Current Cell Biology News and Events

Current Cell Biology News and Events, Cell Biology News Articles.
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Study quantifying parachute science in coral reef research shows it's 'still widespread'
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on February 22 have quantified the practice of 'parachute science,' when international scientists conduct research without engaging local researchers. They found that institutions from several lower-middle and upper-middle-income countries with abundant coral reefs produced less research than institutions based in high-income countries with fewer reefs. They also found that host-nation scientists were excluded from authorship on studies almost twice as often when those studies were conducted in lower-income countries. (2021-02-22)

Antibiotic tolerance study paves way for new treatments
The study in mice, 'A Multifaceted Cellular Damage Repair and Prevention Pathway Promotes High Level Tolerance to Beta-lactam Antibiotics,' published Feb. 3 in the journal EMBO Reports, reveals how tolerance occurs, thanks to a system that mitigates iron toxicity in bacteria that have been exposed to penicillin. (2021-02-22)

New technology enables predictive design of engineered human cells
Northwestern University synthetic biologists have developed a design-driven process to build complex genetic circuits for cellular engineering. The new technology utilizes computational modeling to more efficiently identify useful genetic designs before building them in the lab. Faced with myriad possibilities, modeling points researchers to designs that offer real opportunity. The researchers constructed a variety of genetic programs to carry out desired and useful functions in human cells and found the programs worked as predicted. And the designs worked the first time. (2021-02-19)

Study finds real-time dialogue with a dreaming person is possible
Dreams take us to what feels like a different reality. They also happen while we're fast asleep. So, you might not expect that a person in the midst of a vivid dream would be able to perceive questions and provide answers to them. But a new study reported in the journal Current Biology on February 18 shows that, in fact, they can. (2021-02-18)

How bacteria hunt bacteria
The research team led by Dr. Christine Kaimer from the Microbial Biology department at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has taken a close look at predatory bacteria, which feed on other bacteria. Through microscopic examinations and protein analyses, they characterized the strategies used by the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus: It combines several mechanisms to kill structurally different prey bacteria, and also works in groups where necessary. (2021-02-16)

Plant as superhero during nuclear power plant accidents
A collaborative study by a group of scientists from Iwate University, The University of Tokyo and Shimane University, Japan demonstrated for the first time that two ATP binding cassette proteins ABCG33 and ABCG37 function as potassium-independent cesium uptake carriers. (2021-02-16)

Researchers find a novel connection between cell metabolism and cell division
Many biological processes are subject to rhythmic changes. Well-known examples of this are the so-called circadian rhythm, an ''internal clock'' with a period of around 24 hours, or the shorter ultradian rhythm. Cell division is often linked to these rhythms. Biologists from Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern have now found out that these rhythms and their coupling with cell division is closely related to hydrogen peroxide. The study was published in the renowned journal Nature Chemical Biology. (2021-02-16)

Finding coronavirus's helper proteins
A group of scientists led by EMBL's Mikhail Savitski, Nassos Typas, and Pedro Beltrao, and collaborator Steeve Boulant at Heidelberg University Hospital, have analysed how the novel coronavirus affects proteins in human cells. They identified several human proteins as potential drug targets to prevent viral replication. (2021-02-16)

Researchers take early step toward leukemia drug therapy
The team has discovered that for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, there is a dopamine receptor pathway that becomes abnormally activated in the cancer stem cells. This inspired the clinical investigation of a dopamine receptor-inhibiting drug thioridazine as a new therapy for patients, and their focus on adult AML has revealed encouraging results. (2021-02-16)

To help keep cats from killing wildlife, add more meat and play to their day
Domestic cats are a major threat to wild species, including birds and small mammals. But researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 11, 2021 now have evidence that some simple strategies can help to reduce cats' environmental impact without restricting their freedom. Their studies show that domestic cats hunt less when owners feed them a diet including plenty of meat proteins. Equally, it helps to play with them each day in ways that allow cats to mimic hunting. (2021-02-11)

Anti-cancer drug's mode of operation deciphered
Freiburg researchers show how the membrane protein CD20 keeps the immune system's antibody-producing cells in check. (2021-02-10)

How cells recycle the machinery that drives their motility?
Research groups at University of Helsinki and Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, discovered a new molecular mechanism that promotes cell migration. The discovery sheds light on the mechanisms that drive uncontrolled movement of cancer cells, and also revises the 'text book view' of cell migration. (2021-02-09)

Winner-takes-all synthetic gene circuit process opens new pathways to disease treatment
Multicellular synthetic circuits will be a much more effective way to treat cancer. (2021-02-08)

New clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells
The molecular details of how SARS-CoV-2 enters cells and infects them are still not clear. Researchers at Uppsala University have tested the bioinformatic predictions made by another research group and have identified receptors that could be important players in the process. The results are presented in the journal Science Signaling and at the AAAS Annual Meeting held this week. (2021-02-08)

These shrimplike crustaceans are the fastest snappers in the sea
The snapping claws of male amphipods--tiny, shrimplike crustaceans--are among the fastest and most energetic of any life on Earth. Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 8 find that the crustaceans can repeatedly close their claws in less than 0.01% of a second, generating high-energy water jets and audible pops. The snapping claws are so fast, they almost defy the laws of physics. (2021-02-08)

UMass Amherst researchers gain insight into the biology of a deadly fungus
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have gained new insight into the biological processes of a chytrid fungus responsible for a deadly skin infection devastating frog populations worldwide. (2021-02-08)

Researchers replicate a potential step of the fin-to-limb transition in zebrafish
By tweaking a single gene, scientists engineered zebrafish that show the beginnings of limb-like appendages. The researchers stumbled upon this mutation, which may shed light on the sea-to-land transition of vertebrates, while screening for gene mutants and their impact on fish development. Their discovery, outlined February 4th in the journal Cell, marks a fundamental step in our understanding of fin-to-limb evolution and how simple genetic changes can create leaps in the development of complex structures. (2021-02-04)

Fast-flying bats rely on late-night updrafts to reach great heights
Although scientists knew that some bats could reach heights of over 1,600 meters (or approximately one mile) above the ground during flight, they didn't understand how they managed to do it without the benefit of thermals that aren't typically available to them during their nighttime forays. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 4th have uncovered the bats' secret to high-flying. (2021-02-04)

'Stealthy' stem cells better for treating tendon injuries in horses
Treating equine donor stem cells with a growth factor called TGF-β2 may allow them to avoid ''tripping'' the immune response in recipients, according to new research. (2021-02-04)

Researchers identify "rescue" mechanism that helps cells survive malfunctioning split
Cells replicate their genetic material and divide into two identical clones to perpetuate life. Some cells pause in the process with a single, undivided nucleus. When the cell resumes division after such a pause, the nucleus can become caught in the fissure, splitting violently, and killing both cells. But that is not always the case. Researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan are starting to understand how active nuclear displacement rescues cell death. (2021-02-03)

Iron release may contribute to cell death in heart failure
A process that releases iron in response to stress may contribute to heart failure, and blocking this process could be a way of protecting the heart, suggests a study in mice published today in eLife. (2021-02-02)

Potential drug target found for treating rare genetic disorder in children
Scientists have identified a potential new treatment approach for Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), a progressive genetic disorder that causes rapid and premature aging in children. (2021-02-02)

How lipids distribute proteins within cells
Researchers have observed how lipids distribute proteins within cells, a discovery that could open the door to understanding the causes of protein transport related diseases, such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases (2021-01-29)

Modeling study of ancient thumbs traces the history of hominin thumb dexterity
Researchers analyzing the biomechanics and efficiency of the thumb across different fossil human species using virtual muscle modeling, revealed new insight into when these abilities first arose and what they've meant for the development of more complex human culture. The findings, appearing January 28 in the journal Current Biology, suggest that a fundamental aspect of human thumb opposition appeared approximately 2 million years ago and was not found in the earliest proposed stone tool makers. (2021-01-28)

Study details N439K variant of SARS-CoV-2
An international team of researchers has characterized the effect and molecular mechanisms of an amino acid change in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein N439K. Viruses with this mutation are both common and rapidly spreading around the globe. The peer reviewed version of the study appears January 25 in the journal Cell. (2021-01-28)

Toho university scientists find new mechanism to keep cell death pathway suppressed
A research group led by Prof. Hiroyasu Nakano at the Department of Biochemistry, Toho University Faculty of Medicine, identified Mind bomb-2 (MIB2) as an enzyme that ubiquitinates and modifies the protein cFLIP, which plays a central role in suppressing cell death. This finding indicates that ubiquitination of cFLIP by MIB2 plays an essential role in suppressing caspase 8-mediated cell death, suggesting that ubiquitination of cFLIP may be a promising target for development of therapies to control cell death. (2021-01-27)

A stem cell based cell culture model for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a widespread condition in the Western World. In order to improve our understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying the etiology of NAFLD, Dr. Nina Graffmann, Prof. James Adjaye and the team of the Institute for Stem Cell research and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Duesseldorf, differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from healthy donors and NAFLD patients into hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs). (2021-01-25)

How cells move and don't get stuck
Theoretical physicists from Berlin teamed up with experimental physicists from Munich to determine the precise mechanics involved in cell motility. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (2021-01-18)

Novel organoid models: Illuminating path to cervical cancers
How do tumors develop in the cervix? Many new details are now known about this question. This is also thanks to Dr. Cindrilla Chumduri from the Biocentre at the University of Würzburg. (2021-01-18)

Researchers link cellular transport pathway to aggressive brain cancer
Researchers at McGill University have identified a new cellular pathway that limits the growth and spread of brain tumors by controlling the recycling of cell surface receptor proteins. The study, which will be published January 14 in the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), suggests that the pathway, which involves a protein called Rab35, is defective in many patients with glioblastoma and that restoring Rab35's activity could be a new therapeutic strategy for this deadly form of brain cancer. (2021-01-14)

Retinal cell transplant clears experimental hurdle toward treating blindness
Retinal cells derived from adult human eye stem cells survived when transplanted into the eyes of monkeys, an important early step in the validation of this approach for treating blindness, according to a study by Liu, et al recently published in Stem Cell Reports. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of pigmented cells in the retina, is essential for sustaining normal vision. Blindness due to RPE dysfunction, such as macular degeneration, affects about 200 million people worldwide. (2021-01-14)

Mathematics explains how giant whirlpools form in developing egg cells
Cell-spanning whirlpools in the immature egg cells of animals such as mice, zebrafish and fruit flies quickly mix the cells' innards, but scientists didn't know how these flows form. Using mathematical modeling, researchers have found an answer. The gyres result from the collective behavior of rodlike molecular tubes called microtubules that extend inward from the cells' membranes, the researchers report. (2021-01-13)

Formula predicts ideal dose of stem cells to cure HIV
Scientists have determined the optimal conditions following a stem cell transplant that could control HIV without the need of an everyday pill, according to a study published today in eLife. (2021-01-12)

Gene-editing produces tenfold increase in superbug slaying antibiotics
Scientists have used gene-editing advances to achieve a tenfold increase in the production of super-bug targeting formicamycin antibiotics. (2021-01-12)

Uncovering basic mechanisms of intestinal stem cell self-renewal and differentiation
The gut plays a central role in the regulation of the body's metabolism and its dysfunction is associated with a variety of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, colitis and colorectal cancer that affect millions of people worldwide. Targeting endocrine dysfunction by stimulating the formation of specific enteroendocrine cells from intestinal stem cells could be a promising regenerative approach for diabetes therapy. For this, a detailed understanding of the intestinal stem cell lineage and the signals regulating the recruitment of intestinal cell types is critical. (2021-01-11)

This tree snake climbs with a lasso-like motion
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on January 11 have discovered that invasive brown tree snakes living on Guam can get around in a way that had never been seen before. The discovery of the snake's lasso-like locomotion for climbing their way up smooth vertical cylinders has important implications, both for understanding the snakes and for conservation practices aimed at protecting birds from them. (2021-01-11)

Singapore and US scientists uncover the structure of Wnt, Wntless proteins
Preventing Wnt from hitching a ride may offer new avenue for novel treatments for cancer and fibrosis. (2021-01-11)

Designer protein patches boost cell signaling
A new class of protein material that interacts with living cells without being absorbed by them can influence cell signaling, a new study shows. The material does this by binding and sequestering cell surface receptors. The discovery could have far-reaching implications for stem cell research and enable the development of new materials designed to modulate the behavior of living systems. (2021-01-06)

Wait for me: Cell biologists decipher signal that ensures no chromosome is left behind
UC San Diego cell biologists have found a key clue in the mystery of how chromosomes are inherited correctly every time a cell divides. Using a novel cell probe, they unraveled how a 'matchmaker' molecule stops cell division until components are ready to be split. Precise chromosome duplication is a key factor in proper cell division. If components are altered, even slightly, birth defects and certain cancers can result. (2021-01-06)

A powerful computational tool for efficient analysis of cell division 4D image data
A joint research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a novel computational tool that can reconstruct and visualise three-dimensional (3D) shapes and temporal changes of cells, speeding up the analysing process from hundreds of hours by hand to a few hours by the computer. Revolutionising the way biologists analyse image data, this tool can advance further studies in developmental and cell biology, such as the growth of cancer cells. (2020-12-22)

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