Molecular & Cell Biology


This shows crosslink-inducing agents used in chemotherapy.
Environmental influences such as ionizing radiation, intense heat or various chemical substances damage the DNA constantly. Only thanks to efficient repair systems can mutations – changes in the DNA – largely be prevented. DNA crosslinks that covalently link both strands of the DNA double helix are among the most dangerous DNA lesions. Crosslinks block DNA replication and can thus cause cell death. Moreover, their faulty repair can trigger the development of tumors. Crosslink repair is highly complex and only vaguely understood today. A team of cancer researchers headed by Alessandro Sartori from the University of Zurich now reveals interesting details as to how cells recognize crosslink damage. In their study recently published in Cell Reports, the scientists demonstrate that the interplay between two specific proteins is crucial for the flawless repair of crosslink damage.

Health & Medicine

Caveat emptor – or "buyer beware" holds true when it comes to the unknown health effects of e-cigarettes. An article in the June issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), examines risks, including the ongoing dependence on nicotine and the dual use of e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes.

Environment

Climate changeButterflies and dragonflies with a lighter shade of colour do better in warmer areas of Europe. This gives them a competitive advantage over the darker insects in the face of climate change. Changes in Europe's insect assemblages due to warming can already be seen for dragonflies, shows a study recently published in Nature Communications.


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