New research investigates hot spots of genetic variation within the human genome, examining the sections of our DNA that are most likely to differ significantly from one person to another.
Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for effective treatment. Israeli researchers are announcing a liquid biopsy-based diagnostic protocol for ovarian cancer, with higher sensitivity than previous approaches, that may help women in high-risk populations.
Narwhals -- enigmatic arctic whales known for their sword-like tusk -- spend over half their time diving to find food but are also able to last up to three days without a meal, according to a study by Manh Cuong Ngô and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published in PLOS Computational Biology.
An Osaka University-led team revealed that Ragnase-1 is a key regulator of the self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Knockout of this gene in mice resulted in aberrant blood cell composition and hematopoiesis, and caused health-related outcomes such as low hemoglobin, enlarged spleen, and early death. This insight into blood cell homeostasis and differentiation could lead to treatments for diseases such as leukemia in which these regulatory processes go awry.
By fine-tuning how algorithms carve up DNA data, Garvan researchers have made it possible to do genomic analysis on a smartphone.
In everyday life, blinking lights can send signals -- for example, that a car is going to turn. Now, researchers have engineered tiny 'blinkers' that reveal single molecules of RNA or protein inside cells based on the duration and frequency of each flash. The research, published in the ACS journal Nano Letters, could allow scientists to see the locations of many different biomolecules in a cell simultaneously, possibly leading to better diagnostics and treatments.
A novel machine-learning 'toolbox' that can read and analyse the sequences of proteins has been described today in the open-access journal eLife.
University of Groningen microbiologists and their colleagues from Lithuania have discovered a new glycocin, a small antimicrobial peptide with a sugar group attached, which is produced by a thermophilic bacterium and is stable at relatively high temperatures. They also succeeded in transferring the genes required to produce this glycocin to an E. coli bacterium. This makes it easier to produce and investigate this compound, which could potentially be used in biofuel production.
Scientists employed fMRI to record the brain activity of participants speaking with another human or with a robot. Their findings show that, when compared to a similar conversation with a robot, dialogue with a fellow human significantly increases activity in the amygdalae, basal ganglia, and hypothalamus. The first two of these brain structures are involved in cerebral reward circuits while the third synthesizes oxytocin, a neuropeptide that specifically promotes the formation of social bonds.
A University of Tsukuba-led research team revealed that a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter of the MUC5B gene encoding a mucin 5B confers susceptibility to interstitial lung disease (ILD) in Japanese patients suffering from antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV). Among AAV patients, those that have ILD were 11.6 times more likely to be heterozygous for this variation as compared with AAV patients without ILD. These findings could aid in the development of therapies targeting ILD.