Biology News

Mystery of client selection of chaperone Hsp90 solved Friday, March 7, 2014 - 11:50

Colleagues in Europe and America have solved the mystery of how one of the most important chaperone proteins in our cells, Hsp90, selects its client proteins. Hsp90 plays a role in nearly all processes in our cells, as well as in the origin of diseases such as Alzheimer disease, cancer and cystic fibrosis. Insight into the binding process of Hsp90 will increase our understanding of the origin of these diseases, thereby opening new avenues to prevent or cure them. The results of the research were published in Cell.

 

Resetting Our Clocks: New Details About How the Body Tells Time Friday, March 7, 2014 - 09:36

Springing clocks forward by an hour this Sunday, traveling across time zones, staring at a computer screen late at night or working the third shift are just a few examples of activities that can disrupt our daily, or circadian, rhythms. These roughly 24-hour cycles influence our physiology and behavior, and they're driven by our body's network of tiny timekeepers. If our daily routines fall out of sync with our body clocks, sleep, metabolic and other disorders can result.

 

Computational Tool Offers New Insight Into Key Biological Processes Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 09:34

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a computational tool designed to guide future research on biochemical pathways by identifying which components in a biological system are related to specific biochemical processes, including those processes responsible for gene expression, cell signaling, stress response, and metabolism.

 

Plague demographics in driving evolution of the immune systems of both Europeans and Rroma Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 10:54

The medical history of Europe has been punctuated by epidemics including plague, smallpox and influenza. This has driven evolution of elements of the immune system from Europeans and Rroma (Gypsies) - populations of different genetic ancestry but living in the same areas- to converge. Plague is a major factor that has shaped these converged immune system elements of both modern Europeans and Rroma. These are the findings of a paper in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from a team of researchers from Spain, Romania, the Netherlands and India.

 

Quantifying Folded and Misfolded Protein Levels in Cells Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 07:26

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented small-molecule folding probes that enable them to quantify functional, normally folded and disease-associated misfolded conformations (shapes) of a protein-of-interest in cells under different conditions.

 

Yeast model reveals Alzheimer’s drug candidate and its mechanism of action Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 18:30

Using a yeast model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a drug that reduces levels of the toxic protein fragment amyloid-β (Aβ) and prevents at least some of the cellular damage caused when Ab accumulates in the brains of AD patients.

 

Mouse Brain Atlas Maps Neural Networks to Reveal How Brain Regions Interact Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:11

Different brain regions must communicate with each other to control complex thoughts and behaviors, but relatively little is known about how these areas organize into broad neuronal networks. In a study published by Cell Press February 27th in the journal Cell, researchers developed a mouse whole-brain atlas that reveals hundreds of neuronal pathways in a brain structure called the cerebral cortex. The online, open access, interactive image database, called the Mouse Connectome Project, provides an invaluable resource for researchers interested in studying the anatomy and function of cortical networks throughout the brain.

 

Supplement Added to a Standard Diet Improves Health and Prolongs Life in Mice Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 09:53

Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings, which appear online February 27 in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.