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switch in Biological News

Fujitsu Expands Support for Ethernet Networks With New Additions to XG Switch Product Line

SUNNYVALE, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc., a leading supplier of innovative computer products including hard disk drives, peripherals and biometric security solutions, today launched a new aggregated series of 24-port and 48-port 1Gb/10Gb Ether...

Just in time for spring: Scientists find the cellular on and off switch for allergies and asthma

If you're one of the millions who dread the spring allergy season, things are looking up. A research study appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( http://www.jleukbio.org ) shows how a team of American scientists have identified a previously unknown cellular switch ...

Desert woodrats switch one dietary poison for another

As the U.S. Southwest grew warmer between 18,700 and 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing woodrats of their favorite food. Now biologists have narrowed the hunt for detoxification genes that let the rodents eat the toxic creosote bushes that repla...

Genetic switch potential key to new class of antibiotics

Researchers have determined the structure of a key genetic mechanism at work in bacteria, including some that are deadly to humans, in an important step toward the design of a new class of antibiotics, according to an accelerated publication that appeared online today as a "paper of the week" in t...

Desert woodrats switch one dietary poison for another

As the U.S. Southwest grew warmer between 18,700 and 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing woodrats of their favorite food. Now biologists have narrowed the hunt for detoxification genes that let the rodents eat the toxic creosote bushes that repla...

Team identifies a molecular switch linking infectious disease and depression

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that IDO, an enzyme found throughout the body and long suspected of playing a role in depression, is in fact essential to the onset of depressive symptoms sparked by chronic inflammation. Their study, just published online in the Journal of Imm...

Stem cell breakthrough: Monitoring the on switch that turns stem cells into muscle

In a genetic engineering breakthrough that could help everyone from bed-ridden patients to elite athletes, a team of American researchersincluding 2007 Nobel Prize winner Mario R. Capecchihave created a "switch" that allows mutations or light signals to be turned on in muscle stem cells to monitor...

Gene switch sites found mainly on 'shores,' not just 'islands' of the human genome

Scientists who study how human chemistry can permanently turn off genes have typically focused on small islands of DNA believed to contain most of the chemical alterations involved in those switches. But after an epic tour of so-called DNA methylation sites across the human genome in normal and ca...

How chromosomes meet in the dark -- Switch that turns on X chromosome matchmaking

A research group lead by scientists at the University of Warwick has discovered the trigger that pulls together X chromosomes in female cells at a crucial stage of embryo development. Their discovery could also provide new insights into how other similar chromosomes spontaneously recognize each ot...

Researchers find nature's shut-off switch for cellulose production

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers found a mechanism that naturally shuts down cellulose production in plants, and learning how to keep that switch turned on may be key to enhancing biomass production for plant-based biofuels. Nicholas Carpita, a professor of botany and plant ...

Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. In a new study led by the University of Michigan Health System, women more than doubled their fruit and vegetable intakes and dramatically increased their consumption of "good" fats when they were counseled by registered dietitians and provided with a list of guidelines on the am...

New master switch found in the brain that regulates appetite and reproduction

LA JOLLA, CA Body weight and fertility have long known to be related to each other women who are too thin, for example, can have trouble becoming pregnant. Now, a master switch has been found in the brain of mice that controls both, and researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies sa...

Newly discovered molecular switch helps decide cell type in early embryo development

CINCINNATI Researchers have discovered a central molecular switch in fruit fly embryos that opens new avenues for studying the causes of birth defects and cancer in humans. Writing about their study in the Aug. 12 Developmental Cell, scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center d...

A molecular switch turns on the flame in 'nature's blowtorch'

Waltham, MAUncontrolled reaction of organic compounds with oxygen is easy: we call it fire. But nature often needs to do oxidations very specifically, adding oxygen to a particular carbon atom in a complicated molecule without disturbing anything else. Usually, this job falls to an enzyme called...

A switch that controls whether cells pass point of no return

DURHAM, N.C. Investigators at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy have revealed the hidden properties of an on-off switch that governs cell growth. The Duke team proved that if the switch is on, then a cell will divide, even if its damaged or the signal to grow disappears. Showi...

Why the switch stays on

Cellular processes, such as when to multiply, are often regulated by switches that control the frequency and timing of interactions between proteins. North Carolina State University scientists have discovered the way in which a specific protein-protein interaction prevents the cell from turning on...

Researchers identify how to switch off cancer cell genes

Los Angeles, Nov. 12, 2007-- A new study led by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) identifies how genes are silenced in cancer cells through distinct changes in the density of nucleosomes within the cells. The findings, published in the Nov. 13 issue of the journal Cance...

Growth of new brain cells requires 'epigenetic' switch

New cells are born every day in the brain's hippocampus, but what controls this birth has remained a mystery. Reporting in the January 1 issue of Science , neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that the birth of new cells, which depends on brain activi...

Berkeley researchers identify photosynthetic dimmer switch

In a study of the molecular mechanisms by which plants protect themselves from oxidation damage should they absorb too much sunlight during photosynthesis, a team of researchers has discovered a molecular dimmer switch that helps control the flow of solar energy moving through the system of light ...

'Nanodrop' test tubes created with a flip of a switch

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a new device that creates nanodroplet test tubes for studying individual proteins under conditions that mimic the crowded confines of a living cell. By confining individual proteins in nanodroplets of water,...

Leading cause of death in 'preemies' might be controlled by resetting a molecular switch

Washington, D.C. -- Blocking signals from a key molecular receptor that normally switches on the intestines immune response but instead becomes too intense in the presence of stress and toxins may help reverse necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a leading cause of death in premature newborns, accor...

Chemical switch triggers critical cell activities

The freeze-frame image of a molecular relay race, in which one enzyme passes off a protein like a baton to another enzyme, has solved a key mystery to how cells control some vital functions, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A report on this work appears in the Ja...

For super-obese patients, duodenal switch beats gastric bypass

In the first large, single-institution series directly comparing weight-loss outcomes in super-obese patients, researchers from the University of Chicago found that a newer operation, the duodenal switch, produced substantially better weight-loss outcomes than the standard operation, the Roux-en-Y ...

A simple feedback resistor switch keeps latent HIV from awakening

Upon entering a cell, a virus often becomes dormant, turning off its genes and laying low until awakened by som e trigger from its environment. When that trigger is pulled, the virus quickly ramps up production of proteins through built-in positive-feedback loops that turn up gene transcription. (I...

Key molecular signaling switch involved in allergic disease identified

A research team has identified a key enzyme responsible for triggering a chain of events that results in allergic reaction, according to new study findings published online this week in Nature Immunology. The work by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, the Hospital for Special Surg...

Free radical cell death switch identified

"A common molecular denominator in aging and many age-related diseases is oxidative stress," says the study's lead author Azad Bonni, MD, PhD, HMS associate professor of pathology. The skin of a bitten apple will brown because of its exposure to air, and in some ways that is a good metaphor for the...

Corals switch skeleton material as seawater changes

Leopards may not be able to change their spots, but corals can change their skeletons, building them out of different minerals depending on the chemical composition of the seawater around them. That's the startling conclusion drawn by a Johns Hopkins University marine geologist, writing in the Ju...

Molecular DNA switch found to be the same for all life

The molecular machinery that starts the process by which a biological cell divides into two identical daughter cells apparently worked so well early on that evolution has conserved it across the eons in all forms of life on Earth. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley N...

Schepens scientists are first to discover angiogenesis switch inside blood vessel cells

Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, are the first to discover a switch inside blood vessel cells that controls angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth). The switch, they learned, is turned on and off by the balance between two enzymes (known as PI3K ...

A switch between life and death

The breakthrough came as Barry Thompson from Stephen Cohen's group at EMBL looked at a recently discovered signaling pathway called "Hippo." "Hippo acts as a switch between cell division and death," says Barry Thompson, "If the pathway is too active, tissues overgrow because too many cells divid...

Hopkins researchers discover genetic switch that turns off an oxygen-poor cell's combustion engine

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a previously unrecognized role played by the gene HIF-1 as it helps cell survive when a lack of oxygen decreases production of an energy-rich molecule called ATP and increases production of toxic molecules. ATP supplies energy the cell needs to perform eac...

Scientists discover a genetic switch that links animal growth and cancer

Laboratory discoveries by scientists at two universities may lead to new directions in cancer therapy drugs. The researchers have discovered that a genetic switch involved in growth and development of an animal is the same one used to prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous. The findings are...

Watching the brain switch off 'self'

Everybody has experienced a sense of "losing oneself" in an activity--whether a movie, sport, sex, or meditation. Now, researchers have caught the brain in the act of losing "self" as it shuts down introspection during a demanding sensory task. The researchers--led by Rafael Malach and Ilan Gold...

Darkness unveils vital metabolic fuel switch between sugar and fat

Constant darkness throws a molecular switch in mammals that shifts the body's fuel consumption from glucose to fat and induces a state of torpor in mice, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston reports in the Jan. 19 edition of Nature. While their ...

Master genetic switch found for chronic pain

In experiments with mice, researchers have found that eliminating what appears to be a master genetic switch for the development of pain-sensing neurons knocks out the animals' response to "neuropathic pain." Such pain is abnormal pain that outlasts the injury and is associated with nerve and/or ce...

Animal models show that anabolic steroids flip the adolescent brain's switch for aggression

Anabolic steroids not only make teens more aggressive, but may keep them that way into young adulthood. The effect ultimately wears off but there may be other, lasting consequences for the developing brain. These findings, published in February's Behavioral Neuroscience, also showed that aggressi...

Scientists discover the molecular switch for nerve cells' insulating jelly rolls

Scientists at New York University School of Medicine report in a new study that they have identified the molecular switch that turns on the production of myelin, the fatty insulation around nerve cells that ensures swift and efficient communication in the nervous system. The study, published in the...

UT Southwestern researchers discover master switch in cell death

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found an enzyme vital for controlling the early stages of cell death ?a beneficial and normal process when it works right, but malignant in a variety of cancers when it malfunctions. The researchers are now examining tissue from cancer patients ...

Single gene is genetic switch for fly sexual behavior

A male fly's sexual courtship of a female fly is a complicated business of tapping, singing, wing vibration, and licking, but a single gene is all that is needed to produce this complex behavior, according to new research published in this week's issue of the journal Cell. The gene encodes the F...

Beetle-inspired switch uses water for bonding

Imagine this: A tiny, fast switch that uses water droplets to create adhesive bonds almost as strong as aluminum by borrowing a mechanism found in palm beetles. The new beetle-inspired switch, designed by Cornell University engineers, can work by itself on the scale of a micron -- a millionth of...
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