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New research shows promise for improving vascular access for hemodialysis patients
Hemodialysis requires repeated access to the blood. Failure to maintain adequate access to the vasculature is a major cause of medical complications and, potentially, death for these patients. A new study in The American Journal of Pathology provides information about the mechanisms underlying failure of the most common type of hemodialysis vascular access, the arteriovenous fistula. Despite being the preferred approach, there is currently limited understanding of the mechanisms involved in fistula maturation failure. (2017-08-16)

Reversing aging now possible!
DGIST's research team identified the mechanism of reversible recovery of aging cells by inducing lysosomal activation. The team opened a new horizon of aging recovery research by changing the irreversibility paradigm of aging. (2017-04-03)

Scientists reveal open-ringed structure of Cdt1-Mcm2-7 complex
Scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology(HKUST) and Tsinghua University have revealed the open-ringed structure of the Cdt1-Mcm2-7 complex as a precursor of the MCM double hexamer (DH). The intrinsic coiled structures of the precursors provide valuable insights into the DH formation, and suggests a spring-action model for the MCM during the initial origin melting and the subsequent DNA unwinding. (2017-03-17)

Researchers from Aarhus solve the mystery of the acid pump
Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark have succeeded in identifying the mechanisms involved in what is known as the acid pump, which at the cellular level pumps acid into the stomach -- in some cases leading to gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The research results emanate from Jens Chr. Skou's sodium-potassium pump, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize twenty years ago. (2017-03-07)

High-resolution pH imaging elucidates energy mechanisms in creating bacterial flagella
Osaka University researchers established a state-of-the-art high-resolution imaging systems to measure pH-related variations in signal intensities of fluorescent pH probe pHluorin in live bacteria. Flagellar type III export proteins power the efficient translocation of flagellar constituents, instrumental for bacterial movement. The study demonstrated that ATP and protons were intricately linked energy sources in channeling protein transport outside the cell alongside reverse proton streams. Cutting edge pH detection tools provide insights into energy transduction in medicine. (2017-01-12)

Scripps Florida scientists uncover cellular process behind premature aging
In a new study, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown how two genes 'balance' each other to maintain normal cell function. A disruption in one of the genes, called spns1, can induce degradation and premature 'senescence' -- or aging -- while the other gene, called atp6v0ca, can jump in to suppress that degradation. (2016-12-21)

Marshall University research team publishes study on cell signaling mechanism
Researchers at Marshall University, the University of Toledo and New York Medical College, continuing their investigative work into the recently discovered signaling function of the sodium-potassium pump, have identified an important application of this discovery that could potentially lead to new treatment options for patients with kidney disease. (2016-10-04)

The importance of keeping silent...in breast cancer cells
Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation describe a repression mechanism active in hormone-dependent breast cancer cells for the first time. The repression complex of these cells silences genes related with cell proliferation and death, two key processes in cancer. The discovery contributes new knowledge on gene-silencing mechanisms and will help identify new targets for possible future treatments. (2016-07-07)

Silencing cholera's social media
Bacteria use a form of 'social media' communication, quorum sensing, to monitor how many of their species are in the neighborhood. This is important in the pathogenicity of Vibrio cholerae, the cause of cholera. In a new study, researchers led by Frederick Hughson and Bonnie Bassler at Princeton University, publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology this week, explore the molecular mechanism whereby the quorum sensing response regulator LuxO regulates V. cholerae's pathogenicity. (2016-05-24)

A calcium pump caught in the act
Researchers at Aarhus University have described one of the cell's key enzymes, the calcium pump, in its decisive moment -- a so-called transition state. These findings provide a very detailed picture of how one of the most energy-consuming processes in the body takes place. Calcium pumps are intimately involved in the activity of muscle, such as the heart, and therefore they are considered important targets for development of new drugs for cardiovascular diseases. (2016-05-09)

Promising new compound protects neurons and vision in mice with glaucoma
Early tests of a novel compound in mice with glaucoma should come as welcome news to millions of people around the world now suffering with this leading cause of vision loss. Researchers reporting in the journal Heliyon have shown that a compound they've developed might help to prevent the nerve damage that leads people with glaucoma to lose their sight. (2016-04-19)

Targeting protein homeostasis holds potential to treat solid tumors and blood cancers
In data published in two journals as well as to be presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition, scientists identified an orally available molecule, CB-5083, that targeting protein homeostasis has the potential to treat solid tumors and blood cancers. (2015-12-03)

Promising new antimicrobials could fight drug-resistant MRSA infection, study finds
A novel class of antimicrobials that inhibits the function of a key disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the major drug-resistant bacterial pathogens, according to researchers at Georgia State University. (2015-11-30)

Marshall University research team publishes study in prestigious Science Advances
Researchers with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research have identified a mechanism for blocking the signal by which the cellular sodium-potassium pump amplifies oxidants (reactive oxygen species). These oxidants lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome. (2015-10-16)

Earth's daily rotation period encoded in an atomic-level protein structure
A collaborative group of Japanese researchers has demonstrated that the Earth's daily rotation period (24 hours) is encoded in the KaiC protein at the atomic level, a small, 10 nm-diameter biomolecule expressed in cyanobacterial cells.The results of this joint research will help elucidate a longstanding question in chronobiology: How is the circadian period of biological clocks determined? (2015-06-25)

A long-standing mystery in membrane traffic was solved
In a recent issue of Science, published on March 27, 2015, a research team, led by Tae-Young Yoon of the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Reinhard Jahn of the Department of Neurobiology of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, reports that NSF/α-SNAP disassemble a single SNARE complex using various single-molecule biophysical methods that allow them to monitor and manipulate individual protein complexes. (2015-03-27)

PNAS announces six 2014 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Editorial Board has selected six papers published by PNAS in 2014 to receive the Cozzarelli Prize. (2015-02-27)

Heart drug may help treat ALS, mouse study shows
Digoxin, a medication used in the treatment of heart failure, may be adaptable for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive, paralyzing disease, suggests new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. (2014-10-26)

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution
Crystals of membrane proteins and protein complexes often diffract to low resolution owing to their intrinsic molecular flexibility, heterogeneity or the mosaic spread of micro-domains. At low resolution, the building and refinement of atomic models is a more challenging task. The deformable elastic network refinement method developed previously has been instrumental in the determination of several structures at low resolution. Here, DEN refinement is reviewed. (2014-09-19)

All in the rotation
Berkeley Lab researchers have shed new light on a type of molecular motor used to package the DNA of a number of viruses, including herpes and the adenoviruses. Their findings could help in the development of more effective drugs and inspire the design of new and improved synthetic biomotors. (2014-05-12)

Scientists identify new protein in the neurological disorder dystonia
Researchers have discovered that the protein BiP plays a key role in a genetic mutation that is affiliated with early onset torsion dystonia. Their findings may lead to the first universal treatment for the neurological disorder, which affects nearly half a million Americans. (2014-05-06)

To grow or not to grow: a step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration
The reason why some animals can regenerate tissues after severe organ loss or amputation while others, such as humans, cannot renew some structures has always intrigued scientists. In a study now published in PLOS ONE, researchers from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência show, for the first time, that zebrafish regenerates its caudal fin by a process that involves a specific channel in the cell membrane, called V-ATPase, that pumps hydrogen ions, generating an electrical current. (2014-03-27)

A promising new approach for treating leukemia discovered
A group of researchers at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of Université de Montréal discovered a promising new approach to treating leukemia by disarming a gene that is responsible for tumor progression. (2014-02-13)

Punctured cell membranes lead to high blood pressure
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have identified how a mutated protein can lead to holes in a protein sitting in a cell's membrane. Such holes cause high blood pressure, and the discovery can now lead to new and better medication for high blood pressure. (2014-01-27)

Biophysical Society announces winners of 2014 CPOW Travel Awards
The Biophysical Society has announced the winners of its annual CPOW Travel Awards to attend the Biophysical Society's 58th Annual Meeting at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Feb. 15-19, 2014. The recipients of this competitive award must be female postdoctoral fellows or mid-career scientists presenting a poster or oral presentation at the conference. Each awardee receives a travel grant and will be recognized at a reception on Saturday, Feb. 15. (2014-01-22)

Researchers discover a tumor suppressor gene in a very aggressive lung cancer
The Genes and Cancer Group at the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program of the IDIBELL has found that the MAX gene, which encodes a partner of the MYC oncogene, is genetically inactivated in small cell lung cancer. Reconstitution of MAX significantly reduced cell growth in the MAX-deficient cancer cell lines. These findings show that MAX acts as a tumor suppressor gene in one of the more aggressive types of lung cancer. (2014-01-09)

Essential factor for Lyme disease transmission identified
Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, hitchhikes in ticks for dissemination to mammalian hosts--including humans. An article in the 19 Dec. issue of PLOS Pathogens identifies HrpA, an RNA helicase, as a crucial player in the transmission from ticks to mammals. George Chaconas and colleagues analyze the molecular function of the HrpA protein and further explore its role in the bacterium's complicated life cycle, in particular for transmission of the pathogen. (2013-12-19)

Glucose: Potential new target for combating annual seasonal influenza
In lab cultures of mammalian cells, researchers showed that influenza A infection could be controlled by targeting viruses' dependence on cellular glucose. Boosting glucose concentrations concomitantly increased influenza infection rate, and treating viral cells with glucose metabolism inhibitor significantly decreased viral replication. Researchers also demonstrated that infection could be restored to high levels simply by adding ATP, major source of energy for cellular reactions, bypassing the need for glucose. (2013-12-15)

Grant helps researchers study 'turbocharger effect' in skeletal muscle
University of Cincinnati researchers have been awarded a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study an isoform that plays a critical role in human resistance to fatigue. (2013-10-15)

Scientists discover possible way to turn fungus from foe to friend
Candida albicans is a double agent: In most of us, it lives peacefully, but for people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV or other severe illnesses, it is frequently deadly. Now a new study from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School shows how targeting a specific fungal component might turn the fungus from a lion back into a kitten. Study results were reported this month in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. (2013-09-24)

Molecular motors: Power much less than expected?
An innovative measurement method was used at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw for estimating power generated by motors of single molecule in size, comprising a few dozens of atoms only. The findings of the study are of crucial importance for construction of future nanometer machines -- and they do not instill optimism. (2013-08-28)

Neuroscientists find protein linked to cognitive deficits in Angelman syndrome
A team of neuroscientists has identified a protein in laboratory mice linked to impairments similar to those afflicted with Angelman syndrome -- a condition associated with symptoms that include autism, intellectual disability, and motor abnormalities. (2013-08-01)

The genome sequence of Tibetan antelope sheds new light on high-altitude adaptation
The genome sequence of Tibetan antelope sheds new light on high-altitude adaptation. (2013-05-17)

UI researcher learns mechanism of hearing is similar to car battery
University of Iowa biologists have advanced their knowledge of human hearing by studying a similar auditory system in fruit flies -- and by making use of the fruit fly (2013-01-07)

Nature study reveals loss of essential blood cell gene leads to anemia
Scientists at the University of Georgia, Harvard Medical School and the University of Utah have discovered a new gene that regulates heme synthesis in red blood cell formation. Heme is the deep-red, iron-containing component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. The findings promise to advance the biomedical community's understanding and treatment of human anemias and mitochondrial diseases, both known and unknown. (2012-11-13)

Loss of essential blood cell gene leads to anemia
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have discovered a new gene that regulates hemoglobin synthesis during red blood cell formation. (2012-11-07)

Researchers discover turbo switch of calcium pump in biological cells
A Danish-British research team has discovered a turbo switch in the vital calcium pump in our body's cells. In studies at the X-ray source DORIS at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotorn DESY in Hamburg and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF in Grenoble the team discovered that the on-off switch of the pump has a previously unknown third position, which switches the pump into a turbo gear. (2012-10-21)

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Tracing the causes
Vitamin B12 is vital. In collaboration with colleagues from Canada, Germany and the United States, researchers from Zurich's University Children's Hospital and the University of Zurich have succeeded in decoding a novel cause of hereditary vitamin B12 deficiency. They have discovered an important gene that determines how vitamin B12 gets into cells. Their discovery enables the diagnosis and treatment of this rare genetic disease. (2012-08-27)

Same adaptations evolve across different insects
For years, scientists have questioned whether evolution is predictable, or whether chance events make such predictability unlikely. A study published online July 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that in the case of insects that developed resistance to a powerful plant toxin, the same adaptations have occurred independently, in separate species in different places and times. (2012-07-24)

Detector of DNA damage: Structure of a repair factor revealed
Double-stranded breaks in cellular DNA can trigger tumorigenesis. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now determined the structure of a protein involved in the repair and signaling of DNA double-strand breaks. The work throws new light on the origins of neurodegenerative diseases and certain tumor types. (2012-06-19)

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