Cambridge researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in the first study of its kind. The placenta is one of the least understood human organs and it is notoriously difficult to study. This new research focused on analysing the placental mitochondria and it is hoped the new findings could lead to tests to determine whether a mother's placenta is functioning properly.
An international research team including scientists from the University of Southampton have shown for the first time that the energetic cost of living (the metabolic rate) of fish can be measured in structures that grow in their ears. This new tool can be used to show how fish are influenced by and adapt to changes in their environment, including climate change.
How do plants space out their roots? A Japanese research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing. The findings were published on Dec. 20, 2018 in the online edition of Developmental Cell.
MIT researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer's and other diseases.
Hydra is able to regenerate any part of its body to rebuild an entire individual. The head organizer performs two opposite activities, one activating, which causes the head to differentiate, and the other inhibiting, which prevents the formation of supernumerary heads. Researchers at UNIGE have discovered the identity of the inhibitor, called Sp5, and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities, which helps maintain a single-headed adult body and organize an appropriate regenerative response.
Salk researchers have mapped the genomes and epigenomes of genetically modified plant lines with the highest resolution ever to reveal exactly what happens at a molecular level when a piece of foreign DNA is inserted. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS Genetics on January 15, 2019, elucidate the routine methods used to modify plants, and offer new ways to more effectively minimize potential off-target effects.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) researchers used knockout mouse models created by gene editing to reveal that the miRNA miR-146b, like miR-146a, is involved in the development of cancers, with them having similar but not identical effects. The knockout mice showed high rates of B-cell lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia, which was associated with the absence of miRNA causing NF-κB overactivation. These insights should help in the fight against cancers involving miRNA dysregulation.
A new approach to pancreatic cancer screening may help doctors detect the disease in people at high risk before it reaches more advanced and difficult-to treat stages. A team led by Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists has developed a new, simple blood test that, when combined with an existing test, detects nearly 70 percent of pancreatic cancers with a less than 5 percent false-positive rate.
A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells -- which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab -- into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells.
Friedrich Simmel und Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.