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Effects of starvation can be passed to future generations, through small RNAs apparently without DNA involvement

Effects of starvation can be passed to future generations, through small RNAs apparently without DNA involvement

Evidence from human famines and animal studies suggests that starvation can affect the health of descendants of famished individuals. But how such an acquired trait might be transmitted from one generation to the next has not been clear Continue reading

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in type 2 diabetes

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in type 2 diabetes

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with Type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke, according to the American Heart Association. However, a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggests that the use of cholesterol-lowering statins may help prolong the lives of people with diabetic cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

Protein’s ‘hands’ enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

Protein’s ‘hands’ enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

When it comes to infecting humans and animals, bacteria need a helping hand. Kansas State University biochemists have found the helping hand: groups of tiny protein loops on the surface of cells. These loops are similar to the fingers of a hand, and by observing seven individual loops on the surface of E. Continue reading

Drug shows promise for effectively treating metabolic syndrome

Drug shows promise for effectively treating metabolic syndrome

University of Utah researchers have discovered that an enzyme involved in intracellular signaling plays a crucial role in developing metabolic syndrome, a finding that has a U of U spinoff company developing a drug to potentially treat the condition. The researchers, led by Jared Rutter, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, hope to begin human clinical trials of a drug in the next couple of years. Continue reading

Cellular defense against fatal associations between proteins and DNA

Cellular defense against fatal associations between proteins and DNA

DNA — the carrier of genetic information — is constantly threatened by damage originating from exogenous and endogenous sources. Very special DNA lesions are DNA-protein crosslinks — proteins covalently linked to DNA. Continue reading

Evolution of life’s operating system revealed in detail

Evolution of life’s operating system revealed in detail

The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study. Continue reading

Gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes mapped

Gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes mapped

Virginia Tech entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever. With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carrier of malaria, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, to find ways to prevent diseases. Continue reading

Bacteria evade human immune system with a burst of mutations during initial infection

Bacteria evade human immune system with a burst of mutations during initial infection

Bacteria that cause ulcers in humans undergo accelerated evolution during the initial stages of infection, allowing them to evade the immune system, according to new research by an international team of researchers including Penn State scientists. The study shows, for the first time, and in real-time, the interplay between the human immune system and invading bacteria that allows the bacteria to counter the immune response by quickly evolving. A paper describing the research is published in the 13 June 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications Continue reading

Findings point toward one of first therapies for Lou Gehrig’s disease

Findings point toward one of first therapies for Lou Gehrig’s disease

Researchers have determined that a copper compound known for decades may form the basis for a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Continue reading

Common heart drug’s link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

Common heart drug’s link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

McMaster University researchers may have found a novel way to suppress the devastating side effect of statins, one of the worlds’ most widely used drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. The research team — led by Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar — discovered one of the pathways that link statins to diabetes. Their findings could lead to the next generation of statins by informing potential combination therapies while taking the drug Continue reading