Tag: Genetics

Scientists develop technique to observe radiation damage over femtoseconds

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a technique to observe how radiation damages molecules over time-frames of just one quadrillionth of a second — or a femtosecond. The technique involves dissolving organic molecules in water to simulate the state molecules are found in biological tissue. This allows the research team to

Few people with peanut allergy tolerate peanut after stopping oral immunotherapy: Continuing with a modest dose confers more protection

Allergy to peanut, which is often severe, is one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Although previous studies have shown that peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) — ingesting small, controlled amounts of peanut protein — can desensitize adults and children and prevent life-threatening allergic reactions, the optimal duration and dose is unknown.

Slowing metabolic rate can prevent detrimental effects of genetic mutations: Finding appears to be universal across hundreds of tested mutations

Just by slowing their metabolism, mutant fruit flies can go from zero to hero. In a new Northwestern University study, researchers slowed mutant fruit flies’ metabolic rates by 50%, and the expected detrimental effects of many mutations never manifested. After experimentally testing fruit flies’ many different genetic mutations, the researchers found the same result each

Widely available antibiotics could be used in the treatment of ‘superbug’ MRSA

Some MRSA infections could be tackled using widely-available antibiotics, suggests new research from an international collaboration led by scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Since the discovery of penicillin, the introduction of antibiotics to treat infections has revolutionised medicine and healthcare, saving millions of lives. However, widespread use (and misuse)

Bipolar disorder: New reasons discovered

The causes for bipolar disorders in the genes? People suffering from bipolar disorder, experience the day-to-day a roller coaster ride of emotions. The feeling of the sky can change in a highly scattering up to very sad within the shortest period of time. In bipolar disorder, manic phases with delusions of grandeur and severely depressed

New imaging technique reveals ‘burst’ of activity before cell death: Novel dual-PWS platform reveals connections between macromolecular structure and dynamic movement in the chromatin within eukaryotic cells

Studying the movement of tiny cells is no small task. For chromatin, the group of DNA, RNA, and protein macromolecules packed within our genome, motion is an integral part of its active role as a regulator of how our genes get expressed or repressed. “Understanding macromolecular motion is critical, but scientists know very little about

Study challenges health benefits of moderate drinking

It might just be enough to kill your buzz: A new study challenges the idea that a drink or two a day could actually be good for you. In a study conducted in China, the researchers found that moderate drinking slightly raised the risk of stroke and high blood pressure. They weren’t able to figure

New light on blocking Shiga and ricin toxins — And on an iconic biological process: CRISPR genomic screen reveals newly recognized proteins toxins need to enter cells

Min Dong, PhD, and his lab are world experts in toxins and how to combat them. They’ve figured out how Clostridium difficile‘s most potent toxin gets into cells and zeroed in on the first new botulinum toxin identified since 1969. Now, setting their sights on Shiga and ricin toxins, they’ve not only identified new potential

Deaths due to tainted herbal medicine under-recorded

A University of Adelaide forensic pathologist is warning that potentially harmful substances found in herbal medicines may be playing a bigger role in deaths of ‘health tourists’ than previously thought. Professor Roger Byard is calling for closer checks during post-mortems for the presence of drugs and adulterants that originate from herbal remedies. “There is a

Potential assay artefacts in anti-malarial screening documented

Malaria remains an economic and health burden to the developing world. As plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, is acquiring rapid resistance against currently used drugs, identification of new classes of anti-malarials remains an urgent need. Potential anti-malarials include small molecules, peptides, antibodies or plant extracts with likely medicinal properties. These agents are often prepared

Novel mechanism for generating our skeleton

There are more than 200 bones in the human body. Bone is formed during embryonic and postnatal skeletogenesis by two distinct, well-organized processes, intramembranous and endochondral ossification. Mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into chondrocytes to form a cartilaginous template, which, for long bones, induces bone formation through endochondral ossification. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (Erk5), which is

Making mice a tiny bit more human to study preterm birth: Research enhances ability to study biology of persistent public health problem

Preterm birth remains a global epidemic linked to a lifetime of potential health complications. It also is difficult to study in living creatures — especially the uniquely precise biology of preterm birth in humans. Researchers report in PLoS Biology successfully inserting just enough human DNA into transgenic laboratory mice that it allowed the team to

Air pollution and genetics can worsen asthma symptoms

A recent research has found that genetics and pollution drive severity of asthma symptoms. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that asthma patients, with a specific genetic profile, exhibit more intense symptoms following exposure to traffic pollution. The research team also found that asthma patients that lack this genetic profile do not have

Mapping out cancer’s movements

Cancer researchers struggle to identify tumor cells that are interspersed within nonmalignant tissues because tumor cells exploit the tissue environment and monopolize available resources to continue growing. Researchers attribute cancer cell’s ability to use cell signaling and metabolic pathways that override normal cell growth restrictions to complicated chemical exchanges between tissue and tumor cells. A

Rare discovery of new fatty acids

Decades after scientists discovered hundreds of different fatty acids in vegetable oils, two that had managed to elude detection have finally revealed themselves to a team led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Huazhong Agricultural University in China. Named for the sites of the two leading institutions, Nebraskanic acid and Wuhanic acid make up nearly