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Current Cell Biology News and Events, Cell Biology News Articles.
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New insight on mole growth could aid development of skin cancer treatments
Moles stop growing when they reach a certain size due to normal interactions between cells, despite having cancer-associated gene mutations, says a new study published today in eLife. (2020-10-13)

Computational approach to optimise culture conditions required for cell therapy
Collaboration by researchers in Singapore and Australia lead to first-of-its-kind computational biology algorithm that could enable more effective cellular therapies against major diseases. (2020-10-12)

There's a gene for detecting that fishy smell, olfactory GWAS shows
Some people carry a mutation in a particular gene that makes the smell of fish less intense, reports a paper publishing October 8 in the journal Current Biology. The study, which is the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of olfactory genes in humans involving a sniff test and looked at over 9,000 people from Iceland, also shows that people vary in their ability to discern the smell of licorice and cinnamon. (2020-10-08)

Taking sides - factors that influence patterns in protein distribution
A new paper, published in Current Biology has found that even cells in isolation can become polarised to create the head to tail pattern, and that this polarity can orient how the cell grows. (2020-10-08)

Quality control mechanism closes the protein production 'on-ramps'
Recent work revealed a newfound quality control system in the protein production assembly line with possible implications for understanding neurogenerative disease. (2020-10-08)

New perspectives to treat neuropschychiatric diseases
Researchers studied the major types of neurons of the prefrontal cortex of the brain in an international collaboration. The research team has identified molecular differences in neurons that may support drug development for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or depression. (2020-10-08)

Tracking sea turtle egg traffickers with GPS-enabled decoy eggs
By placing 3D-printed and GPS-enabled decoy sea turtle eggs into nests on the beach, it's possible to gather key evidence needed to expose rampant illegal trade of the eggs, suggests a study publishing in the journal Current Biology on October 5, 2020. The researchers specifically tested how well the decoy eggs work and their safety for the endangered turtles. (2020-10-05)

Carb-eating bacteria under viral threat
Strictly speaking, humans cannot digest complex carbohydrates -- that's the job of bacteria in our large intestines. UC Riverside scientists have just discovered a new group of viruses that attack these bacteria. (2020-10-01)

Blue whales change their tune before migrating
While parsing through years of recorded blue whale songs looking for seasonal patterns, researchers were surprised to observe that during feeding season in the summer, whales sing mainly at night, but as they prepare to migrate to their breeding grounds for the winter, this pattern reverses and the whales sing during the day. This finding, published October 1 in the journal Current Biology, may explain known inconsistencies in whale song patterns. (2020-10-01)

Feeding C-section newborns their mother's poop may help build healthy microbiota
A paper published October 1, 2020 in the journal Cell suggests that newborns delivered by cesarean may benefit from drinking a small amount of their mother's feces dissolved in breast milk, because it provides them with beneficial bacteria they would otherwise be exposed to in vaginal birth. At three months, the procedure resulted in the newborns having a microbial makeup that looks more similar to babies born vaginally than to those born by C-section. (2020-10-01)

Sticking together
In unraveling how a single cell develops into a complex organism, one vexing question has remained for developmental biology: How do robust patterns form in the body? An answer has now been found for the zebrafish neural tube. In this paradigm of patterned tissues, the varying stickiness of cells combined with gradients of signaling molecules is responsible for generating a robust pattern. This is the result of a study published in Science. (2020-10-01)

Virus turns deadly fungus from foe to friend in plants
Researchers have discovered that a fungal virus (also called a mycovirus) can convert deadly fungal pathogens into beneficial fungus in rapeseed plants. Once transformed, the fungus boosts the plant's immune system, making the plant healthier and more resistant to diseases. These findings, published on September 29 in the journal Molecular Plant, indicate that some fungal viruses can be used for developing ''plant vaccines'' to improve crop health and enhance crop yield. (2020-09-29)

Inside mitochondria and their fascinating genome
EPFL scientists have observed -- for the first time in living cells -- the way mitochondria distribute their transcriptome throughout the cell, and it involves RNA granules that turn out to be highly fluid. (2020-09-28)

Fine-tuning stem cell metabolism prevents hair loss
An international research team has shown in mice that Rictor, a protein that helps to regulate the growth, energy, and oxygen consumption of cells, plays a key role in the cellular metabolism and longevity of hair follicle stem cells / publication in 'Cell Metabolism' (2020-09-28)

New vulnerability found in lung squamous cancer may facilitate drug targeting
New cancer research by scientists at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues, shows the potential for targeting a specific circular RNA, known as CDR1as, to attack lung squamous cell cancer. Lung squamous cell cancers comprise up to 30% of all lung cancers and are responsible for about 70,000 new cases and approximately 40,000 deaths each year in the U.S. (2020-09-25)

An area of the brain where tumor cells shelter from chemotherapy in childhood leukaemia
Sometimes, the central nervous system harbours tumour cells that elude treatment and thus become one of the main sources of relapse. Research led by the Complutense University of Madrid has identified one of these locations in which the cells remain protected: the stroma of the choroid plexus, a structure in the brain ventricles responsible for the production of cerebrospinal fluid. (2020-09-25)

Bioelectronic device achieves unprecedented control of cell membrane voltage
Every living cell maintains a voltage across the cell membrane that results from differences in the concentrations of charged ions inside and outside the cell. In an impressive proof-of-concept demonstration, an interdisciplinary team of scientists has developed a bioelectronic system driven by a machine learning algorithm that can shift the membrane voltage in living cells and maintain it at a set point for 10 hours. (2020-09-24)

Scientists uncover the structural mechanism of coronavirus receptor binding
The spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can adopt at least ten distinct structural states, when in contact with the human virus receptor ACE2, according to research from the Francis Crick Institute published in Nature today (Thursday). (2020-09-17)

First look at how hallucinogens bind structurally to serotonin receptors
Although hallucinogenic drugs have been studied for decades, little is known about the underlying mechanisms in the brain by which they induce their effects. A paper publishing September 17 in the journal Cell reveals the first X-ray crystallography structure of LSD bound to its target in the brain, the serotonin receptor. The paper also includes the first cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a prototypical hallucinogen coupled with the entire serotonin receptor complex. (2020-09-17)

Scientists "scent train" honeybees to boost sunflowers' seed production
If you want a dog to hunt something down, it helps to let them sniff an item to pick up the scent. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on September 17 have found that scent training honeybees might work in a similar way--and that this approach could make bees more efficient in pollinating crops. The findings show that honeybees given food scented with sunflower odors led to a significant increase in sunflower crop production. (2020-09-17)

'Cellular compass' guides stem cell division in plants
Biologists observing the formation of leaves noticed the nuclei moved in bewildering ways. Further investigation uncovered proteins that act as compasses and motors, guiding the divisions of individual cells to create the overall pattern of the leaf. (2020-09-17)

Multi-institutional collaborative effort to create a cell map of the human heart
Researchers from the? Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI), the Precision Cardiology Lab (PCL) of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard, Bayer USA, Massachusetts General Hospital, and University of Pennsylvania collaborated to uncover some pressing questions about the biology of the heart. While understanding the mechanisms causal to human heart disease remain active areas of research for many scientists, important knowledge gaps about its composition and function remain unknown. (2020-09-16)

Stem cell function may explain higher colon cancer rate in males
In research recently published in Stem Cell Reports, Jingxin Li (ljingxin@sdu.edu.cn), Dawei Chen (dawei.chen@uliege.be) and colleagues found that androgen levels can regulate intestinal stem cell proliferation, a new potential link between androgen levels and colon cancer. (2020-09-10)

Caffeine shot delivers wakeup call on antifungal drug resistance
The management of fungal infections in plants and humans could be transformed by a breakthrough in understanding how fungi develop resistance to drugs. It was previously thought that only mutations in a fungi's DNA would result in antifungal drug resistance. Current diagnostic techniques rely on sequencing all of a fungi's DNA to find such mutations. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered that fungi can develop drug resistance without changes to their DNA -- their genetic code. (2020-09-09)

More than just genetic code
Researchers discover how messenger RNAs transport information to where photosynthesis takes place. (2020-09-08)

New role of arginine metabolism in plant morphogenesis identified
A research team led by ExCELLS/NIBB found that arginine metabolism has a vital role in regulating gametophore shoot formation in the moss Physcomitrium patens. (2020-09-08)

Acorn woodpeckers wage days-long battles over vacant territories, radio tag data show
When acorn woodpeckers inhabiting high-quality territories die, nearby birds begin a battle royal to win the vacant spot. Researchers used radio tags to understand the immense effort woodpecker warriors expend traveling to and fighting in these dangerous battles. They also found spectator woodpeckers go to great lengths to collect social information, coming from kilometers around just to watch these chaotic power struggles. The work appears September 7 in the journal Current Biology. (2020-09-07)

Cell-autonomous immunity and the pathogen-mediated evolution of humans
Although immune responses are generated by a complex, hierarchical arrangement of immune system organs, tissues, and components, the unit of the cell has a particularly large effect on disease progression and host survival. These cell-level defense mechanisms, known as cell-autonomous immunity, are among the most important determinants of human survival, and are millions to billions of years old, inherited from our prokaryotic and single-celled ancestors. (2020-09-04)

Operation Outbreak simulation teaches students how pandemics spread
In 2015, a team of specialists in modeling disease outbreaks got together with educators to create Operation Outbreak, an educational platform and simulation intended to teach high school and college students the fundamentals of responses to pandemics. The program, which is open source and freely available, includes a Bluetooth-based app that carries out contact tracing by recording transmission events between phones. The details are highlighted in a Commentary published in the journal Cell. (2020-09-03)

Cellular roadmaps predict body's coronavirus vulnerability
New research from Cornell University developed potential roadmaps for how the coronavirus infects organs and identifies what molecular factors could help facilitate or restrict infection. (2020-09-03)

How do tumor cells divide in the crowd?
Scientists led by Dr. Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich, group leader at the Excellence Cluster Physics of Life (PoL) and the Biotechnology Center TU Dresden (BIOTEC) studied how cancer cells are able to divide in a crowded tumor tissue and connected it to the hallmark of cancer progression and metastasis, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). (2020-09-02)

Why naming neurons can help cure brain disease
A group of 74 scientists proposed the use of single-cell RNA sequencing as the skeleton for a unified classification of cortical neurons. The ''Copenhagen Classification'' came out of an international meeting on cortical neurons two years ago. (2020-09-02)

Scientists shed new light on pollen tube growth in plants
New insight on how an enzyme ensures the correct growth of pollen tubes in flowering plants has been published today in the open-access journal eLife. (2020-09-01)

Researchers identify mechanism underlying cancer cells' immune evasion
Researchers in China have discovered how brain cancer cells increase production of a key protein that allows them to evade the body's immune system. The study, which will be published August 27 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that targeting this cellular pathway could help treat the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma, as well as other cancers that are resistant to current forms of immunotherapy. (2020-08-27)

Researchers identify RNA molecule that helps lung cancer cells evade immune system
Researchers in Spain have identified a non-coding RNA molecule that helps lung cancer cells proliferate and avoid being killed by the body's immune cells. The study, which will be published August 27 in the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), suggests that targeting this RNA molecule could boost the effectiveness of immunotherapies that are currently only successful in ~20% of lung cancer patients. (2020-08-27)

First 3D look at an embryonic sauropod dinosaur reveals unexpected facial features
About 25 years ago, researchers discovered the first dinosaur embryos in an enormous nesting ground of titanosaurian dinosaurs. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on August 27 describe the first near-intact embryonic skull. The finding adds to our understanding of the development of sauropod dinosaurs, like the long-necked Brontosaurus, and suggests that they may have had specialized facial features as hatchlings that changed as they grew into adults. (2020-08-27)

Breakthrough in using stem cells to treat enteric nervous system disorders
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how the enteric nervous system forms, which could pave the way for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. (2020-08-27)

Decoded: The structure of the barrier between three cells
Organs in animals and in humans have one thing in common: they are bounded by so-called epithelial cells. Researchers at the Institute of Animal Physiology at the University of Munster have found out how two proteins called Anakonda and M6 interact in epithelial cells in fruit flies in order to produce a functioning barrier at corner points between three of those cells. The study has been published in the journal 'Current Biology'. (2020-08-27)

Study revealing structure of a protein complex may open doors to better disease research
More than two decades ago scientists discovered the Arp2/3 complex, an actin (cellular protein) cytoskeketal nucleator which plays a crucial role in cell division, immune response, neurodevelopment other biological processes. But there has been no determined structure of the activated state of the complex until now, work led by researchers at Stony Brook University. (2020-08-25)

Less "sticky" cells become more cancerous
In cooperation with colleagues from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, researchers at Leipzig University have investigated the structure of tumour tissue and the behaviour of tumour cells in detail, gaining important insights that could improve cancer diagnosis and therapy in the future. (2020-08-25)

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