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Signal in Biological News

Restoring a natural root signal helps to fight a major corn pest

A longstanding and fruitful collaboration between researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Neuchtel in Switzerland, together with contributions from colleagues in Munich and the US, has produced another first: the successful manipulation of a crop plant to...

Wet ear wax and unpleasant body odors signal breast cancer risk

If having malodorous armpits (called osmidrosis) and goopy earwax isn't bad enough, a discovery by Japanese scientists may add a more serious problem for women facing these cosmetic calamities. That's because they've found that a gene responsible for breast cancer causes these physical symptoms. T...

When under attack, plants can signal microbial friends for help

Researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered that when the leaf of a plant is under attack by a pathogen, it can send out an S.O.S. to the roots for help, and the roots will respond by secreting an acid that brings beneficial bacteria to the rescue. The finding quashes the misperce...

Traits produced by melanin may signal the bearer's capacity to combat free radicals

Some animal species have developed conspicuous traits produced by melanin pigments (for instance, dark manes in lions, black stripes in some birds and fishes). These traits are used as signals during contests for resources and/or contribute to increase the mating opportunities. However, the effici...

Statistics are insufficient for study of proteins' signal system

Ten years ago great attention was attracted by the discovery that it was possible to demonstrate signal transfer in proteins using statistical methods. In an article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) Uppsala researchers are now presenting results of experiments t...

DNA variations signal lupus risk

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Scientists have pinpointed a set of common variations in human DNA that signal a higher risk for lupus in women who carry them. Some of these variations are more common in relatives of lupus patients, which may help future studies examining whether lupus is more prevalent among c...

Researchers find signal that switches on eye development -- could lead to 'eye in a dish'

Researchers at the University of Warwick, funded by Wellcome Trust, have uncovered a crucial signal that switches on eye development. This discovery will greatly assist researchers looking at stem cells connected to eye development and opens up an avenue of research that could eventually lead to a...

Blood test may help signal tumor's remission, return in throat cancer patients

A blood test that detects proteins commonly released by a growing tumor could one day become a useful tool for monitoring the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in people with advanced throat cancer, according to a study published in the June 1, 2007, issue of Clinical Cancer R...

Power-boosting signal in muscle declines with age

As people age, they may have to exercise even harder to get the benefits afforded to younger folk. That's the suggestion of a report in the February issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press, showing that a signal that gives muscles a kind of metabolic boost in response to exerc...

Antibody signal may redirect inflammation to fuel cancer

As evidence mounts that the body's normally protective inflammation response can drive some precancerous tissues to become fully malignant, UCSF scientists report discovering an apparent trigger to this potentially deadly process. Typically, the "innate" immune system's Pac-Man-like white blood ...

One signal elicits thousands of answers

Cell signaling mechanisms often transmit information via protein modifications, most importantly the reversible attachment of phosphate, the so-called protein phosphorylation. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried have now developed a technology to identify and quan...

Shrinking ponds signal warmer, dryer Alaska

A first-of-its kind analysis of fifty years of remotely sensed imagery from the 1950s to 2002 shows a dramatic reduction in the size and number of more than 10,000 ponds in Alaska. The analysis, by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists and published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Resea...

Ritalin packs punch by elevating norepinephrine, suppressing nerve signal transmissions

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) elevates norepinephrine levels in the brains of rats to help focus attention while suppressing nerve signal transmissions in the sensory pathways to make it easier to block out extraneous stimuli, a Philadelphia research team has found. Their report in the Journal of Neu...

A resetting signal keeps circadian rhythm on track in Drosophila fruit flies

A Brandeis University study published this week in Nature shows for the first time that a molecular signal maintains coherence among brain clock cells that regulate daily activity of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). The two key groups of neurons control morning and evening activity and are ma...

Neurotransmitters signal aggressive cancer, offer potential for early diagnosis

Nerves talk to each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of those "communication chemicals," aptly named GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), shows up in unusually high amounts in some aggressive tumors, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis....

Fluorescing lab worms signal longer life spans

University of Colorado at Boulder scientists have used a fluorescent marker to predict the individual life spans of identical worms that were genetically engineered to illuminate stress levels, implying living organisms have "hidden physiological states" that dictate their ability to deal with the ...

Immune system's distress signal tells bacteria when to strike back

The human opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, has broken the immune system's code, report researchers from the University of Chicago, enabling the bacteria to recognize when its host is most vulnerable and to launch an attack before the weakened host can muster its defenses. In the 29...

NIH stimulus funding supports Emory biomedical scientists

...isease could help neurologists treat it earlier and possibly delay its progression. Certain chemicals produced as part of the brain's metabolism could signal the presence of the disease. Scientists are testing magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a way to spot these chemicals in the brain. Impact of vide...

Understanding how weeds are resistant to herbicides

...-prohibitive." Tranel believes waterhemp is the first weed to be partially sequenced using this technology. The pyrosequencing machine emits a light signal that's captured every time a nucleotide is incorporated into a growing DNA strand. "The reason it's so fast is that it's done in parallel," said Trane...

Holding breath for several minutes elevates marker for brain damage

... BETHESDA, Md. (August 4, 2009) Divers who held their breath for several minutes had elevated levels of a protein that can signal brain damage, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology . However, the appearance of the protein, S100B, was transient and leav...

DNA computation gets logical at the Weizmann Institute of Science

...ed for a fit in a hierarchical process. The answer was encoded in a flash of green light: Some of the strands had a biological version of a flashlight signal they were equipped with a naturally glowing fluorescent molecule bound to a second protein which keeps the light covered. A specialized enzyme, attra...

Protecting cells from their neighbors

...hbouring somatic cells. The researchers have now discovered that the cells that abut germ cells are protected by a mechanism that blocks the silencing signal emitted by the latter. Casanova explains the context of the study, "it is crucial to unveil all the actors and molecular mechanisms that participate i...

Extraterrestrial platinum was 'stirred' into the Earth

...large-scale convection processes, which now cause plate tectonics, this material was stirred down into the interior of the Earth. We are seeing the signal of that stirring, which took about 1.5 billion years to occur. This is the first time a time scale has been put on the stirring, which has important...

Stress signals link pre-existing sickness with susceptibility to bacterial infection

... stroke-like episodes, epilepsy, ataxia, muscle weakness and kidney disease. The metabolic abnormalities that cause these effects also induce a stress signal intended to help the body overcome its energy deficit. The stress-signal induces the production of more mitochondria, the energy generating 'powerpla...

Noise pollution negatively affects woodland bird communities, says CU-Boulder study

...se in noisy areas, he said. Woodland birds that prefer noisy areas may even use the clamor of civilization as cues for nesting, since such noise might signal a reduction in potential predators. The researchers also found that a number of bird species found in the noisy sites -- including gray flycatch...

Music is the engine of new U-M lab-on-a-chip device

...iberoptics, or cable television. Nobody's dragging 200 separate wires all over your house to power all those channels," Burns said. "There's one cable signal that gets decoded." The system developed by Burns, chemical engineering doctoral student Sean Langelier, and their collaborators replaces these ai...

Building memories with actin

...dn't know what controlled these changes. Rex et al. tackled the question by dosing slices of rat hippocampus with adenosine, a naturally occurring signal that squelches LTP. Adenosine prevents phosphorylation and inactivation of cofilin, an inhibitor of actin filament assembly, the team found. Cofilin's...

A matter of density, not quantity

... a process by which cells are able to detect the accumulation of a released signal and then change their behavior when the signal concentration exceeds a threshold level. Traditionally, quorum sensing is t...

Plant protein 'doorkeepers' block invading microbes, study finds

... good sense of what protein complexes these proteins belong to and how they signal to confer disease resistance. "Our ability to purify an immune protein complex will serve as a starting point to understand how these proteins signal in the plant," Coaker said. "A greater understanding of how these proteins...

Ozone depletes oil seed rape productivity

...pe seeds in high ozone, these results (to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in Glasgow on 29th June 2009) could signal a significant income loss for farmers and an indirect effect on human health and the safety of food in future climates. The research, to be prese...

'Normal' cells far from cancer give nanosignals of trouble

...ase in disorder -- the structural variations -- within the cell. PWS quantifies the statistical properties of cell nanoscale architecture by using the signal generated by light waves striking the complex structure of the cell. A cell's nanoarchitecture includes the fundamental "building blocks" of the ce...

First cGMP feeder-independent pluripotent stem cell banks released for distribution

...explore the reality of using pluripotent stem cells to cure human disease, the tools now provided through this partnership between WiCell and the WCBF signal the beginning of a new era in regenerative medicine." ...

Neural stem cell differentiation factor discovered

...tes have supportive functions in the environment of neurons, while oligodendrocytes form the myelin layer around axons in order to accelerate neuronal signal transmission. But how does a neural stem cell know" which way it is supposed to develop? On the molecular level receptors of the Notch family play a s...

New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women

...e, breaks or interruptions in a lesion can indicate a benign fibroadenoma. Lumps with smooth edges often are benign, while those with jagged edges can signal cancer. To generate the kind of crisp, three-dimensional images necessary for such a diagnosis, Block, UW-Madison radiology associate professor Fre...

Female human embryos adjust the balance of X chromosomes before implantation

...nd that while the male embryos showed hardly any signs of XIST, the female embryos started to show signs of XIST at the eight-cell stage, and the XIST signal grew stronger at the morula and blastocyst stages. "Our results are the first to show that, contrary to what was previously published, human embryo...

Ozone depletes oil seed rape productivity

...pe seeds in high ozone, these results (to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in Glasgow on 29th June 2009) could signal a significant income loss for farmers and an indirect effect on human health and the safety of food in future climates. The research, to be prese...

Plant protein 'doorkeepers' block invading microbes, study finds

... good sense of what protein complexes these proteins belong to and how they signal to confer disease resistance. "Our ability to purify an immune protein complex will serve as a starting point to understand how these proteins signal in the plant," Coaker said. "A greater understanding of how these proteins...

New trigger for chronic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis discovered

... A signal molecule made by the human body that triggers the immune system into action...into action and protect the body from disease. Today's findings show that a signal molecule called tenascin-C can trigger the same molecular switch and also a...

Trio of signals converge to induce liver and pancreas cell development in the embryo

...ntiation. While my lab and others had previously looked at individual signals that influence development, in this paper we simultaneously mapped three signal paths that converge to induce liver and pancreas cells. We're starting to construct a network of the common signals that govern development of these s...

Environmental cues control reproductive timing and longevity, University of Minnesota study shows

...ntries with chronic food shortages, girls experience menarche much later than in the U.S., where rich diets trigger early menarche. Food scarcity is a signal that population is likely to decline, so reproduction is delayed, while an abundance of rich food signals an increase, causing reproductive age to dro...
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