rice University could open new doors that would take DNA sequencing to the patient's bedside, the doctor's office and even the scene of a crime or a battlefield. . "We could eventually do direct detection of a DNA sequence from native DNA" without manipulation now performed in the lab...

Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism

Yale scientists report in the journal Nature that the "missing" genes for tRNA in an ancient parasite are made up by splicing together sequences in distant parts of the DNA genome. .. .. Surprisingly, Söll's...

Papers of DNA Pioneer and Nobel Laureate Francis Crick Added to National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Web Site

The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, is proud to present an extensive selection from the papers of one of the twentieth century’s greatest scientists, Francis Crick, on its Profiles in Science Web site. . .Don't miss Crick's .. This latest collection on Profiles in Science represents a close collaboration between the National Library of Medicine and the...

Gene sequencing explains bioremediation 'bug'

A team led by Johns Hopkins scientists has.found the first clear evidence that the process behind the human immune.system's remarkable ability to recognize and respond to a million.different proteins might have originated from a family of genes whose.only apparent function is to jump around in genetic material.. .essentially cut themselves out of the genetic material, and scientists.have suspecte...

Family trees of ancient bacteria reveal evolutionary moves

A geomicrobiologist at Washington University in St. Louis has proposed that evolution is the primary driving force in the early Earth's development rather than physical processes, such as plate tectonics. .. Carrine Blank, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of geomicrobiology in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, studying Cyanobacteria ?bacteria...

Scientists find fossil proof of Egypt's ancient climate

Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are studying snail fossils to understand the climate of northern Africa 130,000 years ago. .. While that might sound a bit like relying on wooly bear caterpillars to predict the severity of winter, the snails actually reveal clues about the climate and environment of western Egypt, lo those many years ago. They also could shed l...

Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication

The opportunity to annotate the genome of the glow-in-the-dark bacterium, Vibrio fischeri, which lives in symbiotic harmony within the light organ of the bobtail squid, has helped a Virginia Tech microbiologist advance her research on quorum sensing, or how cells communicate and function as a community. .. Researchers studying the newly sequenced genome of the marine bacterium V. fischeri, descri...

UCSD-Salk Team Show Protein’s Gene-Silencing Role In Development of Nervous System

The first evidence that a group of proteins called phosphatases play a key role in the development of the nervous system, has been shown in fruit flies and mice by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, in collaboration with scientists at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California. The phosphatases are required for maintenance of neural stem cells and for...

U-M team recovers ancient whale in Egyptian desert

Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have, for the first time, induced a state of reversible metabolic hibernation in mice. This achievement, the first demonstration of "hibernation on demand" in a mammal, ultimately could lead to new ways to treat cancer and prevent injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues. . "We are, in essence, temporarily convertin...

Novel gene-silencing nanoparticles shown to inhibit Ewing's sarcoma

A novel delivery system that transports gene silencing nanoparticles into tumor cells has been shown to inhibit Ewing's sarcoma in an animal model of the disease. .. . Once inside these cells, the genetic machinery of the tumor cells are e...

OneWorld Health drug receives 'Orphan' designation from U.S. and European regulatory agencies

The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the U.S., announced today it has received Orphan Drug Designation from the two leading regulatory agencies in the world, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA), for paromomycin to treat visceral leishmaniasis (VL). . VL, also known as kala azar (...

Ancient immune defense mechanism is no match for HIV-1

Researchers have discovered that mammalian cells infected with HIV-1 engage a primitive defense mechanism that was previously observed only in plants and invertebrates. The research also reveals exactly how HIV-1 successfully thwarts this rare form of immunity in vertebrate cells. However, elucidation of the mechanism HIV-1 uses to protect itself provides some critical insight into a potential vu...

NHGRI targets 12 more organisms for genome sequencing

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today that the Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network will begin sequencing 12 more strategically selected organisms, including the marmoset, a skate and several important insects, as part of its ongoing effort to expand understanding of the human genome. .. The National Advisory Counc...

Computational Tool Predicts How Drugs Work In Cells, Advancing Efforts To Design Better Medicines

The ability to select and develop compounds that act on specific cellular targets has just gained a computational ally ?a mathematical algorithm that predicts the precise effects a given compound will have on a cell’s molecular components or chemical processes. Using this tool, drug developers can design compounds that will act on only desired gene and protein targets, eliciting therapeutic respo...

NCI Researchers Confirm the Effectiveness of Immunotherapy Approach to Treating Melanoma

A team of researchers, led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, have found that patients with advanced melanoma who had not responded to previous therapies experienced a significant reduction in the size of their cancers as a result of receiving a new immunotherapy. This immunotherapy consisted of a combination of chemotherapy...

Gene silencing technique offers new strategy for treating, curing disease

A new technique aimed at directly controlling the expression of genes by turning them on or off at the DNA level could lead to drugs for the treatment or cure of many diseases, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. . .. In two papers appearing in the online edition of the journa...

Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species

The Patagonian Hippidion horse genus and North American stilt-legged horses have found a new place on the evolutionary tree, according to a new article in the open access journal PLoS Biology. In the paper, Jaco Weinstock, Alan Cooper, and colleagues use ancient DNA to argue that the Hippidion genus is younger than previously thought and that American stilt-legged horses were American endemics, n...

Vitamin A's paradoxical role in influencing symmetry during embryonic development revealed

In this week's journal Nature, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report that they have solved one of the "holy grail" puzzles of developmental biology: the existence of a mechanism that insures that the exterior of our bodies is symmetrical while inner organs are arranged asymmetrically. . In research with zebra fish, as a model for human biology, Juan-Carlos Belmonte and hi...

Molecular steps involved in the creation of gene-silencing microRNAs identified

First discovered only a few brief years ago, microRNAs are small, remarkably powerful molecules that appear to play a pivotal role in gene silencing, one of the body's main strategies for regulating its genome. A scant 22 nucleotides in length, miRNAs appear to work by binding to and somehow interfering with messenger RNA, itself responsible for translating genes into proteins. . But how do miRNA...

Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation

Assistant Professor Mark Pagani in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and his colleagues mapped the first detailed history of atmospheric carbon dioxide between 45 - 25 million years ago based on stable isotopes of carbon in a National Science Foundation study reported in Science Express. . "Through the energy we consume, each of us makes a contribution to increasing greenhouse gass...

Analysis of flower genes reveals the fate of an ancient gene duplication

In a step that advances our ability to discern the ancient evolutionary relationships between different genes and their biological functions, researchers have provided insight into the present-day outcome of a single gene duplication that occurred over a hundred million years ago in an ancestor of modern plants. The work is reported in Current Biology by a team led by Brendan Davies of the Univer...

Researchers Discover Ancient Origins Of Tuberculosis-causing Bacteria

Tuberculosis remains a major global health threat. Although more than 3 billion doses of the BCG vaccine have been administered to fight tuberculosis, the ability of the BCG vaccine to protect adults is very limited, as is its efficacy against newly emerging isolates. . In a study appearing online on August 18 in advance of print publication of the September 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Inv...

NHGRI Selects 13 More Organisms for Genome Sequencing

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today that the Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network will target 13 more organisms as part of its ongoing effort to produce genomic data that will expand biological knowledge and improve human health. . The National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research (NACHGR), which is a feder...

Ancient DNA confirms single origin of Malagasy primates

Yale biologists have managed to extract and analyze DNA from giant, extinct lemurs, according to a Yale study published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . .. Living lemurs comprise more than 50 species, all of which are unique to the island of Madagascar, which is the world's f...

World-first technology enables study of ancient bacteria

Experts at Cardiff University, UK, have designed world-first technology to investigate sustainable energy sources from the ocean bed by isolating ancient high-pressure bacteria from deep sediments. . .. Some of these bacteria produce methane that accumulat...

Did humans cause ecosystem collapse in ancient Australia?

Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia may be linked, according to scientists at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College.* The extinctions occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago. The researchers traced evidence of diet and the environment contained in ancient eggshells and wombat teeth over t...

Aquatic plants may hold key to advancing plant disease management

The way aquatic plants respond to plant disease and climate change may have applications for managing land-based agriculture, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS). . .. Research done on the management of freshwater plant disease has created environ...

Optimizing cell therapy against tumors is a balancing ACT

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapy is used to treat patients with metastatic solid tumors. ACT involves the removal of some of the patient's cancer cells, and some of their immune T cells. When the cells are mixed together, specific parts of the cancer cells that stimulate the T cells to cause an immune attack can be identified. The T cells get expanded and re-infused into the patient to mount...

NHGRI expands effort to revolutionize sequencing technologies

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has awarded grants totaling more than $32 million to advance the development of innovative sequencing technologies intended to reduce the cost of DNA sequencing and expand the use of genomics in biomedical research and health care. . "The efforts are aimed at speeding the rate...

MBL researchers probe how an ancient microbe thrives and evolves without sex

A January 2004 finding by biologists at the Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution added important evidence to the radical conclusion that a group of diminutive aquatic animals called bdelloid rotifers have evolved for tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction, in apparent violation of the rule that abandonment of sexual reproduction is a biological...

Defective Gene Linked to Two Inherited Immune Deficiencies

Defects in a single gene can result in two immune system disorders that leave affected individuals vulnerable to frequent or unusually severe infections, according to new findings reported in the August issue of Nature Genetics. The discovery may lead to new diagnostic tests for these two inherited conditions ?immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency and common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Currentl...

Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa

The fossil teeth and jawbones of two new species of tiny monkey-like creatures that lived 37 million years ago have been sifted from ancient sediments in the Egyptian desert, researchers have reported. . .. The researchers published their dis...

Rutgers researchers scientifically link dancing ability to mate quality

Dance has long been recognized as a signal of courtship in many animal species, including humans. Better dancers presumably attract more mates, or a more desirable mate. . .. Reporting in Thursday's edition of the British science journal Nature, Rutgers anthropologists collaborating with University of Washington comp...

Ancient trans-Atlantic swarm brought locusts to the New World

Somewhere between three and five million years ago, a massive swarm of locusts took off from the west coast of Africa and made an unlikely voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to colonize the New World, says an international team of researchers. . Using genetic evidence from more than 20 species of locusts, scientists from the Universities of Toronto, Arizona, Maryland, Cornell University and the U.S...

Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from Asia

Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. The finding solves a longstanding archaeological enigma by explaining how a domesticated varian...

Twin molecular scissors link creation of microRNAs with gene-silencing

One of the body's primary strategies for regulating its genome is a kind of targeted gene silencing orchestrated by small molecules called microRNAs, or miRNAs. First observed only a few years ago, these molecules appear to inactivate messenger RNA, itself responsible for translating genes into proteins. Scientists have been eager to know more about miRNAs, clearly important players on the geneti...

A salty tale: New bacterial genome sequenced from ancient salterns

Tourists in Spain often stop to ogle the country's many saltwater lagoons, used to produce salt since Roman times. Scientists, too, admire these saltern crystallizers--and even more so, the microbes that manage to survive in such briny environs. Now, reporting in the November 28-December 2 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at The Institute fo...

Ancient DNA helps UF researchers unearth potential hemophilia therapy

A cut can be life-threatening for people with hemophilia, whose bodies don't produce enough of a protein that prevents prolonged bleeding. . Now University of Florida researchers may be one step closer to finding a safe way to spur production of this missing protein in patients with the most common form of the hereditary bleeding disorder. Using a dormant strand of DNA that has quietly existed in...

Sequencing our seas

Scientists have sequenced and compared the genomes of planktonic microbes living throughout the water column in the Pacific Ocean. The pioneering study yielded insight into the specialization of microbial communities at each depth--ranging from 40 to more than 13,000 feet. . "By reading the information stored in the genomes of entire microbial communities, we can begin to measure the pulse of thi...
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