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Category: Gene Therapy

Mice lacking the protein retGC1, which is deficient in humans suffering Leber congenital amaurosis-1 (LCA1), a disorder that causes severe visual impairment beginning in infancy, received gene therapy to replace retGC1 and showed fully restored visual function that persisted for at least 6 months. The success of this approach strongly support clinical testing of a gene therapy targeted to the retinas of LCA1 patients, conclude the authors of the study published in Human Gene Therapy. The article is available free on the Human Gene Therapy website until September 30, 2015.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM558 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Eliminating HK2 (shown here), which is a key enzyme for glucose metabolism, may be a way to prevent cancer cells from surviving,
A study published in The Journal of Cell Biology describes a way to force cancer cells to destroy a key metabolic enzyme they need to survive.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM603 views
Category: Biology


Life illustration of Gobisaurus, an ankylosaur with a stiff tail but no knob of bone at the end.
How did the ankylosaur get its tail club? According to research from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences that traces the evolution of the ankylosaur's distinctive tail, the handle arrived first on the scene, and the knot at the end of the tail followed.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM452 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Olfactory signatures corresponding to specific odorants. In the background, an olfactory sensory neuroepithelium.
In animals, numerous behaviors are governed by the olfactory perception of their surrounding world. Whether originating in the nose of a mammal or the antennas of an insect, perception results from the combined activation of multiple receptors located in these organs. Identifying the full repertoire of receptors stimulated by a given odorant would represent a key step in deciphering the code that mediates these behaviors. To this end, a tool that provides a complete olfactory receptor signature corresponding to any specific smell was developed in the Faculties of Science and Medicine of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland. Published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, this approach allows to identify thousands of chemosensory receptors, among which, potentially, those able to trigger predetermined behaviors in mammals or in insects, such as pests, disease vectors or parasites.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM367 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

It was long believed that acquired immunity--a type of immunity mediated by T- and B-cells--had memory, meaning that it could learn from new pathogens, making subsequent reactions more effective, whereas innate immunity--which is mediated by macrophages and other types of cells that react to certain molecules typically associated with pathogens--did not. However, it gradually became clear that things were not so simple. Plants and insects, which only have innate immunity, also seem to have immunological memory. Further, it has been reported that herpes virus infection increases the resistance against bacteria in vertebrates. These phenomena suggest that innate immunity also has memory, but researchers have been reluctant to accept the hypothesis given the lack of a mechanism Now, in research published in Nature Immunology, a research team led by Keisuke Yoshida and Shunsuke Ishii of the RIKEN Molecular Genetics Laboratory has revealed that epigenomic changes induced by pathogen infections, mediated by a transcription factor called ATF7, are the underlying mechanism of the memory of innate immunity.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM369 views
Category: Biotechnology

A UCSF-led team has developed a technique to build tiny models of human tissues, called organoids, more precisely than ever before using a process that turns human cells into a biological equivalent of LEGO bricks. These mini-tissues in a dish can be used to study how particular structural features of tissue affect normal growth or go awry in cancer. They could be used for therapeutic drug screening and to help teach researchers how to grow whole human organs.

Full articleAugust 31, 2015 02:34 PM575 views
Category: Environment

A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the genetic diversity of wild plant species could be altered rapidly by anthropogenic climate change.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM2169 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Every organism--from a seedling to a president--must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM2218 views
Category: AIDS & HIV

Researchers led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health examined HIV testing trends among adults ages 50 through 64 both before and after 2006, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most doctors automatically screen all patients for HIV regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM1235 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Dr. Anita Göndör and her colleagues at Karolinska Institutet show that circadian genes 'take a nap' everyday at the periphery of the nucleus.
Mobility between different physical environments in the cell nucleus regulates the daily oscillations in the activity of genes that are controlled by the internal biological clock, according to a study that is published in the journal Molecular Cell. Eventually, these findings may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases linked with disrupted circadian rhythm.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM1057 views
Category: AIDS & HIV

Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM1304 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Florida State University researchers have taken a big step forward in the fight against cancer with a discovery that could open up the door for new research and treatment options.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM1180 views
Category: Gene Therapy

Degenerating neurons in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) measurably responded to an experimental gene therapy in which nerve growth factor (NGF) was injected into their brains, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the current issue of JAMA Neurology.

Full articleAugust 27, 2015 04:31 PM986 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


These are plant cells stretching within the artificial scaffold.
Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nano-fibre polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a three-dimensional environment.

Full articleAugust 26, 2015 05:25 PM1599 views

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