A Washington University team showed how a phototrophic microbe called Rhodopseudomonas palustris takes up electrons from conductive substances like metal oxides or rust to reduce carbon dioxide.
How deformable cells are, and thus how stiff or squishy they are, plays an important role in retaining blood-forming stem cells in their marrow niches and thus preserving their long-term repopulation capabilities.
Similar to the dozens of Sherpas that guide hikers up treacherous Himalayan mountains to reach a summit, the nervous system relies on elaborate timing and location of guidance cues for neuronal axons--threadlike projections--to successfully reach their destinations in the body. Now, Salk Institute researchers discover how neurons navigate a tricky cellular environment by listening for directions, while simultaneously filtering out inappropriate instructions to avoid getting lost.
Women who have reached menopause are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, which can lead to bone fractures and long-term impairment of mobility. Studies have suggested a link between reduced bone density and low estrogen levels due to menopause, but the basis for this link is unclear. Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University found that the protein Sema3A plays a key role in maintaining healthy bones, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue to treat osteoporosis.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medication for major depressive disorder (MDD), yet scientists still do not understand why the treatment does not work in nearly thirty percent of patients with MDD. Now, Salk Institute researchers have discovered differences in growth patterns of neurons of SSRI-resistant patients. The work has implications for depression as well as other psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that likely also involve abnormalities of the serotonin system in the brain.
A new study by UAlberta biologists shows the first evidence of apoptosis, or programmed cell death in algae. The outcomes have broad-reaching implications, from the development of targeted antibiotics to the production of biofuels in industry.
Even when chronic myelogenous leukemia is in remission, 'sleeper cell,' quiescent leukemic stem cells are maintained in microenvironments in the bone marrow. This maintenance is poorly understood. Researchers now describe how niche-specific expression of a particular chemokine by a particular type of bone marrow cell controls quiescence of these treatment-resistant leukemic stem cells. The chemokine is CXCL12, and the particular bone marrow cells expressing it are mesenchymal stromal cells.
In a front-cover paper published in Cerebral Cortex, EPFL's Blue Brain Project, a Swiss Brain Research Initiative, explains how the shapes of neurons can be classified using mathematical methods from the field of algebraic topology. Neuroscientists can now start building a formal catalogue for all the types of cells in the brain. Onto this catalogue of cells, they can systematically map the function and role in disease of each type of neuron in the brain.
Superbugs, also known as Gram-negative bacteria, are causing a global health crisis. To combat antibiotic-resistant infections, researchers are pursuing clever new ways to thwart the bacteria's tough defense system. Now, they have uncovered some of the previously unknown machinery that builds the bacterial outer membrane, information that could lead to new treatments for untreatable infections.
The creation of new library of mutants of the single-celled photosynthetic green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii enabled a Carnegie- and Princeton University-led team of plant scientists to identify more than 300 genes that are potentially required for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert energy from sunlight into carbohydrates -- filling our planet's atmosphere with oxygen as a byproduct.