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Tag Archives: biology

Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest

Pygmy phenotype developed many times, adaptive to rainforest

The small body size associated with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective adaptation for rainforest hunter-gatherers, according to an international team of researchers, but all African pygmy phenotypes do not have the same genetic underpinning, suggesting a more recent adaptation than previously thought. “I’m interested in how rainforest hunter-gatherers have adapted to their very challenging environments,” said George H Continue reading

500 million year reset for immune system

500 million year reset for immune system

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg re-activated expression of an ancient gene, which is not normally expressed in the mammalian immune system, and found that the animals developed a fish-like thymus. To the researchers surprise, while the mammalian thymus is utilized exclusively for T cell maturation, the reset thymus produced not only T cells, but also served as a maturation site for B cells — a property normally seen only in the thymus of fish. Thus the model could provide an explanation of how the immune system had developed in the course of evolution. Continue reading

New ways to treat solid tumors using protein

New ways to treat solid tumors using protein

An international team of scientists has shown that an antibody against the protein EphA3, found in the micro-environment of solid cancers, has anti-tumor effects. As EphA3 is present in normal organs only during embryonic development but is expressed in blood cancers and in solid tumors, this antibody-based approach may be a suitable candidate treatment for solid tumors. The researchers from Monash University and Ludwig Cancer Research, in Australia, and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, in the US, have had their findings published in the journal Cancer Research . Continue reading

Novel treatment strengthens bones in genetic disease neurofibromatosis type-1

Novel treatment strengthens bones in genetic disease neurofibromatosis type-1

An enzyme therapy may prevent skeletal abnormalities associated with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type-1, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered. The researchers demonstrated in a mouse model of the disorder that the enzyme asfotase-alpha improves bone growth, mineralization and strength. Continue reading

New technology offers insight into cholesterol

New technology offers insight into cholesterol

With new advanced techniques developed by the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics at the University of Copenhagen it is possible to study cells in greater detail than ever before. The findings have just been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and may, in the long term, improve the treatment of high cholesterol. Researchers from the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics at the University of Copenhagen have studied an important receptor protein called LDLR using new, groundbreaking techniques Continue reading

New technology offers insight into cholesterol

New technology offers insight into cholesterol

With new advanced techniques developed by the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics at the University of Copenhagen it is possible to study cells in greater detail than ever before. The findings have just been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and may, in the long term, improve the treatment of high cholesterol Continue reading

Tissue development ‘roadmap’ created to guide stem cell medicine

Tissue development ‘roadmap’ created to guide stem cell medicine

In a boon to stem cell research and regenerative medicine, scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Boston University have created a computer algorithm called CellNet as a “roadmap” for cell and tissue engineering, to ensure that cells engineered in the lab have the same favorable properties as cells in our own bodies. Continue reading

Cell discovery brings blood disorder cure closer

Cell discovery brings blood disorder cure closer

A cure for a range of blood disorders and immune diseases is in sight, according to scientists who have unravelled the mystery of stem cell generation. Continue reading

Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal

Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal

Bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you’re diseased, according to research using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Scientists say these surprising findings might lead to better ways to prevent or even reverse the gum disease periodontitis, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease. Marvin Whiteley, professor of molecular biosciences and director of the Center for Infectious Disease at The University of Texas at Austin, led the study published in April 2014 in the journal mBio . Continue reading

Our ancestor’s ‘leaky’ membrane answers big questions in biology

Our ancestor’s ‘leaky’ membrane answers big questions in biology

All life on Earth came from one common ancestor — a single-celled organism — but what it looked like, how it lived and how it evolved into today’s modern cells is a four billion year old mystery being solved by researchers at UCL using mathematical modelling. Findings published in PLOS Biology suggest for the first time that life’s Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) had a ‘leaky’ membrane, which helps scientists answer two of biology’s biggest questions: 1. Continue reading