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Novel approach to reactivate latent HIV found

Novel approach to reactivate latent HIV found

A team of scientists at the Gladstone Institutes has identified a new way to make latent HIV reveal itself, which could help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to finding a cure for HIV infection. They discovered that increasing the random activity, or noise, associated with HIV gene expression-without increasing the average level of gene expression-can reactivate latent HIV. Their findings were published in the journal Science Continue reading

YbeY is essential for fitness and virulence of V. cholerae, keeps RNA household in order

YbeY is essential for fitness and virulence of V. cholerae, keeps RNA household in order

YbeY is a conserved protein that is present in most bacteria. A study published on June 5th in PLOS Pathogens examines the function of YbeY in the cholera bacterium and reveals critical roles in RNA metabolism in this and other pathogenic bacteria. Continue reading

Marijuana shows potential in treating autoimmune disease

Marijuana shows potential in treating autoimmune disease

A team of University of South Carolina researchers led by Mitzi Nagarkatti, Prakash Nagarkatti and Xiaoming Yang have discovered a novel pathway through which marijuana’s main active constituent, THC, can suppress the body’s immune functions. Continue reading

Subtle change in DNA, protein levels determines blond or brunette tresses, study finds

Subtle change in DNA, protein levels determines blond or brunette tresses, study finds

A molecule critical to stem cell function plays a major role in determining human hair color, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study describes for the first time the molecular basis for one of our most noticeable traits. Continue reading

How breast cancer ‘expresses itself’

How breast cancer ‘expresses itself’

About one in eight women in the United States will contract breast cancer in her lifetime. Now new research from Tel Aviv University-affiliated researchers, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, has provided another tool to help women, clinicians, and scientists searching for a cure to the one of the most widespread yet incurable diseases on the planet. Dr Continue reading

Toxins in the environment might make you older than your years

Toxins in the environment might make you older than your years

Why are some 75-year-olds downright spry while others can barely get around? Part of the explanation, say researchers writing in the Cell Press journal Trends in Molecular Medicine on May 28, is differences from one person to the next in exposure to harmful substances in the environment, chemicals such as benzene, cigarette smoke, and even stress Continue reading

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes ‘edit’ genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Münster and the Lithuanian Institute of Biotechnology have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR — pronounced ‘crisper’ — bind and alter the structure of DNA. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ), provide a vital piece of the puzzle if these genome editing tools are ultimately going to be used to correct genetic diseases in humans. Continue reading

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

How DNA is ‘edited’ to correct genetic diseases

An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes ‘edit’ genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Münster and the Lithuanian Institute of Biotechnology have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR — pronounced ‘crisper’ — bind and alter the structure of DNA. Continue reading

Insights into genetics of cleft lip

Insights into genetics of cleft lip

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, have identified how a specific stretch of DNA controls far-off genes to influence the formation of the face. The study, published today in Nature Genetics, helps understand the genetic causes of cleft lip and cleft palate, which are among the most common congenital malformations in humans. “This genomic region ultimately controls genes which determine how to build a face and genes which produce the basic materials needed to execute this plan,” says François Spitz from EMBL, who led the work Continue reading

Intake of dietary prenatal folate and other methyl donors in first trimester of pregnancy affects asthma risk in children at age 7

Intake of dietary prenatal folate and other methyl donors in first trimester of pregnancy affects asthma risk in children at age 7

Maternal intake of dietary methyl donors during the first trimester of pregnancy modulates the risk of developing childhood asthma at age 7, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference. “Evidence on the effects of dietary methyl donor intake on childhood asthma has been mixed,” said lead author Michelle Trivedi, MD, Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Pulmonology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. Continue reading