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.
An international team of scientists at Indiana University School of Medicine, University of Kansas and the U.K. Medical Research Council have dismantled the belief that Alzheimer's disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy have made a discovery that offers options for improved diagnosis and potential targeted treatments.
Scientists have harnessed powerful data analysis tools and three-dimensional studies of genomic geography to implicate new risk genes for osteoporosis, the chronic bone-weakening condition that affects millions of people. Knowing the causative genes may later open the door to more effective treatments.
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.
Researchers from the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University constructed an artificial chemical DNA switch and made the first step towards artificial epigenetics -- targeted switching on and off of genes. Their paper was recently published in the journal Chemical Science.
A study from researchers in Italy suggests that there could be a way to bypass barriers to making CRISPR gene-editing treatments a viable option. The team found that using more-precise gene-editing technology that induces fewer breaks in DNA may keep stem cells' natural damage-response pathways under control. The findings are published March 21 in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a way to identify the beginning of every gene -- known as a translation start site or a start codon -- in bacterial cell DNA with a single experiment and, through this method, they have shown that an individual gene is capable of coding for more than one protein.
By conjuring the spell 'Lumos!' wizards in the mythical world of Harry Potter could light up the tip of their magic wands and illuminate their surroundings. So, too, does LumosVar, a computer program developed by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), 'light up' cancer-causing genetic Var-ients, or mutations, illuminating how physicians might best treat their patients.