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Tag Archives: dna

Cells put off protein production during times of stress

Cells put off protein production during times of stress

Living cells are like miniature factories, responsible for the production of more than 25,000 different proteins with very specific 3-D shapes. And just as an overwhelmed assembly line can begin making mistakes, a stressed cell can end up producing misshapen proteins that are unfolded or misfolded. Now Duke University researchers in North Carolina and Singapore have shown that the cell recognizes the buildup of these misfolded proteins and responds by reshuffling its workload, much like a stressed out employee might temporarily move papers from an overflowing inbox into a junk drawer. Continue reading

Small molecule acts as on-off switch for nature’s antibiotic factory: Tells Streptomyces to either veg out or get busy

Small molecule acts as on-off switch for nature’s antibiotic factory: Tells Streptomyces to either veg out or get busy

Scientists have identified the developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces, a group of soil microbes that produce more than two-thirds of the world’s naturally derived antibiotic medicines. Their hope now would be to see whether it is possible to manipulate this switch to make nature’s antibiotic factory more efficient. Continue reading

Bioengineers close to brewing opioid painkillers without using opium from poppies

Bioengineers close to brewing opioid painkillers without using opium from poppies

For centuries poppy plants have been grown to provide opium, the compound from which morphine and other important medicines such as oxycodone are derived. Now bioengineers at Stanford have hacked the DNA of yeast, reprograming these simple cells to make opioid-based medicines via a sophisticated extension of the basic brewing process that makes beer. Led by Associate Professor of Bioengineering Christina Smolke, the Stanford team has already spent a decade genetically engineering yeast cells to reproduce the biochemistry of poppies with the ultimate goal of producing opium-based medicines, from start to finish, in fermentation vats Continue reading

Epigenetic changes in children with Crohn’s disease seen in study

Epigenetic changes in children with Crohn’s disease seen in study

A new study finds a wide range of epigenetic changes — alterations in DNA across the genome that may be related to key environmental exposures — in children with Crohn’s disease (CD), reports Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , official journal of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. Continue reading

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to target specific treatments to individual patients. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects one in 700 Australians, predominantly young and middle aged women. Continue reading

More than just X and Y: a new genetic basis for sex determination

More than just X and Y: a new genetic basis for sex determination

Men and women differ in plenty of obvious ways, and scientists have long known that genetic differences buried deep within our DNA underlie these distinctions. In the past, most research has focused on understanding how the genes that encode proteins act as sex determinants 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

New insights into survival, transmission strategy of malaria parasites

New insights into survival, transmission strategy of malaria parasites

HP1 proteins are found in most eukaryotic organisms and are important regulators of gene silencing. 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