Compounds containing iron, cyanide, and carbon monoxide discovered in carbon-rich meteorites by a team of scientists at Boise State University and NASA may have helped power life on early Earth.
Ion channels are pores in the membrane of cells or cell organelles that allow ions to be transported across the membrane. Biochemists have now succeeded in imaging an important regulatory region of the human TRPML2 calcium ion channel at high resolution, an area of the channel shaped like a large ring on one side of the membrane. This ring acts like a doorman, deciding whether ions can move through the channel.
Prof. LIU Bo and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have developed a chiral separation membrane capable of capturing left-handed chiral molecules and releasing right-handed counterpart using two-dimensional layered materials. The chiral membrane, showing a separation efficiency up to 89% towards limonene racemate, is expected to be put into industrial production.
The function of protein machines in biological cells is so complex that even supercomputers cannot predict their cycles at atomic detail. But, as demonstrated in this review article, many aspects of their operation at mesoscales can be already revealed by exploring simple mechanical models, amenable for simulations on common computers. The authors also show how artificial protein-like structures with machine properties can be designed.
In July's SLAS Discovery feature article, '3D Cell-Based Assays for Drug Screens: Challenges in Imaging, Image Analysis, and High-Content Analysis,' Tijmen H. Booij, Ph.D., Screening Specialist for NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies (Switzerland), discusses the switch from using 2D to 3D cell cultures in drug discovery to more accurately mimic human physiological conditions and improve the success rates of drugs in the early stages of preclinical drug discovery.
SHERLOCK technology is a new CRISPR-based platform that is rapid and portable and enables detection and quantitation of plant genes to support a variety of agricultural applications. Additional advantages, including the ability to process crude plant extracts with minimal nucleic acid sample preparation required are described in a research article published in The CRISPR Journal, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
Following a stroke, antibodies that inhibit the signaling molecule Nogo-A can help repair blood vessels in the affected brain regions. This also promotes the regaining of motor functions, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown in a mouse model. The study opens up new avenues for treatment.
Photoreceptor cells in our eyes can adjust to both weak and strong light levels, but we still don't know exactly how they do it. Emeritus Professor Fumio Hayashi of Kobe University and his colleagues revealed that the photoreceptor protein rhodopsin forms transient clusters within the disc membranes in retina. These clusters are concentrated in the center of disc membranes, and act as platforms in the process of light to chemical signal conversion.
Study may be a step toward shelf-stable versions of the hormone, which is used to control diabetes.
New research finds that serotonin is necessary for sleep, settling a long-standing controversy.