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Marathon of nano-sprinters
Processive bio-molecular motors, which move actively along cytoskeletal filaments, drive the cargo traffic in cells and in biomimetic systems. A single motor molecule is sufficient for continuous transport of cargoes such as vesicles or latex beads over a few micrometers. (2005-11-14)

Yale scientists participate in $12.3M NIH National Technology Center
Two Yale scientists are part of the research team receiving $12.3 million, five-year grant as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap for Medical Research supporting multidisciplinary research projects on how cells interact with their environments. The team of 17 cell biologists and physical scientists, based at the University on Connecticut Health Center will develop methods to quantitatively measure, model, and manipulate live cells. (2005-10-27)

Researchers learn how blood vessel cells cope with their pressure-packed job
Rubber bands form stress wrinkles parallel to the direction in which they are being pulled. However, healthy bovine aorta endothelial cells stretched in a special chamber formed stress fibers perpendicular to the direction of stretch. (2005-10-24)

Scientists discover secret behind human red blood cell's amazing flexibility
A human red blood cell is a dimpled ballerina, ceaselessly spinning, tumbling, bending, and squeezing through openings narrower than its width to dispense life-giving oxygen to every corner of the body. In a paper published in the October issue of Annals of Biomedical Engineering, a team of UCSD researchers describe a mathematical model that explains how a mesh-like protein skeleton gives a healthy human red blood cell amazing properties. (2005-10-24)

Yale researchers make cell biology quantitative
Yale researchers have reported a method to count the absolute number of individual protein molecules inside a living cell, and to measure accurately where they are located, two basic hurdles for studying biology quantitatively. The assay is accurate and effective whether the molecules are spread out or concentrated in particular parts of the cell. (2005-10-20)

Feeding the monster
Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope have released images showing in unprecedented detail how matter spirals toward the black hole at the centre of a galaxy, in this case NGC 1097. (2005-10-19)

Feeding the monster
Near-infrared images of the active galaxy NGC 1097, obtained with the NACO adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, disclose with unprecedented detail a complex central network of filamentary structure spiralling down to the centre of the galaxy. These observations provide astronomers with new insights on how super-massive black holes lurking inside galaxies get fed. (2005-10-17)

How to braid nanoropes
Max Planck scientists identify essential control parameters for the assembly of filament bundles. (2005-10-14)

Test predicts risk of liver scarring after transplant, study shows
A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine may have found a way to identify liver transplant patients with hepatitis C who are at greatest risk for advanced cirrhosis, thereby allowing doctors to decide who should receive treatment that could save the transplanted organ. (2005-10-06)

Telling axons where to go - and grow
In a recent study, Dr. Ingolf Bach and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester and the University of Hamburg (Germany) describe a novel role for the ubiquitin/proteosome protein degradation pathway in the regulation of local actin dynamics in neurons. (2005-09-30)

Image of myosin-actin interaction revealed in cover story of Molecular Cell
Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of Vermont have captured the first 3-dimensional (3D) atomic-resolution images of the motor protein myosin V as it (2005-09-29)

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience includes the following two articles: 1. Camphor's TRP; 2. CaMKII and Dendritic Filopodia in Drosophila. (2005-09-27)

Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs
Vibrantly colored creatures from the depths of the South Pacific Ocean harbor toxins that potentially can act as powerful anti-cancer drugs, according to research findings from University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemists and their Italian colleagues. (2005-09-26)

Anthrax stops body from fighting back, study shows
A lethal toxin in anthrax paralyzes neutrophils, the white blood cells that act as the body's first defense against infection. (2005-09-06)

Spiders help scientists discover how muscles relax
Using muscle tissue from tarantulas, a HHMI international research scholar and colleagues have figured out the detailed structure and arrangement of the miniature molecular motors that control movement. Their work, which takes advantage of a new technique for visualizing tissues in their natural state, provides new insights into the molecular basis of muscle relaxation, and perhaps its activation too. (2005-08-24)

UIC researchers show protein routes messages in nerve cells
A research team led by a UIC biologist reports the protein coracle ties glutamate receptors on nerve cell membranes to the cell's cytoskeleton. The finding adds information about how neurons send timely and accurate messages to the correct target. (2005-07-13)

Actin moves chromosomes: Discovery changes fundamental thinking
Microtubules need a helping hand to find chromosomes in dividing egg cells, scientists have discovered. Although it was generally accepted that microtubules act alone as the cellular ropes to pull chromosomes into place, a new study by researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) shows that this is not the case. They found that in large cells such as animal eggs, something else is needed to move the chromosomes into the correct location - fibres of the cytoskeletal molecule actin. (2005-07-13)

Molecular ballet unravels, links proteins so cell can direct own movement
As a cell moves forward, physical stress on its skeleton triggers molecular fingers and arms to grasp each other in reinforcing links that stabilize the skeleton, according to images produced by investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2005-07-11)

Fruit fly helps reveal the secrets of the fragile-X-syndrome
The fragile-X-syndrome is one of the major causes of mental retardation. Scientists from VIB (Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology) have been studying fruit flies with symptoms similar to those in humans. From this research, it turns out that something goes wrong with the actin skeleton of the neurons in the brain. This process might also take place in human patients with the fragile-X-syndrome − an important step in uncovering the physical background of this disorder. (2005-06-20)

Researchers get first peek at amyloid's spine
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have provided the first detailed look at the core structure of the abnormal protein filaments found in at least 20 devastating diseases, ranging from Alzheimer's to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human version of (2005-06-08)

European funding for research on biomolecular nanomachines
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces receives 2.0 Million Euro for new European research network. (2005-06-03)

Researchers develop assay that could be applied to drug screening
Using state of the art imaging technology a team from Yale School of Medicine has glimpsed one of the cell's most important 'nano-machines' in action. (2005-05-20)

Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils
Researchers from China and the United States have found evidence of lichen-like symbiosis in 600-million-year-old fossils from South China. The previous earliest evidence of lichen was 400 million years old, discovered in Scotland. The discovery also adds to the scarce fossil record of fungi and raises new questions about lichen evolution. (2005-05-12)

Motor transport in bio-nano systems
Max Planck researchers determine optimal parameters for biomimetic transport systems based on molecular motors. (2005-05-05)

Human cells filmed instantly messaging for first time
Researchers at UCSD and UC Irvine have captured on video for the first time chemical signals that traverse human cells in response to tiny mechanical jabs, like waves spreading from pebbles tossed into a pond. The scientists released the videos and technical details that explain how the visualization effect was created as part of a paper published in the April 21 issue of Nature. (2005-04-20)

JCI table of contents May 1, 2005
The following press release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for newsworthy papers to be published online on April 1, 2005 in advance of print publication of the JCI. Studies include: New vaccine means bye-bye to bacteria in the lung; How fat-blasting drugs really work; TNFR2, not TNFR1, the real culprit in glomerulonephritis; A new relationship between synaptopodin and alpha actinin. (2005-04-01)

DNA 'packaging' linked with cancer
New laboratory findings at the University of Illinois at Chicago suggest that what lies outside cancer cells is at least as important as the genes inside in explaining a tumor's malignancy. (2005-03-22)

Scientists discover that host cell lipids facilitate bacterial movement
When the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes invades the body, it commandeers its host cell's actin cytoskeleton to invade other cells. In a report published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, a group of scientists provide insight into the molecular mechanisms behind this infection technique. (2005-03-21)

Two UT Southwestern researchers named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators
Two UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists, Dr. Zhijian (2005-03-21)

Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
A newly discovered plant protein complex that apparently switches on plants' growth machinery, has opened a scientific toolbox to learn about both plant and animal development, according Purdue University scientists. (2005-02-23)

Open microfluidic and nanofluidic systems
Max Planck scientists develop fundamentals for new microfluidic and nanofluidic devices. (2005-02-15)

Green tea extract shows promise as an anti-cancer agent, UCLA study finds
A study on bladder cancer cells lines showed that green tea extract has potential as an anti-cancer agent, proving for the first time that it is able to target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. (2005-02-15)

How do cells travel through our bodies?
One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues. EMBL scientists have gained significant ground in understanding cell motility. They have discovered that a molecule called n-cofilin is critical for regulating cell movement. (2005-01-25)

Caught in the cobweb
The Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is one of the most impressive views in the Southern sky. A new, spectacular wide-field colour photo from the ESO La Silla Observatory shows part of this region with many beautiful nebulae of different kinds. They testify to an ongoing history of very vigorous activity, making this area a showcase of dramatic effects caused by the tremendous output of energy from the most massive stars known. (2004-12-10)

Actin muscles in on DNA transcription
Overturning a scientific stereotype, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a new role for a key protein involved in muscle contraction and shown it is present not just in the cytoplasm of cells but in the nucleus as well. (2004-10-29)

Molecular motor myosin VI moves 'hand over hand,' researchers say
In the human body, hundreds of different types of biomolecular motors help carry out such essential tasks as muscle contraction, moving chromosomes during cell division, and reloading nerve cells so they can repeatedly fire. How these little proteins perform their duties is becoming clearer to scientists using an extremely sensitive measurement technique. (2004-08-31)

2004 Alzheimer Award to Lester I. Binder, PhD
The 2004 Alzheimer Award has been presented to Lester I. Binder, PhD, of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, in recognition of his outstanding work published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (IOS Press, Volume 5, 2003, 65-77), (2004-08-05)

Wasting away in muscle-ville
Loss of skeletal muscle tissue, termed cachexia, occurs in over half of cancer patients and, rather than tumor burden, is the direct cause of nearly one-third of cancer deaths. In the August 2 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from the Ohio State University College of Medicine show specific loss of myosin heavy chain in cachexia models. Intriguingly, myosin heavy chain loss in different models occurs through different molecular mechanisms. (2004-08-02)

Cell death protein has surprising role in cell migration
By studying fruit fly ovaries, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that a protein known to block cell death also has the completely independent role of enabling normal cell movement. (2004-07-14)

A protein's role in progressive renal disease
Transgenic experiments in mice suggest that the human kidney disorder, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), is a result of both gain- and loss-of-function mechanisms. (2004-06-15)

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