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Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Researchers have created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. The probe binds to a voltage-activated potassium ion channel subtype, lighting up when the channel is turned off and dimming when it is activated.

Full articleOctober 21, 2014 05:19 PM984 views
Category: Biology

The way in which male moths locate females flying hundreds of meters away has long been a mystery to scientists.

Full articleOctober 21, 2014 05:19 PM636 views
Category: Biology

Scientists tracing the real-time impact of viruses in the wild have found that entire amphibian communities are being killed off by closely related viruses introduced to mountainous areas of northern Spain.

Full articleOctober 16, 2014 05:21 PM2978 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

A new discovery relating to one of the most common processes in human cells is being described as a 'paradigm shift' in understanding.

Full articleOctober 16, 2014 05:21 PM1418 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Scientists in Cambridge have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state, which point to networks that could support consciousness even when a patient appears to be unconscious and unresponsive. The study could help doctors identify patients who are aware despite being unable to communicate.

Full articleOctober 16, 2014 05:21 PM1616 views
Category: Health & Medicine

As medical personnel and public health officials are responding to the first reported cases of Ebola Virus in the United States, many of the safety and treatment procedures for treating the virus and preventing its spread are being reexamined. One of the tenets for minimizing the risk of spreading the disease has been a 21-day quarantine period for individuals who might have been exposed to the virus. But a new study by Charles Haas, PhD, a professor in Drexel's College of Engineering, suggests that 21 days might not be enough to completely prevent spread of the virus.

Full articleOctober 15, 2014 05:38 PM2135 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

A new study published in Cancer Research shows SIRT6—a protein known to inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancers—can promote the development of skin cancers by turning on an enzyme that increases inflammation, proliferation and survival of sun-damaged skin cells.

Full articleOctober 15, 2014 05:38 PM1617 views
Category: Microbiology

A robust, broad spectrum antibiotic, and a gene that confers immunity to that antibiotic are both found in the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis Strain 115. The antibiotic, a member of the thiopeptide family of antibiotics, is not in widespread use, partly due to its complex structure, but the investigators, from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, now report that the mechanism of synthesis is surprisingly simple. "We hope to come up with innovative processes for large-scale production and derivitization so that new, and possibly more potent versions of the antibiotic can become available, says co-corresponding author Joel S. Griffitts. The research is published ahead of print in Journal of Bacteriology.

Full articleOctober 13, 2014 07:10 PM1768 views
Category: Health & Medicine

The discovery of a "maternal age effect" by a team of Penn State scientists that could be used to predict the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations in maternal egg cells -- and the transmission of these mutations to children -- could provide valuable insights for genetic counseling. These mutations cause more than 200 diseases and contribute to others such as diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The study found greater rates of the mitochondrial DNA variants in children born to older mothers, as well as in the mothers themselves. The research will be published in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 13, 2014,

Full articleOctober 13, 2014 07:10 PM2234 views
Category: Health & Medicine

A noninvasive method of delivering a promising therapy for persistent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection appears to be as effective as treatment via colonoscopy or through a nasogastric tube. In their JAMA report, receiving early online release to coincide with a presentation at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's ID Week conference, investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that oral administration of the therapy called fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in acid-resistant capsules was as successful as more invasive methods in eliminating recurrent diarrhea caused by C. difficile.

Full articleOctober 13, 2014 03:06 AM1299 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Physician scientists at 22 consortia will collaborate with representatives of 98 patient advocacy groups to advance clinical research and investigate new treatments for patients with rare diseases. The collaborations are made possible through awards by the National Institutes of Health — totaling about $29 million in fiscal year 2014 funding — to expand the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN), which is led by NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Full articleOctober 8, 2014 05:33 PM2454 views
Category: Biology


This is a 3-D image of the hippocampus of a rat.
The way neurons are interconnected in the brain is very complicated. This holds especially true for the cells of the hippocampus. It is one of the oldest brain regions and its form resembles a see horse (hippocampus in Latin). The hippocampus enables us to navigate space securely and to form personal memories. So far, the anatomic knowledge of the networks inside the hippocampus and its connection to the rest of the brain has left scientists guessing which information arrived where and when.

Full articleOctober 6, 2014 07:35 PM4922 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

During cancer metastasis, immune response or the development of organisms, cells are moving in a controlled manner through the body. Researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel discovered novel mechanisms of cell migration by observing cells moving on lines of connective tissue. Their results, published in the journal Developmental Cell, could lead to new approaches in combatting cancer metastasis and inflammation.

Full articleOctober 6, 2014 07:35 PM2317 views
Category: Biotechnology

Molecular studies of plants often depend on high-quantity and high-quality DNA extractions. This can be quite difficult in plants, however, due to a diversity of compounds and physical properties found in plants. "Tannins, tough fibrous material, and/or secondary compounds can interfere with DNA isolation," explains Dr. Thomas Givnish, principal investigator of a new study published by Jackson Moeller et al. in the October issue of Applications in Plant Sciences (available for free viewing at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1400048).

Full articleOctober 2, 2014 02:47 PM3644 views

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