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acts in Biological News

Water acts as catalyst in explosives

LIVERMORE, Calif. - The most abundant material on Earth exhibits some unusual chemical properties when placed under extreme conditions. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have shown that water, in hot dense environments, plays an unexpected role in catalyzing complex explosive re...

Deep in the ocean, a clam that acts like a plant

How does life survive in the black depths of the ocean? At the surface, sunlight allows green plants to "fix" carbon from the air to build their bodies. Around hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean live communities of giant clams with no gut and no functional digestive system, depending on symbiotic...

Navigating in the ocean of molecules

...of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund aim to facilitate the search for suitable pharmaceutical substances. The program, which is called Scaffold Hunter, acts as a tool for navigating chemical space. It generates maps of chemically-related structures and links them to biological activity, that is, to their p...

AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009

...ions.shtml 1. Ozone depletion reduces ocean carbon uptake The Southern Ocean plays an important role in mitigating climate change because it acts as a sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Most current models predict that the strength of the Southern Ocean carbon dioxide sink should increase as at...

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers reveal ocean acidification at Station ALOHA

...er than it is. However, this beneficial role of the oceans as a CO 2 "scrubber" does not come without undesired consequences. When dissolved, CO 2 acts as an acid, and lowers seawater pH. Since the beginning of the industrial age, CO 2 -driven acidification of the surface oceans has already caused a ...

The way you eat may affect your risk for breast cancer

...ancer Prevention Center at the Jewish General Hospital, both in Montreal. This study "contributes to accumulating evidence that caloric restriction acts by altering hormone levels rather than by directly starving cancers of energy. In particular, lower levels of insulin are associated with reduced food...

La Jolla Institute discovers novel tumor suppressor

...ll Biology Laboratory, called the finding an "important" step in advancing understanding of blood cancers. "It's very interesting that this molecule acts in this way independently of its enzyme activity," he said. "It's quite an unexpected finding and it definitely has the potential for helping the scie...

Parasites ready to jump

...itt (LMU) in Munich and a team of researchers working with the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster have now uncovered a new type of cellular defence that acts against DNA sequences present in high copy numbers inside the cell, even if they have not integrated into the genome. Small molecules of RNA (a class ...

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source

..." that could shrink the diameter of the liquid jet to a thread so small it would not clog the physical aperture of the tube. In effect, the gas sheath acts to focus the liquid stream. Spence and his colleagues needed a true microthread of liquid, however, one that produced droplets sized a millionth of...

Common allergy drug reduces obesity and diabetes in mice

... second study, researchers found that a kind of white blood cell called a regulatory T cell, once thought to manage only other white blood cells, also acts as a liaison between the metabolic and immune systemsin this case, controlling inflammation in fat tissue. Fat tissue from obese and insulin-resistant...

DOE-funded research projects win 46 R&D 100 Awards for 2009

...ze of a shoe box. Laser Beam Centering and Pointing System This system does the work of two sensors by using a special dual-imaging lens, which acts like a bifocal, to capture both images simultaneously and combine them into one. Because the system combines two alignment sensors into one, it cuts t...

New windows opened on cell-to-cell interactions

... contain tiny fluorescent probes at the outer end. These miniscule polymers were incorporated into artificial membranes placed on a silicon wafer that acts like a mirror, allowing precise optical measurements of the orientation of the molecule. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of rigid, rod-li...

Chasing tiny vehicles

... fluorescence microscopy to follow the nanoferries on their voyage. This highly sensitive method works by tagging individual particles with a dye that acts like a "molecular lamp" to light up the particle's path into the cell. "Thus, we have traced magnetic lipoplex nanoparticles and made movies of th...

Flexible neck in cell-receptor DC-SIGN targets more pathogens

...meter conformational change is binding-induced, and made possible by a flexible linker in the neck, the researchers report. "The protein neck region acts as a stiff, but flexible, rod that projects the molecule's binding sites away from the cell surface," Leckband said. "A rigid presentation of the bind...

Hormone clue to root growth

...ogy describes for first time how this hormone also regulates the number of cells in the root in order to control root growth. Gibberellin normally acts by signaling the removal of proteins which repress growth, and so promotes root cell production. The new research shows that mutant plants that do not...

Clinical trial shows quadriplegics can operate powered wheelchair with tongue drive system

...tably remember and having all of the commands available to the user at the same time are significant advantages over the common sip-n-puff device that acts as a simple switch controlled by sucking or blowing through a straw. Some sip-n-puff users also consider the straw to be a symbol of their disabil...

New e-science service could accelerate cancer research

...s of a Web Service. In addition to providing the means to programmatically access life science tools and databases over the Internet, the facility acts as a place where researchers can contact and meet the experts and maintainers of these services. Web services have gained a momentum as a means for...

Molecular typesetting -- proofreading without a proofreader

...gene on our DNA onto a template, called RNA. This copying process is carried out by molecular machines called RNA polymerases. "The RNA polymerase acts like an old fashioned newsprint typesetter, constructing newsprint by assembling letters one at a time. Similarly, RNA polymerase constructs RNA by re...

Growth in German children

..., body growth is accepted as an important indicator of the socioeconomic conditions of a society. However, the biological mechanism through which this acts is still unknown. ...

Caltech researchers explore how cells reconcile mixed messages in decisions about growth

... grow multicellular structuresand, ultimately, tissuesin specific, spatial ways." And as for cancer? It's long been assumed that contact inhibition acts as a sort of switch that, when present, prevents tumor formation and, when absent, results in cell overgrowth and cancer. "Our findings support a more...

UC Davis researchers visualize formation of a new synapse

...he UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. "Our work suggests that neuroligin is one of the first molecules to be recruited to new synapses and that it also acts as Velcro to strengthen those new connections." Neuroligin is a member of a family of four protein molecules that bind to another family of protein...

Nonstick and laser-safe gold aids laser trapping of biomolecules

...ipulate, track and measure molecules like DNA, which typically have one end bonded to a surface and the other end attached to a micron-sized bead that acts as a handle for the laser. Until now, creating the platform for such experiments has generally involved nonspecifically absorbing fragile molecules on...

Stress puts double whammy on reproductive system, fertility

...AS ) The conclusions are based on experiments in rats and inferences from the effects of the hormone in birds. But if this new reproductive hormone acts the same way in all mammals, researchers say the finding could not only change the way physicians look at human reproductive problems, but also affect...

Huntington's disease deciphered

... Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how the mutated huntingtin gene acts on the nervous system to create the devastation of Huntington's disease. The report of their findings is available in Nature Neuroscience online. ...

Protein linked to change in tissue that surround and support breast tumors

...AIB1, which is known to be over-produced at the RNA level in a significant portion of breast cancers. Previous research at GUMC has found that AIB1 acts as a co-activator of growth proteins, such as estrogen receptor alpha and HER2/neu, which are also often over-expressed in tumor development. "AIB1 an...

Amarna Therapeutics B.V. and TNO announce SVac research and development partnership

...is now available to address the major diseases of our time including genetic disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergies and cancer. Amarna Therapeutics acts at the forefront of the therapeutic vaccination and gene therapy markets. Both markets are rapidly growing to reach an estimated 40 billion Euro&rsquo...

Natural seed treatment could drastically cut pesticide use

...t ten weeks after germination of the seeds. Treated seeds can also be stored and sown at a later stage. 'We think treating seeds with jasmonic acid acts rather like immunisation, protecting plants for an extended period after treatment,' says Dr Jason Moore, a member of the Lancaster team. Until now,...

Fatty foods -- not empty stomach -- fire up hunger hormone

...ody in high concentrations just before meals. It is dubbed the "hunger hormone" because it has been shown that administration of pharmacological doses acts in the brain to stimulate hunger and increase food intake in animal models and humans. The ghrelin hormone is unique in that it requires acylation ...

Bullies have harassed 14 percent of workers over past 6 months

...haracteristics of mobbing within the working population in Spain by using information from the nearly 3,000 valid responses received from the Negative acts Questionnaire Revised (NAQ-R), which is a specific tool used to measure workplace abuse. The survey sections are based on the definition of workpl...

Scientists discover new genetic immune disorder in children

... a protein known as interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). IL-1Ra binds to the same cell receptors as the inflammatory protein interleukin-1, and acts as a brake on this inflammatory protein. Without IL-1Ra, the children's bodies cannot control systemic inflammation that can be caused by interleukin-...

Simple drug treatment may prevent nicotine-induced SIDS: Study

...re. During those episodes, specific proteins sensitive to hypoxia stimulate the cell to release catecholamines. A secondary class of proteins then acts as a 'brake', ensuring the cells do not over excite themselves during this stressful time. However, exposure of the fetus to nicotine results in high...

Stem cell protein offers a new cancer target

...known to be closely related, but until last year's study connected LIN28 to let-7, it hadn't been clear how. "LIN28 is a fascinating protein that acts both in stem cells and cancers, and is teaching us that cancer is often a disease of stem cells," says Daley. Viswanathan, Daley and colleagues ar...

Newly discovered reactions from an old drug may lead to new antibiotics

...o inhibit the activity of certain selenoproteins. Since certain bacteria, such as C. difficile, require selenoproteins for energy metabolism, the drug acts as a potent antimicrobial halting the growth of the bacteria. The initial studies with C. difficile led to studies with T. denticola, known for se...

Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships

...ty of Wisconsin. "Young queens adopt a fungus from another nest and cultivate it in their new nest. This sort of temporary partner switching probably acts as an evolutionary safety net in the ant-fungus mutualism by preventing the accumulation of deleterious mutations." ...

Boston University biomedical engineers teach bacteria to count

...r and sticks it back in. Once the gene is backwards, it can no longer be transcribed but an extra snippet of DNA the researchers attached to its tail acts as a bookmark, showing protein-making machinery where to resume work. Each successive flip-over counts another event, and the fluorescing protein is a...

Synthetic catalyst mimics nature's 'hydrogen economy'

.... By creating a model of the active site found in a naturally occurring enzyme, chemists at the University of Illinois have described a catalyst that acts like nature's most pervasive hydrogen processor. The researchers describe their work in a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of the Amer...

New tool for next-generation cancer treatments using nanodiamonds

...f drug-carrying nanomaterials to individual cells. The tool, called the Nanofountain Probe, functions in two different ways: in one mode, the probe acts like a fountain pen, wherein drug-coated nanodiamonds serve as the ink, allowing researchers to create devices by 'writing' with it. The second mode f...

How an enzyme tells stem cells which way to divide

...'s fate, is not as complex as biologists thought, according to University of Oregon biochemists. They've found that one enzyme (aPKC) stands alone and acts as a traffic cop that directs which roads daughter cells will take. "Wherever aPKC is at on a cell's cortex or membrane, Miranda isn't," says Kenne...

Pliable proteins keep photosynthesis on the light path

...ly challenging. A premier ultrafast laser spectroscopic detection system that Lin has built, with the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation, acts like a high-speed motion picture camera. It splits the light spectrum into infinitesimally discrete slivers, allowing the group to capture vast numbe...

Flow of potassium into cells implicated in schizophrenia

...inking genes with complex disorders like schizophrenia requires that we not only demonstrate statistical association, but also show how a gene version acts biologically to confer risk," explained Daniel Weinberger, M.D., director of National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Genes Cognition and Psychosi...
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