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Current Amino Acids News and Events, Amino Acids News Articles.
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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) put to the test
Per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) are industrially manufactured substances which do not occur naturally. They are used in numerous industrial processes and consumer products due to their special technical properties. The various PFAS differ from one another in their carbon chain lengths and the functional groups that exist within the molecule. Because PFAS are difficult to degrade, they are nowadays being detected everywhere -- in the environment, in the food chain and in humans. (2018-09-26)

Bacteria's password for sporulation hasn't changed in 2.7 billion years
When it comes to changing their passwords, bacteria are just as bad as you and me -- maybe even worse. A Carnegie Mellon University research team has found that despite 2.7 billion years of evolution, bacteria are still using the same 'password' to initiate the process for making spores. Their findings were published in the September issue of PLOS Genetics. (2018-09-25)

Study: Antibiotics destroy immune cells and worsen oral infection
A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the 'good' bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay. (2018-09-25)

Taking a catnap? Mouse mutation shown to increase need for sleep
Researchers at University of Tsukuba showed that mutation of a single amino acid in the SIK3 protein caused mice to exhibit more non-REM sleep and increased 'sleep need,' including when awake, reflected in particular patterns of brainwave activity. The findings could help research on human sleep disorders given the similarity of this protein to that in humans. (2018-09-24)

A biomarker in the brain's circulation system may be Alzheimer's earliest warning
Leaks in the blood-brain barrier can provide early detection for Alzheimer's and diseases. (2018-09-24)

Researchers explore how changes in diet alter microbiome in artificial intestine
Using an artificial intestine they created, researchers have shown that the microbiome can quickly adapt from the bacterial equivalent of a typical western diet to one composed exclusively of dietary fats. That adaptation involved an increase in the populations of fatty-acid metabolizing species and a drop in those of protein and carbohydrate metabolizers. These changes led to diminished production of short chain fatty acids and antioxidants, alterations that might negatively affect human health. (2018-09-21)

Fish-rich diets may boost babies' brain development
Women could enhance the development of their unborn child's eyesight and brain function by regularly eating fatty fish during pregnancy. This is the suggestion from a small-scale study led by Kirsi Laitinen of the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland, in the Springer Nature-branded journal Pediatric Research. The research supports previous findings that show how important a prospective mother's diet and lifestyle choices are for the development of her baby. (2018-09-20)

Cell mechanism regulating protein synthesis in stress conditions discovered
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and the Medical Research Council Cambridge (UK), for the first time describe the mechanism used by cells to optimise the production of proteins in stressful situations by altering tRNA abundance. (2018-09-19)

Amino acid deficiency connected to new viral disease
In their study of hospital patients infected with SFTS (severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome) virus, Xiao-Kun Li and colleagues show that lower levels of the amino acid arginine are associated with low blood platelet count and immune suppression among the patients. (2018-09-19)

New discovery of a photobase so strong, it merits moniker of 'super'
A new discovery of a light-induced super photobase at Michigan State University is revealing some of photosynthesis' desirable traits. The interdisciplinary team of scientists was able to document the ultrafast dynamics of the super photobase that is 10 million times stronger than anything previously discovered. (2018-09-17)

New insights into DNA phase separation
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented the notion of 'DNA Phase Separation', which suggests that the DNA within the nucleus may trigger phase separation, like oil in water. (2018-09-17)

Enlarged genotype-phenotype correlation for a deletion in neurofibromatosis type 1
International collaborative research led by Ludwine Messiaen, Ph.D., shows that while a three-base pair, in-frame deletion called p.Met992del in the NF1 gene has a mild phenotype for people with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1, or NF1, the mutation does cause complications. These include non-optic brain tumors, mostly low-grade and asymptomatic, as well as cognitive impairment and/or learning disabilities. This study extends findings first reported in 2007 that included only 19 NF1 adults. (2018-09-17)

New method promises fewer side effects from cancer drugs
A recent achievement in the field of protein research allows for better tailored pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects. The method was developed by two University of Copenhagen researchers. (2018-09-14)

We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients?
A new study is the first to quantitatively map the flow of energy, protein, fat, essential amino acids and micronutrients from 'field-to-fork' at a global level and identify hotspots where nutrients are lost. The study shows that while we produce far more nutrients than is required for the global population, inefficiencies in the supply chain leave many people nutrient deficient. (2018-09-14)

Big data studies scrutinize links between fatty liver disease and how cells make energy
Three recent studies investigate changes in mitochondria, the cell's energy producers, as fatty liver disease (NAFLD) progresses to steatohepatosis (NASH). The first two studies illuminate how mitochondrial energy production stutters and fails; the third describes how changes to the liver during disease progression affect the organ's use of nutrients to produce energy. (2018-09-14)

Bright and quick: Paper-based method for detecting medically relevant metabolites
Measuring concentrations of medically relevant metabolites in the blood may have just gotten easier -- requiring mere minutes and just microliters of blood -- thanks to an approach involving a bioengineered protein that lights up, and a digital camera. (2018-09-13)

Shedding light on 100-year-old cancer mystery
Using genetic and pharmacological means, scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) were surprised to find that blocking LDHA had only a limited impact on melanoma cells, since they were able to redirect energy production. Their results identify an alternative growth pathway driven by a molecule called ATF4, revealing new potential targets for drug development. The study was published today in EMBO Journal. (2018-09-12)

Fluorescence-activating beta-barrel protein made from scratch for first time
For the first time, scientists have created, entirely from scratch, a protein capable of binding to a small target molecule. They designed a cylindrical protein called a beta barrel, which has a cavity to bind the target. The designed protein was able to bind and activate a compound similar to that housed inside green fluorescent protein. (2018-09-12)

Variation in cancer-causing KRAS mutations greater than thought
The effects of KRAS mutations underlying many different types of cancer are more diverse than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Eastern Finland. Different mutations in the same amino acid of the KRAS protein have so varied effects on protein function that they may require different approaches when it comes to treatment and drug development. (2018-09-11)

Folding poisons
Researchers show how toxins of the bacterium Clostridium difficile get into cells in the gut. (2018-09-11)

Molecular switches are not just 'on' or 'off'
It is not always easy to see if a switch is on or off! A new study shows that the same can be true of a molecular switch. This knowledge gives a new insight into the molecular switches, the GTPases, many of which have medical potential. (2018-09-10)

Evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits
How and why human-unique characteristics such as highly social behavior, languages and complex culture have evolved is a long-standing question. A research team led by Tohoku University in Japan has revealed the evolution of a gene related to such human-unique psychiatric traits. (2018-09-07)

New biomarker panel could accelerate autism diagnoses
Investigators at the UC Davis MIND Institute and NeuroPointDX, a division of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, have identified a group of blood metabolites that could help detect some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Part of the Children's Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP), the largest metabolomic ASD study ever attempted, these findings are a key step toward developing an ASD biomarker test. The research was published Sept. 6 in the journal Biological Psychiatry. (2018-09-06)

Earliest Mediterranean cheese production revealed by pottery over 7,000 years old
Fatty acids detected on potsherds from Croatian archaeological sites contain evidence of the earliest known cheese production in the Mediterranean region, according to a study published Sept. 5, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sarah McClure of the Pennsylvania State University and colleagues. (2018-09-05)

Natural 'breakdown' of chemicals predicts lung damage in 9/11 firefighters
Abnormal levels of more than two dozen metabolites -- chemicals produced in the body as it breaks down fats, proteins and carbohydrates -- can reliably predict which Sept. 11 firefighters developed lung disease and which did not, a new analysis shows. (2018-09-03)

Investigators find that bile acids reduce cocaine reward
Bile acids -- gut compounds that aid in the digestion of dietary fats -- reduce the desire for cocaine, according to a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2018-08-31)

Researchers discover a novel role of protein in important pathways that lead to cancer malignancy
Japanese researchers have revealed for the first time that a specific protein, the fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5), plays a critical role in the development and metastasis of highly aggressive prostate and breast cancer cells. They point out that a better understanding of the molecular pathways of specific cancers is a step in the direction of finding more effective therapeutic targets. (2018-08-30)

Heteractis magnifica sea anemones can help fight the Alzheimer's disease
Heteractis magnifica sea anemones contain neuroprotective peptides that slow down the inflammation process and the deterioration of neurons causing the development of Alzheimer's. There is currently no treatment against this disease. (2018-08-30)

An international team led by the CNIO reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes
A new study led by the CNIO reveals that up to 20 percent of genes classified as coding (those that produce the proteins that are the building blocks of all living things) may not be coding after all because they have characteristics that are typical of non-coding or pseudogenes (obsolete coding genes). The work once again highlights doubts about the number of real genes present in human cells 15 years after the sequencing the human genome. (2018-08-30)

Rutgers scientists identify protein that may have existed when life began
How did life arise on Earth? Rutgers researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts -- essential for cells, the building blocks of life, to function -- may have existed when life began. Their study of a primordial peptide, or short protein, is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2018-08-30)

Treating inflammatory bowel disorder by delivering microRNAs
Osaka University researchers efficiently delivered miRNAs to immune response cells in inflamed intestinal tracts using a super carbonate apatite (sCA), which had been shown to be highly effective in the delivery of nucleic acids to solid tumors, demonstrating the efficacy of sCA in the prevention and treatment of colitis in mice. (2018-08-28)

International team makes rare discovery of new fatty acids
Decades after scientists discovered hundreds of different fatty acids in vegetable oils, two that had managed to elude detection have finally revealed themselves to a team led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Huazhong Agricultural University in China. The discovery may be the first of its kind since the 1960s and 1970s, the researchers said, when biochemists identified troves of new fatty acids in various vegetable oils. (2018-08-27)

Scientists alter membrane proteins to make them easier to study
By making hydrophobic sections water-soluble, MIT researchers hope to learn more about protein structures. (2018-08-27)

Baby poop may be source of beneficial probiotics
Probiotics seem to be everywhere these days -- in yogurt, pickles, bread, even dog food. But there's one place that may surprise you: There are probiotics in dirty diapers. (2018-08-23)

How sleep loss may contribute to adverse weight gain
In a new study, researchers at Uppsala University now demonstrate that one night of sleep loss has a tissue-specific impact on the regulation of gene expression and metabolism in humans. This may explain how shift work and chronic sleep loss impairs our metabolism and adversely affects our body composition. The study is published in the scientific journal Science Advances. (2018-08-23)

A mechanism underlying activity of cancer and autism associated proteins was discovered
The team studied a family of proteins that includes MCT-1, which is a product of an oncogene (a gene that can trigger tumour formation); its partner DENR, which is associated with autism; and the translation factor elF2D. As a result, they have found out that factors eIF2D, MCT-1 and DENR are required for the ribosome to detach timely from the mRNA once the translation is complete. (2018-08-23)

The world's cleanest water droplet
The 'molecular dirt' found on any surface can change the properties of the material. A new method has been developed to study this. By creating ultra-pure ice in a vacuum chamber and melting it the world's cleanest water drops were created and applied to titanium dioxide surfaces. The 'dirt' turns out to be a single-molecule-thick layer of two organic acids. This is surprising, because only minute traces of these acids are found in air. (2018-08-23)

Ending a 40-year quest, scientists reveal the identity of 'hearing' protein
Scientists have identified the sensor protein responsible for hearing and balance. The findings put an end to a 40-year quest for the protein that converts sound and head movement into electrical signals that travel to the brain. (2018-08-22)

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species
In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State. (2018-08-22)

Found: A destructive mechanism that blocks the brain from knowing when to stop eating
Researchers have uncovered a destructive mechanism at the molecular level that causes a well-known phenomenon associated with obesity: leptin resistance. They found that mice fed a high-fat diet produce an enzyme named MMP-2 that clips receptors for the hormone leptin from the surface of neuronal cells in the hypothalamus. This blocks leptin from binding to its receptors. This in turn keeps the neurons from signaling that your stomach is full and you should stop eating. (2018-08-22)

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