Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine have developed a computational technique that greatly increases the resolution of atomic force microscopy, a specialized type of microscope that "feels" the atoms at a surface. The method reveals atomic-level details on proteins and other biological structures under normal physiological conditions, opening a new window on cell biology, virology and other microscopic processes.
Proteins are encoded by genes - however, this information is divided into small coding sections, which are only assembled during a process called splicing. Various combinations are possible, some of which are still unknown. Dr. Robin Herbrechter and Professor Andreas Reiner from the junior research group Cellular Neurobiology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) now systematically analysed alternative splicing in the family of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which is essential for signal processing in the brain.
Researchers from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology have found that plants balance growth and genome maintenance by organizing their responses to damage. Plants can't replace dead cells as animals do, and must deal with DNA damage without halting growth. Combined control of the plant hormones cytokinin and auxin allows plants to organize different DNA damage responses while minimizing cell death. This study will have broad applications to research on plants and other organisms.
A University of Iowa team has found that babies twitch during a sleep stage called quiet sleep, not just during REM sleep. The results may show there's more communication between snoozing infants' brains and motor systems than previously known. Results appear in the journal Current Biology.
The information presented in this study is primarily positioned to benefit scientists and experts in Cellular Physiology and Histochemistry where new tools to discover therapeutic targets for muscle atrophy are needed. The study outlines the development of a new fluorescent reporter mouse line to detect changes in mitophagy activity. These findings could revolutionize treatment strategies and possibly facilitate interventions to reverse disuse-induced muscle atrophy.
Does evolution explain why we can't resist a salty chip? Researchers at NC State University found that differences between the elemental composition of foods and the elemental needs of animals can explain the development of pleasing tastes like salty, umami and sweet.
The structure of a biomolecule can reveal much about its functioning and interaction with the surrounding environment. In a new study by SISSA experimental data were combined with computer simulations of molecular dynamics to examine the conformation of an RNA fragment involved in protein synthesis and its dependence on the salts present in the solution. The research has led to a new method for high-resolution definition of the structures of biomolecules in their physiological environments.
A plant-based diet appears to afford significant protection to rats bred to become hypertensive on a high-salt diet, scientists report. When the rats become pregnant, the whole grain diet also protects the mothers and their offspring from deadly preeclampsia.
In polymicrogyria, the cortex of the brain has irregular, small folds and disorganization in its cell layers, leading to intellectual/developmental disability and epilepsy. This study of four patients with polymicrogyria caused by a mutation in the gene ATP1A3 revealed surprises about the role of a common ion channel pump in early brain development.
We analyzed cerebral tissues of the anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal gyrus of schizophrenia cases and controls by using micro-CT. Mean curvatures of the capillary vessels showed a significant correlation to the mean curvatures of neurites, while the mean capillary diameter was almost constant, independent of the cases. The curved capillaries with a constant diameter should occupy a nearly constant volume, while neurons suffering from neurite thinning should have reduced volumes in schizophrenia