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New computer simulation helps explain folding in important cellular protein

Athens, Ga. Most parts of living organisms come packaged with ribbons. The ribbons are proteinschains of amino acids that must fold into three-dimensional structures to work properly. But when for any reason the ribbons fold incorrectly, bad things can happen, and in humans misfolded-protein diso...

DNA template could explain evolutionary shifts

HOUSTON (June 21, 2009) Rearrangements of all sizes in genomes, genes and exons can result from a glitch in DNA copying that occurs when the process stalls at a critical point and then shifts to a different genetic template, duplicating and even triplicating genes or just shuffling or deleting p...

Fate in fly sensory organ precursor cells could explain human immune disorder

HOUSTON (June 21, 2009) Notch signaling helps determine the fate of a number of different cell types in a variety of organisms, including humans. In an article that appears in the current issue of Nature Cell Biology , researchers at Baylor College of Medicine report that a new finding about th...

Chemical in blood may explain susceptibility to bladder pain

COLUMBUS, Ohio A marker in the blood of both cats and humans that was identified in a recent study might signal both species' susceptibility for a painful bladder disorder called interstitial cystitis, a condition that is often difficult to diagnose. Follow-up studies of the chemicals that app...

Biologists devise unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles

KNOXVILLE -- Birds are commonly thought of as being the paragon of monogamous fidelity, staying true to their mate for life. Yet, in most bird species, some nests contain offspring of individuals other than the one's tending the nest. Why would a bird invest in another bird's offspring when gen...

Biologists consider unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles

KNOXVILLE -- Birds are commonly thought of as being the paragon of monogamous fidelity, staying true to their mate for life. Yet, in most bird species, some nests contain offspring of individuals other than the one's tending the nest. Why would a bird invest in another bird's offspring when gen...

Scientists explain how 'death receptors' designed to kill our cells may make them stronger

It turns out that from the perspective of cell biology, Nietzsche may have been right after all: that which does not kill us does make us stronger. In a review article published in the June 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal ( http://www.fasebj.org ), scientists from the Mayo Clinic explain h...

New research helps explain how connexin hemichannels are kept closed

Hemichannels are connexin channels that can dock with each other to create a gap junction across two plasma membranes. In the June 2009 issue of the Journal of General Physiology ( JGP ), Andrew Harris (University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey) discusses new research that provides insigh...

Using 'dominance' to explain dog behavior is old hat

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive dogs are NOT trying to assert their dominance over their canine or human "pack", according to research published by academics at the University of Bristol's Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Clinical Applicatio...

CSHL researchers explain process by which cells 'hide' potentially dangerous DNA segments

The DNA in the 23 pairs of chromosomes in each of the billions of cells of the human body is so tightly packed that it would measure six feet in length if stretched end to end. A genome of this size can squeeze into a cell's tiny nucleus because it is compressed into highly condensed chromatin fi...

Computer simulations explain the limitations of working memory

[PRESS RELEASE, 31 March 2009] Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet (KI) have constructed a mathematical activity model of the brain's frontal and parietal parts, to increase the understanding of the capacity of the working memory and of how the billions of neurons ...

Gene linked to lupus might explain gender difference in disease risk

DALLAS March 30, 2009 In an international human genetic study, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a gene linked to the autoimmune disease lupus, and its location on the X chromosome might help explain why females are 10 times more susceptible to the disease than males....

Difference in fat storage may explain lower rate of liver disease in African-Americans

DALLAS March 27, 2009 Where different ethnic groups store fat in their bodies may account for differences in the likelihood they'll develop insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. According to research reported in th...

Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery

Research published today reveals the major influence of fish on maintaining the delicate pH balance of our oceans, vital for the health of coral reefs and other marine life. The discovery, made by a team of scientists from the UK, US and Canada, could help solve a mystery that has puzzled marin...

MUHC and McGill scientists explain genetic disease first discovered in Quebec 24 years ago

This release is available in French . Scientists at the MUHC and McGill University have identified a gene essential for the uptake of vitamin B12 in human cells. The discovery of this gene finally completes a 24 year-old hunt for the cause of an incredibly rare genetic disorder called, cbl...

Study helps explain connection between sleep apnea, stroke and death

BETHESDA, Md. (Jan. 6, 2009) − Obstructive sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain and eventually harms the brain's ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself, according to a new study published by The American Physiological...

MIT researchers explain mystery of gravity fingers

Researchers at MIT recently found an elegant solution to a sticky scientific problem in basic fluid mechanics: why water doesn't soak into soil at an even rate, but instead forms what look like fingers of fluid flowing downward. Scientists call these rivulets "gravity fingers," and the explana...

New research helps explain genetics of Parkinson's disease

A new study by Narendra et al. suggests that Parkin, the product of the Parkinson's disease-related gene Park2, prompts neuronal survival by clearing the cell of its damaged mitochondria. "[This is] an exciting new discovery that links the fields of mitochondrial quality control and the geneti...

Study may explain exercise-induced fatigue in muscular dystrophies

A University of Iowa study suggests that the prolonged fatigue after mild exercise that occurs in people with many forms of muscular dystrophy is distinct from the inherent muscle weakness caused by the disease. The research, which is published in Nature Advance Online Publication Oct. 26, i...

Newly-discovered mechanism can explain the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

Researchers from Uppsala University have discovered a mechanism that silences several genes in a chromosome domain. The findings, published in today's on-line issue of Molecular Cell , have implications in understanding the human disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. In mammals the cells conta...

Diatom genome helps explain success in trapping excess carbon in oceans

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Diatoms, mighty microscopic algae, have profound influence on climate, producing 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe by capturing atmospheric carbon and in so doing, countering the greenhouse effect. Since their evolutionary origins these photosynthetic wonders have come to a...

Simulations help explain fast water transport in nanotubes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. By discovering the physical mechanism behind the rapid transport of water in carbon nanotubes, scientists at the University of Illinois have moved a step closer to ultra-efficient, next-generation nanofluidic devices for drug delivery, water purification and nano-manufacturing. ...

Eating fish may explain very low levels of heart disease in Japan

PITTSBURGH, July 28 Consuming large quantities of fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids may explain low levels of heart disease in Japan, according to a study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health slated for the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of...

Researchers explain nitrogen paradox in forests

Stanford, CA Nitrogen is essential to all life on Earth, and the processes by which it cycles through the environment may determine how ecosystems respond to global warming. But certain aspects of the nitrogen cycle in temperate and tropical forests have puzzled scientists, defying, in a sense, th...

Statistical tool could explain gene study variations

While scientists are using the human genome to associate certain genes with disease, Dr. Hongyan Xu wants to ensure they are accounting for natural variations in those genes. "These differences can create some challenges in analyzing data," says Dr. Xu, biostatistician in the Medical College of...

Monarch butterflies help explain why parasites harm hosts

Athens, Ga. Its a paradox that has confounded evolutionary biologists since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859: Since parasites depend on their hosts for survival, why do they harm them? A new University of Georgia and Emory University study of monarch butterflies and th...

Computers explain why pears may become brown during commercial storage

Internal browning of pears stored under low oxygen conditions is related to restricted gas exchange inside the fruit, according to a study published March 7th in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology. Researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium suggest a computer mode...

The Uukuniemi virus helps to explain the infection mechanism of bunyaviruses

The Uukuniemi virus helps to explain the infection mechanism of bunyaviruses causing hemorrhagic fevers and encephalitis A researcher group comprising Juha Huiskonen from the University of Helsinki and structural biologists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and the Max Planck Biochemi...

Study helps explain how allergic reactions are triggered

BOSTON In demonstrating that a group of calcium ion channels play a crucial role in triggering inflammatory responses, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have not only solved a longstanding molecular mystery regarding the onset of asthma and allergy symptoms, but have als...

Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution of sleep

PHILADELPHIA The roundworm C. elegans, a staple of laboratory research, may be key in unlocking one of the central biological mysteries: why we sleep. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report in this weeks advanced online edition of Nature that the round worm has a...

Can interacting pathogens explain disease patterns?

A new study into the way in which parasites interact with each other could help predict when infectious diseases are likely to break out. A group of scientists in the UK and the US has been studying the behaviour of infectious parasites in rabbits. The findings could lead to us being able to p...

A mechanism to explain biological 'cross-talk' between 24-hour body cycle and metabolism

PHILADELPHIA Its well known that the bodys energy levels cycle on a 24-hour, or circadian, schedule, and that this metabolic process is fueled by oxygen. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that a protein called Rev-erb coordinates the daily cycles of ...

The accumulation of sugar in neurons may explain the origin of several neurodegenerative diseases

A phenomenon considered healthy for cells, such as the accumulation of long chains of glucose (glycogen), which tissues store for energy purposes, is harmful for neurons. Published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience, this finding has been made by a team of Spanish researchers led by Joan J...

UVA researchers explain cell response to skin-damaging UV rays

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Oct. 1, 2007 -- Its well known that overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause major skin problems, ranging from skin cancer to sunburns and premature wrinkles. A tan, for example, is natures own UV protection and an unhealthy sign that your skin is damaged. ...

A study proposes a new universal rule to explain the equilibrium of plant populations

A study financed by the BBVA Foundation and conducted by scientists Carlos Duarte, Nuria Agust and Nuria Marb from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (CSIC University of the Balearic Islands) has allowed the first-time formulation of a universal rule that explains the equilibrium o...

A study proposes a new universal rule to explain the equilibrium of plant populations

A study financed by the BBVA Foundation and conducted by scientists Carlos Duarte, Nuria Agust and Nuria Marb from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (CSIC University of the Balearic Islands) has allowed the first-time formulation of a universal rule that explains the equilibrium o...

How do bacteria swim? Brown physicists explain

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Imagine yourself swimming in a pool: It's the movement of your arms and legs, not the viscosity of the water, that mostly dictates the speed and direction that you swim. For tiny organisms, the situation is different. Microbes' speed and direction are subjec...

Private 'Rocketeers' reach for space -- science writer in Canada to explain

In the second space age, human spaceflight may no longer be the domain of governments. Dream-chasing entrepreneurs and clever engineers are aggressively blazing new trails into the heavens and preparing the world for an era of space tourism, ultra fast point-to-point earth travel and even orbiting...

Mosquito genes explain response to climate change

University of Oregon researchers studying mosquitoes have produced the first chromosomal map that shows regions of chromosomes that activate ?and are apparently evolving ?in animals in response to climate change. The map will allow researchers to narrow their focus to identify specific genes tha...

Theory of oscillations may explain biological mysteries

New mathematical studies of the interactions between oscillating biological populations may shed light on some of the toughest questions in ecology, including the number and types of species in an ecosystem, according to an article in the December 2006 issue of BioScience. The article, by John Vand...
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