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Neutrons chart atomic map of COVID-19's viral replication mechanism
To better understand how the novel coronavirus behaves and how it can be stopped, scientists have completed a three-dimensional map that reveals the location of every atom in an enzyme molecule critical to SARS-CoV-2 reproduction. Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron scattering to identify key information to improve the effectiveness of drug inhibitors designed to block the virus's replication mechanism. (2020-10-27)

Hydrogen sulfide helps maintain your drive to breathe
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that the production of hydrogen sulfide gas is necessary to breathe normally. Inhibition of hydrogen sulfide production in rats prevented brain neurons that control breathing from functioning normally. These findings have identified new mediators of breathing that can now be explored in the context of human health and disease. (2020-10-26)

Enzyme biofactories to enhance cord blood transplants
Stem cell trafficking to the bone marrow is improved by enzyme manufactured in silkworms and yeast. (2020-10-22)

Rapid method of isolating tumor-targeting T cells could propel personalized cancer treatment
When it comes to defeating cancer, some immune cells are mightier than others. But even the best-trained eye and today's advanced scientific tools have trouble discerning the most powerful tumor-fighting cells from the rest. A new technique developed by Scripps Research scientist Peng Wu, PhD, aims to change that--offering a new platform that could propel personalized cancer treatments that have been hindered due to the challenges of isolating the most useful immune cells in patients. (2020-10-22)

New drug that can prevent the drug resistance and adverse effects
A research team in Korea is garnering attention for having developed an anticancer drug that could potentially prevent drug resistance. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that a team of researchers led by Dr. Kwang-meyung Kim at the Theragnosis research center successfully developed a cancer-specific anticancer drug precursor that can prevent the drug resistance. (2020-10-21)

Genome archeologists discover path to activate immune response against cancer
Ancient embedded elements in our DNA from generations past can activate a powerful immune response to kill cancer cells like an infection. (2020-10-21)

Researchers develop method for earlier detection of Alzheimer's Disease
Washington State University scientists have developed a method to detect the biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease that is 10 times more sensitive than current blood testing technology. (2020-10-20)

Repairing the photosynthetic enzyme Rubisco
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry decipher the molecular mechanism of Rubisco Activase (2020-10-20)

Study identifies key enzyme for development of autoimmune diseases
An enzyme associated with energy production in cells also participates in the differentiation of immune cells involved in exacerbated inflammation. The discovery could lead to more effective treatment. (2020-10-19)

Controlling the speed of enzyme motors brings biomedical applications of nanorobots closer
A new study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, describes a tool for modulating nanomotors powered by enzymes, broadening their potential biomedical and environmental applications. (2020-10-13)

Planting parasites: Unveiling common molecular mechanisms of parasitism and grafting
Using the model Orobanchaceae parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum, scientists have discerned the molecular mechanisms underlying plant parasitism and cross-species grafting, pinpointing enzyme β-1,4-glucanase (GH9B3) as an important contributor to both phenomena. Targeting this enzyme may help control plant parasitism in crops. (2020-10-10)

Bacterial cellulose degradation system could give boost to biofuels production
Researchers have uncovered details of how a certain type of bacteria breaks down cellulose--a finding that could help reduce the cost and environmental impact of the use of biomass, including biofuel production. The bacteria's cellulose degradation system is in some way different from how a fungus is already widely used in industry, including to soften up denim to make stone-washed jeans. (2020-10-08)

Liquid gel in COVID patients' lungs makes way for new treatment
In some patients who died with severe COVID-19 and respiratory failure, a jelly was formed in the lungs. Researchers have now established what the active agent in the jelly is and thanks to that, this new discovery can now be the key to new effective therapies. This according to a new study at Umeå University, Sweden. (2020-10-06)

NREL, UK university partner to dive deeper into how enzymes digest plastic
A collaboration between scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, and other partners has yielded further insight into the workings of plastic-eating enzymes. (2020-10-06)

Rise of the mutants: New uOttawa-led research to improve enzyme design methodologies
A group of researchers at the University of Ottawa has been looking for ways to improve enzyme design methodologies. They developed a novel computational procedure for enzyme design that is more accurate than previous methods because it allows to approximate the intrinsic flexibility of the protein scaffold used as a template for design. (2020-10-01)

Repurposed anti-malarial compounds kill diarrheal parasite, study finds
A class of compounds used for malaria treatment also kill the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, a leading cause of diarrheal disease and death in children that has no cure, a multi-institution collaboration of researchers found in a new study. (2020-10-01)

Common antioxidant enzyme may provide potential treatment for COVID-19
Catalase, a naturally occurring enzyme, holds potential as a low-cost therapeutic drug to treat COVID-19 symptoms and suppress the replication of coronavirus inside the body. (2020-09-29)

Surplus sugar helps whiteflies detoxify plant defenses
When attacking crucifers, the sap-sucking whitefly Bemisia tabaci can activate the chemical defenses of these plants. In a new study, an international team of researchers demonstrated that the pest is able to render a large proportion of the plant toxins harmless by binding surplus sugar to them. The whitefly thus deploys a completely new and until now undescribed detoxification mechanism to defuse the plants' defenses, which could explain the success of this major agricultural pest. (2020-09-28)

Water at the end of the tunnel
We humans need oxygen to breath - for a lot of microbes it is a lethal poison. That is why microorganisms have developed ways to render oxygen molecules harmless. Microbiologists from Bremen, Marburg and Grenoble have now succeeded in decrypting such a mechanism. They show, how methane-generating microbes transform oxygen into water without causing any damage to the cell. These findings are relevant for future bio-inspired processes. (2020-09-28)

Plastic-eating enzyme 'cocktail' heralds new hope for plastic waste
The UK-US team who re-engineered the plastic-eating enzyme PETase have now created an enzyme 'cocktail' which can digest plastic up to six times faster. (2020-09-28)

A red future for improving crop production?
Researchers have found a way to engineer more efficient versions of the plant enzyme Rubisco by using a red-algae-like Rubisco from a bacterium. For 50 years scientists have strived to boost the activity of Rubisco, a promising target to increase crop production, as it controls how much and how fast plants fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars and energy during photosynthesis. (2020-09-28)

Antibodies protect against wide range of influenza B virus strains
Researchers have identified two antibodies that protect mice against lethal infections of influenza B virus, report scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Together with an antibody that targets the other major kind of influenza viruses that infect people -- influenza A -- these antibodies potentially could form the basis of a broad-spectrum flu drug that could treat almost all flu cases. (2020-09-24)

Researchers uncover tools used by predatory bacteria to escape unharmed from prey cell
Predatory bacteria, capable of invading and consuming harmful bugs such as E .coli and Salmonella, use a unique tool to help them escape the cell they have invaded without harming themselves, according to a new study. (2020-09-23)

E. coli bacteria offer path to improving photosynthesis
Cornell University scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields. (2020-09-21)

New way to halt leukemia relapse shown promising in mice
Drugs tackling chronic myelogenous leukemia have completely transformed prognoses of patients over the last couple of decades, with most cases going into remission. But drug resistance can occur, leading to relapses. Targeting the lipids involved in regulating part of a leukemia stem cell's life span offers a potential second route to defeat the disease--and solid tumorous cancers as well. (2020-09-18)

Progress toward antiviral treatments for COVID-19
COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is structurally similar to the viruses that cause SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In The Journal of Chemical Physics, scientists report molecular-level investigations of these viruses, providing a possible pathway to antiviral drugs to fight the diseases. They looked at a viral protein that plays a role in the virus's ability to replicate and in defeating the host's immune system, making it an attractive target for potential drug treatments. (2020-09-15)

Bioactive nano-capsules to hijack cell behavior
Many diseases are caused by defects in signaling pathways of body cells. In the future, bioactive nanocapsules could become a valuable tool for medicine to control these pathways. Researchers from the University of Basel have taken an important step in this direction: They succeed in having several different nanocapsules work in tandem to amplify a natural signaling cascade and influence cell behavior. (2020-09-14)

Structure of ATPase, the world's smallest turbine, solved
The chemical ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is the fuel that powers all life. Despite ATP's central role, the structure of the enzyme generating ATP, F1Fo-ATP synthase, in mammals, including humans, has not been known so far. Now, scientists from IST Austria report the first complete structure of the mammalian F1Fo-ATP synthase. This structure also settles a debate on how the permeability transition pore, a structure involved in cell death, cancer, and heart attacks, forms. (2020-09-14)

When methane-eating microbes eat ammonia instead
As a side effect of their metabolism, microorganisms living on methane can also convert ammonia. In the process, they produce nitric oxide (NO), a central molecule in the global nitrogen cycle. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen (DE), and Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL), now discovered the enzyme that produces NO, closing an important gap in our understanding of how methanotrophs deal with rising environmental ammonia concentrations. (2020-09-13)

Drugging the undruggable: Yale finds treatment path for muscular dystrophy
Researchers at Yale have identified a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disease for which there is currently no cure or treatment, by targeting an enzyme that had been considered ''undruggable.'' The finding appears in the Aug. 25 edition of Science Signaling. (2020-09-11)

Structure of 'immortality protein' now better understood
A key role in studying the telomerase of Hansenula polymorpha was played by KFU's nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. (2020-09-10)

Innate immune system -- How cGAS is kept bottled up
In higher organisms, detection of DNA in the cytoplasm triggers an immune reaction. The enzyme that senses 'misplaced' DNA is also found in the nucleus, but nuclear DNA has no such effect. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers now report why that is so. (2020-09-10)

Through enzyme testing, researchers sharpen CRISPR gene-editing tool
One of the biggest scientific advances of the last decade is getting better thanks to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin; the University of California, Berkeley; and Korea University. The team has developed a new tool to help scientists choose the best available gene-editing option for a given job, making the technology called CRISPR safer, cheaper and more efficient. The tool is outlined in a new paper in Nature Biotechnology. (2020-09-08)

Star-cells "shine" to make sense of touch
The IBS research group reports a rather surprise finding as to how GABA works to control the tactile sense. GABA, known for its inhibitory function, actually enhances the sensory input processing by accelerating the signal processing and sharpening the sensitivity of signal magnitude. (2020-09-08)

Tryptophan supports guts health on trouts under stress, says a RUDN biologist
A biologist from RUDN University found the most beneficial concentration of tryptophan for rainbow trout. When added to the diet of the fish, this amino acid supports the immune system and reduces the oxidative stress in the intestinal tract caused by the overpopulation of fish farms. The results of the study were published in the Aquaculture magazine. (2020-09-03)

Study finds missing link in the evolutionary history of carbon-fixing protein Rubisco
A team led by researchers at UC Davis has discovered a missing link in the evolution of photosynthesis and carbon fixation. Dating back more than 2.4 billion years, a newly discovered form of the plant enzyme rubisco could give new insight into plant evolution and breeding (2020-08-31)

DNA repair - Locating and severing lethal links
Covalent cross-links between proteins and DNA are among the most hazardous types of DNA damage. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have now characterized an enzyme that breaks such bonds, and elucidated how it specifically recognizes sites of damage. (2020-08-27)

Heavy metals make soil enzymes 3 times weaker, says a soil scientist from RUDN University
Heavy metals suppress enzyme activity in the soil by 3-3.5 times and have especially prominent effect on the enzymes that support carbon and sulfur circulation. This was discovered by a soil scientist from RUDN University together with his colleagues from Chile, Germany, the UK and Venezuela. The data obtained by the team can lead to more efficient use and fertilization of agricultural lands. (2020-08-26)

Synthetic coating for the GI tract could deliver drugs or aid in digestion
MIT engineers have devised a way to apply a temporary synthetic coating to the lining of the small intestine. This coating could be adapted to deliver drugs, aid in digestion, or prevent nutrients such as glucose from being absorbed. (2020-08-26)

Re-engineered enzyme could help reverse damage from spinal cord injury and stroke
A team of researchers from University of Toronto Engineering and the University of Michigan has redesigned and enhanced a natural enzyme that shows promise in promoting the regrowth of nerve tissue following injury. (2020-08-24)

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