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Current Cell Biology News and Events, Cell Biology News Articles.
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Ancient wolf pup mummy uncovered in Yukon permafrost
While water blasting at a wall of frozen mud in Yukon, Canada, a gold miner made an extraordinary discovery: a perfectly preserved wolf pup that had been locked in permafrost for 57,000 years. The remarkable condition of the pup, named Zhùr by the local Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in people, gave researchers a wealth of insights about her age, lifestyle, and relationship to modern wolves. The findings appear December 21 in the journal Current Biology. (2020-12-21)

Researchers identify a rare genetic bone disorder through massive sequencing methods
Researchers of the Cell Biology and Physiology-LABRET group of the University of Malaga (UMA), together with the Networking Biomedical Research Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), have described a new genetic skeletal disorder based on a precision medicine strategy. (2020-12-21)

Shipwrecked ivory a treasure trove for understanding elephants and 16th century trading
An international collaboration of researchers in Namibia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States reporting in the journal Current Biology on December 17 have found that the cargo of a 16th century shipwreck known as the Bom Jesu included more than 100 elephant tusks, which paleogenomic and isotopic analyses trace to many distinct herds that once roamed West Africa. (2020-12-17)

Territorial red squirrels live longer when they're friendly with their neighbors
Researchers publishing December 17, 2020 in the journal Current Biology found that red squirrels in the Yukon have a greater chance of survival when living near neighbors. These fitness benefits depended on familiarity, or how long the same squirrels lived next to each other. These benefits were more pronounced in older squirrels, whom the data suggested could sharply offset the effects of aging by maintaining all of their neighbors from one year to the next. (2020-12-17)

Seeking to avoid 'full lockdown,' cells monitor ribosome collisions
New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that cells monitor for ribosome collisions to determine the severity of the problem and how best to respond when things start to go awry. (2020-12-17)

Scientists create a new phototoxic protein, SuperNova2
Scientists have developed an enhanced version of SuperNova, a genetically encoded phototoxic synthesizer, that helps control intracellular processes by light exposure. 'We expect that the genetically encoded photosensitizer SuperNova2 will find use in a wide range of experimental models,' Konstantin Lukyanov, a professor at the Skoltech Center of Life Sciences (CLS), comments. (2020-12-17)

'Boss' genes could save human hearts - and the reef
UQ researchers have revealed rare decision-making genes in cells, which control how cells develop and respond to stress caused by disease or their environment. Researchers hope that in the future, they may be able to block a cell's bad decisions to prevent disease. (2020-12-13)

VRK1: a protein that reduces the survival of patients with neuroblastoma
Researchers have characterised the function of VRK1 in neuroblastoma tumour cells and have determined that this protein is essential for tumour cell growth and proliferation. ''By studying the expression of this protein in tumours, we were able to identify a priori patients where tumour progression is going to be worse, even in groups where current tools do not predict that behaviour,'' notes Francisco M. Vega. (2020-12-11)

A matter of balance: asymmetric divisions are crucial to form a functional retina
Researchers at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, have discovered that in the developing retina, and important part of the central nervous system, the divisions leading to the first differentiating neurons are asymmetric and that this asymmetry is necessary to generate the correct types of neurons in the right numbers and proportions. (2020-12-11)

Human egg cells are imperfect surprisingly often
More than 7% of human oocytes contain at least one exchangeless chromosome pair, demonstrating a remarkably high level of meiotic recombination failure, finds a study appearing December 10 in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The findings suggest that right from the get-go of human egg cell development, a striking proportion of oocytes are predestined to be chromosomally abnormal. But the frequency of exchangeless chromosomes is not affected by maternal age. (2020-12-10)

A gene from ancient bacteria helps ticks spread Lyme disease
One reason ticks spread Lyme disease so well goes back to a unique evolutionary event. Researchers reporting in the journal Cell on December 10, 2020 discovered that an antibacterial enzyme in ticks, Dae2, protects them from bacteria found on human skin, while still allowing them to harbor Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Ticks acquired the gene for this enzyme 40 million years ago from an unknown species of ancient bacteria. (2020-12-10)

How seaweed-munching crabs could help save coral reefs
Coral reefs are facing a steep decline today for many reasons, including climate change, overfishing, pollution, disease, and more. What's taking their place is lots and lots of seaweed. But researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on December 10 now have some encouraging news: native crabs can help to combat the seaweed and restore the reef. (2020-12-10)

Researchers adapt cell phone camera for SARS-CoV-2 detection
Researchers have developed an assay that can detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in a nasal swab using a device attached to an ordinary smartphone, they report December 4 in the journal Cell. Although more research is needed before such a test can be rolled out, the results are promising and ultimately may be applicable to screening more broadly for other viruses. (2020-12-04)

Molecular 'barcode' helps decide which sperm will reach an egg
A protein called CatSper1 may act as a molecular 'barcode' that helps determine which sperm cells will make it to an egg and which are eliminated along the way. (2020-12-01)

Defects in mitochondria may explain many health problems observed during space travel
Using data collected from a number of different resources, a multidisciplinary team is reporting discovery of a common thread that drives this damage: mitochondrial dysfunction. The researchers used a systems approach to look at widespread alterations affecting biological function. The findings are reported November 25 in the journal Cell. (2020-11-25)

To evade humans, this medicinal plant has evolved to hide in plain sight
Researchers reporting November 20, 2020 in the journal Current Biology have found that, in places where the herb is harvested more, the plant has evolved to blend in better with the background, making them harder for people to find. As a result, the plant varies in color from brown or grey to green, depending on whether it lives in a place that is frequented by human collectors or not. (2020-11-23)

Discovery illuminates how cell growth pathway responds to signals
A basic science discovery by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals a fundamental way cells interpret signals from their environment and may eventually pave the way for potential new therapies. (2020-11-20)

Researchers create first map of bee species around the globe
There are over 20,000 species of bee, but accurate data about how these species are spread across the globe are sparse. However, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on November 19 have created a map of bee diversity by combining the most complete global checklist of known bee species with the almost 6 million additional public records of where individual species have appeared around the world. (2020-11-19)

Many unresolved questions remain regarding T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2
T cell responses are critical for providing early control and clearance of many viral infections, but there remain many unknowns concerning T cell immunity in COVID-19. Some T cell responses may even have a detrimental impact on the clinical outcome and contribute to long COVID, a phenomenon that affects roughly 10% of COVID-19 patients, causing them to experience an array of symptoms for a month or longer. (2020-11-18)

New technique isolates brain cells associated with Parkinson's disease
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new technique for isolating a type of brain cell associated with Parkinson's disease symptoms, enabling them to study that cell type in detail. (2020-11-16)

Researchers simulate privacy leaks in functional genomics studies
In a study publishing November 12 in the journal Cell, a team of investigators demonstrates that it's possible to de-identify raw functional genomics data to ensure patient privacy. They also demonstrate how these raw data could be linked back to specific individuals through their gene variants by something as simple as an abandoned coffee cup if these sanitation measures are not put in place. (2020-11-12)

Researchers at Goethe University create artificial cell organelles for biotechnology
Cells of higher organisms use cell organelles to separate metabolic processes from each other. This is how cell respiration takes place in the mitochondria, the cell's power plants. They can be compared to sealed laboratory rooms in the large factory of the cell. A research team at Goethe University has now succeeded in creating artificial cell organelles and using them for their own devised biochemical reactions. (2020-11-12)

New prognostic markers for colon cancer identified
The study recently published by MedUni Vienna and collaborative partners nominates ILSs as novel prognostic players orchestrating the pathobiology of metastatic colorectal cancer. (2020-11-11)

Photopharmacology -- light-gated control of the cytoskeleton
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have developed photoresponsive derivatives of the anticancer drug Taxol®, which allow light-based control of cytoskeleton dynamics in neurons. The agents can optically pattern cell division and may elucidate how Taxol acts. (2020-11-06)

Staying in touch!
New mechanism regulating the adhesion of cells to the surrounding extracellular support structures discovered at the University of Konstanz - New options for the treatment of inflammatory processes and tumour metastasis (2020-11-06)

When new males take over, these female primates hurry up and mature
Most mammals--including humans and other primates--reach sexual maturity early or late depending on lots of different factors, such as how much food there is to eat. Now, researchers studying close primate relatives of baboons known as geladas have shown for the first time that females of this species suddenly hurry up and mature when a new male enters the picture. Their findings are reported in the journal Current Biology on November 5th. (2020-11-05)

Biologists create "atlas" of gene expression in neurons, documenting diversity of brain cells
New York University researchers have created a ''developmental atlas'' of gene expression in neurons, using gene sequencing and machine learning to categorize more than 250,000 neurons in the brains of fruit flies. Their study, published in Nature, finds that neurons exhibit the most molecular diversity during development and reveals a previously unknown type of neurons only present before flies hatch. (2020-11-04)

Case study details leukemia patient who shed infectious SARS-CoV-2 for at least 70 days
The majority of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 appear to actively shed infectious virus for about 8 days, but there is a wide range of variability from person to person. Researchers report November 4 in the journal Cell an unusual case of one woman with leukemia and a low antibody count who was infected with the coronavirus for at least 105 days, and infectious for at least 70, while remaining asymptomatic the entire time. (2020-11-04)

Changes in subcellular traffic increase invasiveness of radioresistant cancer cells
Scientists have revealed the molecular mechanism regulating the trafficking of lysosomes that increases the invasiveness of radioresistant cancer cells following radiotherapy. (2020-10-29)

These spiders can hear
Ogre-faced spiders hide during the day and hunt by night, dangling from palm fronds and casting nets on insects. Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on October 29 have discovered that they can hear their predators and prey, using specialized receptors to pick up sounds from at least 2 meters away. The results suggest that spiders can hear low frequency sounds from insect prey as well as higher frequency sounds from bird predators. (2020-10-29)

How octopus suckers "taste by touch"
Imagine if you could taste something simply by touching it. Octopuses can do just that with their unique ''touch-taste'' sense, made possible by the suction-cup-like suckers along each of their eight arms. Now, researchers reporting October 29 in the journal Cell have new evidence as to how this sensory ability works. The findings help to explain how octopuses, and perhaps other marine organisms, explore the seafloor by tasting objects underwater with a simple touch. (2020-10-29)

Stem cells: new insights for future regenerative medicine approaches
The study published in Open Biology unravels important data for a better understanding of the process of division in stem cells and for the development of safer ways to use them in medicine. (2020-10-28)

Researchers find source of breast tumor heterogeneity and pathway that limits emergence
A team of researchers led by Dartmouth's and Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center has identified mammary basal cells as a contributing source to the development of heterogeneous tumor cell subpopulations and found that activation of the PKA signaling pathway can curtail their emergence, providing opportunities for new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer. (2020-10-28)

Yeast study yields insights into longstanding evolution debate
In a study published Oct. 27 in the journal Cell Reports, Yale scientists show how epigenetic mechanisms contribute in real time to the evolution of a gene network in yeast. Specifically, through multiple generations yeast cells were found to pass on changes in gene activity induced by researchers. (2020-10-27)

Identified a subgroup of stem cells that resists ageing and maintains muscle regeneration
For the first time the researchers have demonstrated in a study in mice that not all muscle stem cells age equally, and have identified a subgroup with greater regenerative capacity which is maintained until geriatric age. The finding provides a basis for mitigating the loss of muscle regenerative capacity in very elderly people. (2020-10-27)

Thymoquinone induces apoptosis & DNA damage in 5-Fluorouracil-resistant colorectal cancer
Volume 11, Issue 31 from @Oncotarget reported that TQ decreased the expression levels of colorectal stem cell markers CD44 and Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule Ep CAM and proliferation marker Ki67 in colonospheres derived from both cell lines and reduced cellular migration and invasion. (2020-10-22)

Nanodevices show how living cells change with time, by tracking from the inside
For the first time, scientists have introduced minuscule tracking devices directly into the interior of mammalian cells, giving an unprecedented peek into the processes that govern the beginning of development. (2020-10-20)

How some sea slugs keep their ability to carry out plant-like photosynthesis
Scientists have shed new light on a relationship between a sea slug and tiny structures called chloroplasts from their food algae that allow the animals to photosynthesise in a similar way to plants. (2020-10-20)

How bacteria adapt their machinery for optimum growth
The tiny 'machines' that keep the processes in bacterial cells going are made up of a large number of different proteins and RNA molecules. Depending on their growth rate, bacteria have to produce these in different concentrations. Bioinformatics researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have developed a model that explains for the first time the precise composition of this molecular 'cocktail' for a central cellular system. Their findings, which are also relevant for biotechnology, are presented in the scientific journal Nature Communications. (2020-10-16)

A new protein discovered that repairs DNA
Our cells have DNA repair systems to defend themselves against this sort of damage. One of these systems is based on a protein, photolysis, which uses blue light to repair DNA damage before it leads to mutations. (2020-10-14)

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