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Ciliopathies: New insights into development

Ciliopathies: New insights into development

To date, it is still not clear how proteins regulate planar cell polarity (PCP) or the positioning of the basal body (BB) and cilia. Continue reading

New dent in HIV-1′s armor: promising target for HIV/AIDS treatment

New dent in HIV-1′s armor: promising target for HIV/AIDS treatment

Like a slumbering dragon, HIV can lay dormant in a person’s cells for years, evading medical treatments only to wake up and strike at a later time, quickly replicating itself and destroying the immune system. Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered a new protein that participates in active HIV replication, as detailed in the latest issue of Genes & Development . The new protein, called Ssu72, is part of a switch used to awaken HIV-1 (the most common type of HIV) from its slumber. Continue reading

New front in war on Alzheimer’s, other protein-linked brain diseases

New front in war on Alzheimer’s, other protein-linked brain diseases

A surprise discovery that overturns decades of thinking about how the body fixes proteins that come unraveled greatly expands opportunities for therapies to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to the accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the brain. “This finding provides a whole other outlook on protein-folding diseases; a new way to go after them,” said Andrew Dillin, the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair of Stem Cell Research in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkeley. Dillin, UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellows Nathan A Continue reading

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

Discovery of cellular snooze button advances cancer, biofuel research

The discovery of a cellular snooze button has allowed a team of Michigan State University scientists to potentially improve biofuel production and offer insight on the early stages of cancer. Continue reading

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a “smart” material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage of materials science and biology could give birth to a flexible, sensitive coating that is easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities. The work, to be published Oct. Continue reading

Small molecule ‘jams the switch’ to prevent inflammatory cell death

Small molecule ‘jams the switch’ to prevent inflammatory cell death

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists have discovered a small molecule that blocks a form of cell death that triggers inflammation, opening the door for potential new treatments for inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. The researchers made the discovery while investigating how a protein called MLKL kills cells in a process known as necroptosis. Their findings were published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Continue reading

First pictures of BRCA2 protein show how it works to repair DNA

First pictures of BRCA2 protein show how it works to repair DNA

Scientists have taken pictures of the BRCA2 protein for the first time, showing how it works to repair damaged DNA. Mutations in the gene that encodes BRCA2 are well known for raising the risk of breast cancer and other cancers. Although the protein was known to be involved in DNA repair, its shape and mechanism have been unclear, making it impossible to target with therapies Continue reading

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Scientists have developed an approach to creating treatments for osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases that may avoid the risk of infection and cancer posed by some current medications. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis redesigned a molecule that controls immune cell activity, changing the molecule’s target and altering the effects of the signal it sends. Continue reading

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Discovery may lead to better treatments for autoimmune diseases, bone loss

Scientists have developed an approach to creating treatments for osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases that may avoid the risk of infection and cancer posed by some current medications. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis redesigned a molecule that controls immune cell activity, changing the molecule’s target and altering the effects of the signal it sends 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