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Understanding in Biological News

Advance in understanding cellulose synthesis

Palo Alto, CACellulose is a fibrous molecule that makes up plant cell walls, gives plants shape and form and is a target of renewable, plant-based biofuels research. But how it forms, and thus how it can be modified to design energy-rich crops, is not well understood. Now a study led by researcher...

Diminuendo -- New mouse model for understanding cause of progressive hearing loss

The respective microRNA seed region influences the production of sensory hair cells in the inner ear, both in the mouse and in humans. The findings have been published ahead of print in the current online issue of Nature Genetics . This study represents a major step forward in elucidating the com...

Optimum running speed is stride toward understanding human body form

MADISON Runners, listen up: If your body is telling you that your pace feels a little too fast or a little too slow, it may be right. A new study, published online March 18 in the Journal of Human Evolution , shows that the efficiency of human running varies with speed and that each individu...

Biologist receives the 2008 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Kenneth R. Miller, professor of biology in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University as winner of the 2008 AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology. Miller ...

New technique is quantum leap forward in understanding proteins

In this ongoing quest, a group of Scripps Research Institute scientists, along with colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) have borrowed from physics to deliver one of those research raritiesan unmitigated success. The group has devised a computational method that, with re...

Stowers Institute's Linheng Li Lab expands understanding of bone marrow stem cell niche

The Stowers Institute's Linheng Li Lab has identified the precise location of the bone marrow stem cell niche. The findings were published today in the Advance Online Publication of Nature . The Linheng Li Lab collaborated with several of the Institute's support facilities to develop a new te...

Caltech scientists engineer supersensitive receptor, gain better understanding of dopamine system

PASADENA, Calif.--Genetically modifying a receptor found on the neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine has given California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers a unique glimpse into the workings of the brain's dopamine system--as well as a new target for treating diseases tha...

Proteins in sperm unlock understanding of male infertility says new study

Proteins found in sperm are central to understanding male infertility and could be used to determine new diagnostic methods and fertility treatments according to a paper published by the journal Molecular and Cellular Proteomics (MCP). The article demonstrates how proteomics, a relatively new fi...

Better understanding of blood vessel constrictor needed to harness its power for patients

To harness endothelin-1's power to constrict blood vessels and help patients manage high blood pressure or heart failure, scientists must learn more about how endothelin functions naturally and in disease states, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher. Despite strong laboratory evidence t...

Pictures of hot fudge sundaes arouse: Understanding emotions improves our food choices

Menus and advertising affect our emotions, and if we understand those emotions, we make better food choices, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research . Authors Blair Kidwell, David M. Hardesty, and Terry L. Childers (all University of Kentucky) examined the "emotional intel...

Gaining a better understanding of kidney diseases

This press release is available in German . Cystic kidney disease, renal fibrosis, or renal cell carcinoma: Many diseases of the excretory organs are characterized by overproduction or on the contrary absence of characteristic proteins in the renal cells. An international research team und...

Do 68 molecules hold the key to understanding disease?

Why is it that the origins of many serious diseases remain a mystery? In considering that question, a scientist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has come up with a unified molecular view of the indivisible unit of life, the cell, which may provide an answer. Revie...

Trichoplax genome sequenced -- 'rosetta stone' for understanding evolution

New Haven, Conn. Yale molecular and evolutionary biologists in collaboration with Department of Energy scientists produced the full genome sequence of Trichoplax , one of nature's most primitive multicellular organisms, providing a new insight into the evolution of all higher animals. The find...

Characterization of grapevine transposons furthers understanding of in vino variety

The grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is a widely cultivated crop that has been subjected to intensive breeding since the Neolithic period (from ~10,500 to ~6,000 years ago). The domestication of grapevine has undergone a selection for traits important for its cultivation and usage. The recent publica...

Genome of saltwater creature could aid understanding of gene grouping

HOUSTON (Aug. 20, 2008) The genetic code of a simple saltwater creature could help researchers learn more about how groups of genes function in humans and other species. A study published this week in the journal Nature breaks down the genetic code of Trichoplax , a simple saltwater creatu...

Simple model cell is key to understanding cell complexity

A team of Penn State researchers has developed a simple artificial cell with which to investigate the organization and function of two of the most basic cell components: the cell membrane and the cytoplasm--the gelatinous fluid that surrounds the structures in living cells. The work could lead to...

AACR annual meeting showcases developments in understanding and targeting cancers

SAN DIEGO -- Cutting-edge breakthroughs in molecular targeting, translational cancer research and cancer prevention will take center stage when more than 17,000 scientists from around the world gather at the San Diego Convention Center April 12-16 for the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Associ...

NYU scientists set stage for understanding how color vision is processed

New York University biologists have mapped the medulla circuitry in fruit flies, setting the stage for subsequent research on how color vision is processed. The work, which appeared in the journal Current Biology, will allow future scholarship to explore how color vision is processed in the optic ...

From delicious to death: Understanding taste

PHILADELPHIA (February 25, 2008) -- Despite the significance of taste to both human gratification and survival, a basic understanding of this primal sense is still unfolding. Taste provides both pleasure and protection. Often taken for granted, the sense of taste evaluates everything humans pu...

Scientists expand understanding of how river carbon impacts the Arctic Ocean

Arctic rivers transport huge quantities of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the Arctic Ocean. The prevailing paradigm regarding DOC in arctic rivers is that it is largely refractory, making it of little significance for the biogeochemistry of the Arctic Ocean. However, a recent study by R. M. Ho...

Researchers move 2 steps closer to understanding genetic underpinnings of autism

Todays issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG), describes what might be a corner piece of the autism puzzlethe identification and subsequent validation of a gene linked to the development of autism by three separate groups of scientists. An accompanying commentary by Dr. Dietrich St...

Atmospheric measuring device for understanding smog formation

UPTON, NY - Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new tool for quantitatively measuring elusive atmospheric chemicals that play a key role in the formation of photochemical smog. Better measurements will improve scientists' understanding of t...

Researchers discover important tool in understanding differentiation in human embryonic stem cells

Researchers at the University of Minnesotas Stem Cell Institute have described how an existing genetic tool can be used to study how human embryonic stem cells differentiate. The research appears in the November 2007 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine. Researchers know very little about...

Gregory Hannon wins 2007 Paul Marks Prize for contributions to understanding and treating cancer

Cold Spring Harbor, NY Gregory J. Hannon, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, along with two other young investigators will be the recipients of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centers (MSKCC) 2007 Paul Marks Prize for...

Systems Biology poised to revolutionize the understanding of cell function and disease

Systems Biology is transforming the way scientists think about biology and disease. This novel approach to research could prompt a shake up in medical science and it might ultimately allow clinicians to predict and treat complex diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, cancer, and metabolic syndr...

A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer

Montreal, 9 August 2007 - An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms that trigger cancer cell growth is vital to the development of more targeted treatments for the disease. An article published in the August 3 issue of Molecular Cell provides a key to these mechanisms that may prove crucial in t...

USP Convention and Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission sign Memorandum of Understanding

Rockville, Md., March 6, 2008 The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and the Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission (ChP) this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the purpose of working together to strengthen the quality of medicines and foods in the United States and China. Roger...

Breakthrough in understanding type-2 diabetes as key genes identified

The most important genes associated with a risk of developing type-2 diabetes have been identified, scientists report today in a new study. The research, published online in Nature, is the first time the genetic makeup of any disease has been mapped in such detail. It should enable scientists to ...

Ocean's 'twilight zone' may be a key to understanding climate change

A major study sheds new light on the role of carbon dioxide once it's transported to the oceans' depths. The research indicates that instead of sinking, carbon dioxide is often consumed by animals and bacteria and recycled in the "twilight zone," a dimly lit area 100 to 1,000 meters below the surfa...

Molecular atlas provides new tool for understanding estrogen-fueled breast cancer

Lurking in unexplored regions of the human genome are thousands of previously unknown on/off switches that may influence how the growth of breast cancer is driven by estrogen, new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers has revealed. In the October issue of Nature Genetics, the inve...

RNA map provides first comprehensive understanding of alternative splicing

It's biology's version of the director's cut. In much the same way that numerous films could be stitched together from a single reel of raw footage, a molecular process called alternative splicing enables a single gene to produce multiple proteins. Now a new RNA map, created by a team of researcher...

A new understanding of how cells defend themselves against bacterial pore-forming toxins

Biologists at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) have unveiled a new twist in a metabolic pathway that cells use to defend themselves against toxins made by disease-causing bacteria. The discovery of this pathway, published in the September 22 issue of the journal Cell, advances...

Researchers add to understanding of how brain cells communicate

An hour from now, will you remember reading this? It all depends on proteins in your brain called NMDA receptors, which allow your neurons to communicate with each other. Jon W. Johnson, University of Pittsburgh associate professor of neuroscience, and former Pitt graduate student Anqi Qian, now ...

New understanding of parasite cell structures may provide treatments for serious tropical diseases

Don't even think about trying to pronounce it. Although it is found in many organisms including humans, glycosylphosphatidylinositol has remained a mouthful for laymen and a puzzle for scientists. And yet GPIs, as science thankfully calls these cellular lipids, are important in numerous biological ...

Study provides new understanding of spontaneous hybridization

Plant and animal breeders have long used hybridization to transfer useful traits between species. But does the same process happen without human aid? In a new study in the June issue of American Naturalist, Kenneth D. Whitney (Indiana University and Rice University), Rebecca A. Randell (Indiana Uni...

New understanding of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes could revise classification of pain meds

COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes may be blocked by pain medications such as Advil and Vioxx in a more complex manner than was previously understood, a Queen's University study has found. "The results of the study have potential implications for how we classify the commonly used anti-inflammatory and pain ...

Salk researchers make fast strides towards understanding how our body controls walking

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an important circuit in the spinal cord that controls the speed with which our leg muscles contract and relax. Their findings mark an important milestone in understanding the neural circuitry that coordinates walking movements...

Forsyth scientists gain greater understanding of how embryos differentiate left from right

Researchers at the Forsyth Institute have discovered a new mechanism responsible for early left/right patterning, the process by which organs locate themselves on the left or right side of the body. The discovery of this novel mechanism, garnered through the study of three different vertebrates (...

Frog’s ear canal may provide insights for understanding human hearing loss

A rare frog that lives in rushing streams and waterfalls in east-central China is able to make itself heard above the roar of flowing water by communicating ultrasonically, scientists reported March 16 in the journal Nature. Attributes that enable the frog to hear ultrasounds are made possible by t...

New understanding of regeneration gained by Forsyth scientists

Forsyth Institute research with the flatworm, planaria, offers new clues for understanding restoration of body structures. Researchers at The Forsyth Institute have discovered how the worm's cells communicate to correctly repair and regenerate tissue. Forsyth scientists have found that gap-junctio...
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