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Low-cost, fly footpad-like adhesive structure capable of repeated attachment/detachment
NIMS, HUE and HUSM have succeeded in developing a method of easily and cheaply producing an adhesive structure capable of repeated attachment and detachment. The design of this structure was inspired by the adhesive spatula-shaped hairs (setae) found on the footpads of flies, while the method of producing it was hinted at by seta formation in fly pupae. These environmentally sound technologies could potentially contribute to a more sustainable society. (2020-08-28)

Research illuminates new element of plant immune defense response to biotic stress
A collaboration between scientists with the Vidali at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas in Madrid resulted in the first article addressing the involvement of cytosolic calcium oscillations and waves in the immune response of P. patens to a biotic stress. Specifically, the scientists administered chitin oligosaccharides to simulate a fungal infection. (2020-08-26)

Study revealing structure of a protein complex may open doors to better disease research
More than two decades ago scientists discovered the Arp2/3 complex, an actin (cellular protein) cytoskeketal nucleator which plays a crucial role in cell division, immune response, neurodevelopment other biological processes. But there has been no determined structure of the activated state of the complex until now, work led by researchers at Stony Brook University. (2020-08-25)

Ludwig Chicago study identifies a novel drug target for the control of cancer metastasis
Researchers led by Ludwig Chicago Co-director Ralph Weichselbaum and Ronald Rock of the University of Chicago have identified in preclinical studies a potential drug target for curtailing cancer metastasis. (2020-08-24)

Protein 'chameleon' colors long-term memory
Researchers model the binding structures of actin and associated proteins they believe are responsible for the formation of longterm memory. (2020-08-24)

Researchers discovered new information on the regulation of cancer cell motility
PIM kinases are enzymes that promote metastatic growth and spread of cancer cells. Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, have obtained new information on how the PIM kinases enhance cancer cell motility by regulating the formation of actin fibres in the cytoskeleton. The published results support the development of PIM-targeted therapies to prevent metastasis formation in cancer patients. (2020-08-19)

Shock to bacteria activates nature's electrical grid
The ocean floor and the ground beneath our feet are riddled with tiny nanowires -- 1/100,000th the width of a human hair -- created by billions of bacteria that can generate electric currents from organic waste. In new research published Aug. 17 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, Yale researchers describe how this hidden power grid could be activated with a short jolt of electric field. (2020-08-17)

New tools catch and release molecules at the flip of a light switch
A Princeton team has developed a class of light-switchable, highly adaptable molecular tools with new capabilities to control cellular activities. The antibody-like proteins, called OptoBinders, have potential applications including protein purification, the improved production of biofuels, and new types of targeted cancer therapies. (2020-08-13)

Imaging method highlights new role for cellular "skeleton" protein
While your skeleton helps your body to move, fine skeleton-like filaments within your cells likewise help cellular structures to move. Now, Salk researchers have developed a new imaging method that lets them monitor a small subset of these filaments, called actin. (2020-08-10)

Success in promoting plant growth for biodiesel
Scientists of Waseda University in Japan succeeded in promoting plant growth and increasing seed yield by heterologous expression of protein from Arabidopsis (artificially modified high-speed motor protein) in Camelina sativa, which is expected as a useful plant for biodiesel. The study is expected to apply to other plant resources for biodiesel, such as corn, rice, and sugar cane. (2020-08-07)

The cosmic commute towards star and planet formation
Interconnected gas flows reveal how star-forming gas is assembled in galaxies. (2020-07-07)

NYAUD researchers study effects of cellular crowding on the cell's transport system
In the recent study Macromolecular crowding acts as a physical regular of intracellular transport, published in the journal Nature Physics, lead researcher and Assistant Professor of Physics at NYU Abu Dhabi George Shubeita and his team present the findings that in a native cell environment, which is crowded with a high concentration of macromolecules, the crowding significantly impacts the speed of groups of motor proteins, but not singular motor proteins. (2020-07-06)

Cryo-electron tomography reveals uromodulin's role in urinary tract infection protection
Free-flowing filaments of Uromodulin protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs) by duping potentially harmful bacteria to attach to their fishbone-like molecular architecture - rather than to sensitive urinary tract tissues - before being flushed out of the body during urination, researchers report. (2020-07-02)

How the body fights off urinary tract infections
Some people are better protected than others against urinary tract infections. This may be because their bodies produce more of a protein called uromodulin. An interdisciplinary research team has now found out exactly how this helper protein brings relief when nature calls and how this knowledge might benefit the treatment and prevention of these painful inflammations. (2020-07-02)

Brain receptor pulls open electrical gate like a puppet master
NMDA receptors convert chemical messages into electrical signals within a neuron. The key to transmitting information is opening the receptor's built-in ion channel, a hollow pore that allows electrically-charged ions to flow. Hiro Furokawa's lab discovered that unlocking the receptor's ion channel is like working a stringed puppet - rock one part of the receptor and filaments pull open the channel's gate. Rock it a little differently, the filaments loosen, and the gate snaps shut. (2020-06-30)

The tug-of-war at the heart of cellular symmetry
Researchers develop an artificial cell that brings to light the dynamics that govern each cell's internal symmetry. Two coexisting actomyosin networks with opposing functions exists in cells: a ring-like centripetal actomyosin that pushes toward the center, and radially-formed bulk actomyosin bridges that pull to the edges. (2020-06-25)

Fantastic muscle proteins and where to find them
Setting out to identify all proteins that make up the sarcomere, the basic contractile unit of muscle cells, resulted in an unexpected revelation, providing experimental evidence that helps explain a fundamental mystery about how muscles work. The research was published in Nature Communications. (2020-06-19)

Researchers make next-generation, high-toughness battery component
By combining a ceramic material with graphene, Brown University engineers have made what they say is the toughest solid electrolyte built to date. (2020-06-18)

Parasitic fungi keep harmful blue-green algae in check
When a lake is covered with green scums during a warm summer, cyanobacteria -- often called blue-green algae -- are usually involved. Mass development of cyanobacteria is bad for water quality. But cyanobacteria can become sick, when for instance infected by fungal parasites. Researchers found out that these infections do not only kill cyanobacteria, they also make them easier to consume for their natural predators. Fungal parasites thus help to slow down the growth of blue-green algae. (2020-06-09)

Terahertz radiation can disrupt proteins in living cells
Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics and collaborators have discovered that terahertz radiation, contradicting conventional belief, can disrupt proteins in living cells without killing the cells. (2020-06-02)

SUTD developed a simple method to print planar microstructures of polysiloxane
SUTD developed the embedded ink writing (EIW) method, enabling the direct writing of polysiloxane which helps in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, flexible wearables, and soft actuators. (2020-05-28)

Urge to merge: Understanding how cells fuse
New research from UT Southwestern may help those with rare muscle diseases. (2020-05-26)

A deeper connection to hyaline fibromatosis syndrome
EPFL scientists have uncovered the molecular biology behind Hyaline Fibromatosis Syndrome, a severe genetic disease. (2020-05-18)

Controlling cells with light
Photopharmacology investigates the use of light to switch the effect of drugs on and off. Now, for the first time, scientific teams from Jena, Munich, and New York have succeeded in using this method to control a component of cells that was previously considered inaccessible. (2020-05-15)

'Off-road' mode enables mobile cells to move freely
Cancer cells and leukocytes are able to move through tissue and organs quickly. However, it is not fully understood how these mobile cells manage to travel and survive far away from their place of origin. In a new Nature study, the group of Michael Sixt at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) has revealed a general biomechanical principle of cell migration that allows cells to move freely, especially in rough terrain. (2020-05-13)

New imaging method gives insights into how bacteria move and exchange genetic information
Scientists have made a pivotal breakthrough in advancing our understanding of how bacteria move and perform genetic exchange -- that could potentially lead to the development of new antimicrobial drugs. (2020-05-06)

Researchers unveil electronics that mimic the human brain in efficient learning
Only 10 years ago, scientists working on what they hoped would open a new frontier of neuromorphic computing could only dream of a device using miniature tools called memristors that would function/operate like real brain synapses. But now a team at UMass Amherst has discovered, while on their way to better understanding protein nanowires, how to use these biological, electricity conducting filaments to make a neuromorphic memristor, or 'memory transistor,' device. (2020-04-20)

Cable bacteria can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice cultivation
The rice fields account for five percent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 25 times stronger than CO2. Researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Duisburg-Essen have found that cable bacteria could be an important part of the solution. In the laboratory, they have grown rice in soil with and without cable bacteria, and the pots with cable bacteria emitted 93% less methane than the pots without cable bacteria. (2020-04-20)

Actin 'avalanches' may make memories stick
Avalanches in branched actomyosin networks are one possible mechanism by which the brain's neurons preserve memories. A new study models these seismic events. (2020-04-20)

Researchers discover new information on interstellar magnetic field in solar neighborhood
An international research team led by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku, Finland, mapped the interstellar magnetic field structure and interstellar matter distribution in the solar neighbourhood. The results of the study have been published in the esteemed European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) in March, 2020. (2020-04-08)

Advance in understanding actin sheds light on cell function
A tiny chemical modification on one of the most abundant and important proteins in cells, actin, has long been somewhat mysterious, its function not fully understood, but scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have now taken a big step towards clearing up the mystery. The scientists, who report their discovery on the post-translational modification of actin in Science Advances, believe their discovery sheds light on the foundational construction of life. (2020-04-08)

Cell muscle movements visualised for first time
The movements of cell muscles in the form of tiny filaments of proteins have been visualised at unprecedented detail by University of Warwick scientists. (2020-04-06)

Ex­tra­cel­lu­lar forces help epi­thelial cells stick to­gether
Defects in the maintenance of the superficial tissue of the body, known as epithelial tissue, can help cancer cells achieve motility and metastasise. (2020-04-02)

Astronomers use slime mould to map the universe's largest structures
The behaviour of one of nature's humblest creatures and archival data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the Universe. (2020-03-26)

Eye blinking on-a-chip
Researchers at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have developed a device that moves fluids over corneal cells similarly to the movement of tears over a blinking eye. The scientists hope their findings, reported in the journal Lab on a Chip, will help improve ophthalmic drug development and testing, and advance understanding of how blinking affects the corneal surface. (2020-03-24)

Teamwork in a cell
For the first time ever, researchers are looking at the molecular processes in the cell's skeleton -- the cytoskeleton -- from a bird's eye perspective. These processes are important for cell movement and cell shape formation. In Nature Cell Biology, an MDC team shows how cells coordinate such processes at the right place and time. (2020-03-23)

How brain cells lay down infrastructure to grow and create memories
Research published today in Science Advances sheds new light on the molecular machinery that enables the shape, growth and movement of neurons. It is the first time scientists have revealed how the brain shuttles genetic code within its cells, a process believed to be crucial for the formation and storage of long-term memories. (2020-03-13)

How the historically misunderstood amyloid helps to store memories
For the first time, scientists from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and collaborators have described the structure of an endogenously sourced, functioning neuronal amyloid at atomic resolution. The amyloid is composed of self-aggregated Orb2, the fruit fly version of the mRNA-binding cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding (CPEB) protein, which has been linked to long-term memory storage. The results of this work, published online March 13, 2020, in Science, have some very interesting implications. (2020-03-12)

Astronomers use slime mold model to reveal dark threads of the cosmic web
A computational approach inspired by the growth patterns of a bright yellow slime mold has enabled a team of astronomers and computer scientists at UC Santa Cruz to trace the filaments of the cosmic web that connects galaxies throughout the universe. (2020-03-10)

Slime mold simulations used to map dark matter holding universe together
The behavior of one of nature's humblest creatures is helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the universe. There is an uncanny resemblance between the networks single-cell slime molds create to seek food and the vast cobweb structure of filaments gravity builds to tie galaxies and clusters of galaxies together. (2020-03-10)

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