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Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Neurons are a limited commodity; each of us goes through life with essentially the same set we had at birth. But these cells, whose electrical signals drive our thoughts, perceptions, and actions, are anything but static. They change and adapt in response to experience throughout our lifetimes, a process better known as learning.

Full articleJuly 2, 2015 04:17 AM913 views
Category: AIDS & HIV


The HIV capsid protein plays a critical role in the virus' life cycle. Mizzou researchers recently developed the most complete model yet of this vital protein.
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the retrovirus that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Globally, about 35 million people are living with HIV, which constantly adapts and mutates creating challenges for researchers. Now, scientists at the University of Missouri are gaining a clearer idea of what a key protein in HIV looks like, which will help explain its vital role in the virus' life cycle. Armed with this clearer image of the protein, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of how the body can combat the virus with the ultimate aim of producing new and more effective antiviral drugs.

Full articleJuly 2, 2015 04:17 AM1325 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Chromosomes are seen as red, and kinetochores are green. (A-B) Bivalent appears normal (green arrows). (C) Bivalent begins to hyperstretch (orange arrows).
When egg cells form with an incorrect number of chromosomes--a problem that increases with age--the result is usually a miscarriage or a genetic disease such as Down syndrome. Now, researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have used a novel imaging technique to pinpoint a significant event that leads to these types of age-related chromosomal errors. Published in Nature Communications, the study shows that as egg cells mature in older women, paired copies of matching chromosomes often separate from each other at the wrong time, leading to early division of chromosomes and their incorrect segregation into mature egg cells.

Full articleJuly 2, 2015 04:17 AM587 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Fluorescently labeled microtubules extend from the tips of the dendrites (top) into the axon and down into the giant synaptic terminal (bottom) of a single isolated goldfish retinal bipolar cell. A loop of microtubules encircles the inner plasma membrane of the terminal and anchors mitochondria.
Researchers have discovered a thick band of microtubules in certain neurons in the retina that they believe acts as a transport road for mitochondria that help provide energy required for visual processing. The findings appear in the July issue of The Journal of General Physiology.

Full articleJune 29, 2015 06:10 PM1463 views
Category: Biology


University of Washington researchers have discovered a link between floral scent release and circadian rhythms in the common garden petunia.
Good timing is a matter of skill. You would certainly dress up for an afternoon business meeting, but not an evening session of binge-watching Netflix. If you were just a few hours off in your wardrobe timing, your spouse might wonder why you slipped into a stiff business suit to watch "House of Cards."

Full articleJune 29, 2015 06:10 PM1130 views
Category: Health & Medicine

Laboratories that test chemicals for neurological toxicity could reduce their use of laboratory mice and rats by replacing these animal models with tiny aquatic flatworms known as freshwater planarians.

Full articleJune 29, 2015 06:10 PM1079 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology


Rodolfo Llinás of New York University School of Medicine at the MBL, Woods Hole, where he spends each summer as a Whitman Center iInvestigator.
Sleep seems simple enough, a state of rest and restoration that almost every vertebrate creature must enter regularly in order to survive. But the brain responds differently to stimuli when asleep than when awake, and it is not clear what brain changes happen during sleep. "It is the same brain, same neurons and similar requirements for oxygen and so on, so what is the difference between these two states?" asks Rodolfo Llinás, a professor of neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine and a Whitman Center Investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole. In a recent paper, Choi, Yu, Lee, and Llinás announced that a specific calcium channel plays a crucial role in healthy sleep, a key step toward understanding both normal and abnormal waking brain functions.

Full articleJune 26, 2015 05:24 PM1942 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

The flu virus can be lethal. But what is often just as dangerous is the body's own reaction to the invader. This immune response consists of an inflammatory attack, meant to kill the virus. But if it gets too aggressive, this counterattack can end up harming the body's own tissues, causing damage that can lead to death.

Full articleJune 26, 2015 05:24 PM1770 views
Category: Biotechnology

In what may be a major leap forward in the quest for new treatments of the most common form of cardiovascular disease, scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have found a way to halt and reverse the progression of atherosclerosis in rodents by loading microscopic nanoparticles with a chemical that restores the animals' ability to properly handle cholesterol.

Full articleJune 23, 2015 06:49 PM2080 views
Category: Molecular & Cell Biology

Stanford University researchers studying how the brain controls movement in people with paralysis, related to their diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, have found that groups of neurons work together, firing in complex rhythms to signal muscles about when and where to move.

Full articleJune 23, 2015 06:49 PM1803 views
Category: Health & Medicine

For decades, American travelers to international destinations have been plagued by acute gastrointestinal illnesses that can arise from travel to other countries. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that depending on the destination, between 30 to 70 percent of travelers can expect to experience gastrointestinal distress from ingesting foreign or pathogenic bacteria that can be present in poorly sanitized water or food.

Full articleJune 17, 2015 07:10 AM2981 views
Category: Bioinformatics


The mSet algorithm by Oliver Stegle at EMBL-EBI makes large-scale, complex genome analyses easier.
Researchers at EMBL-EBI have developed a new approach to studying the effect of multiple genetic variations on different traits. The new algorithm, published in Nature Methods, makes it possible to perform genetic analysis of up to 500,000 individuals - and many traits - at the same time.

Full articleJune 17, 2015 07:10 AM2340 views
Category: Microbiology


This is a map of fecal viruses across the globe. Red shades indicate severe concentrations of the deadly rotavirus (based on data from approximately year 2010).
Humans aren't the only ones who like to cruise along the waterways, so do viruses. For the first time, a map of fecal viruses traveling our global waterways has been created using modeling methods to aid in assessing water quality worldwide.

Full articleJune 17, 2015 07:10 AM2326 views
Category: Biotechnology

Scientists have developed a new tissue 'scaffold' technology that could one day enable the engineering of large organs.

Full articleJune 17, 2015 07:10 AM2783 views

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