Figuring out how accurate replication works at the level of individual molecules and atoms is one of the great achievements of modern science. The journey of investigators is not yet done, however. A major unsolved part of the puzzle is understanding how the entire process of copying the genome begins. In new research, insight into how the two stands of the double helix separate in the earliest stages of replication is becoming clear.
Brazilian scientists investigate tumoral development caused by benzo[a]pyrene, a hydrocarbon present in cigarette smoke, automotive exhaust, burnt wood fumes and barbecued meat. Culture of human lung cells was exposed to the agent for a week; the preventive role of nicotinamide riboside halted the damaging effects derived from alterations in genetic expression and cell metabolism.
The pathway by which blood cells release the important signalling lipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), has now been discovered by NUS Medicine researchers. They showed that the membrane protein Mfsd2b is responsible for exporting S1P out of blood cells into the circulation, where it is needed for trafficking of immune cells. However, immune cells can also cause autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Identification of this mechanism could thus lead to the development of novel treatments for these diseases.
Scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan and collaborators have found that T cells -- immune cells that help to protect the body from infections and cancer -- change the body's metabolism when they are activated, and that this activation actually leads to changes in behavior.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University College London have developed a new theory of molecular evolution, offering insights into how genes function, how the rates of evolutionary divergence can be predicted, and how harmful mutations arise at a basic level.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) researchers revealed that RANKL expressed by osteocytes is essential for the bone remodeling during orthodontic tooth movement. This result can facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies in orthodontics.
Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study from Portland State University (PSU).
A protein shaped like a 'Y' makes scientists do a double-take and may change the way they think about a protein sometimes implicated in glaucoma. The Y is a centerpiece in myocilin, binding four other components nicknamed propellers together like balloons on strings.
A yeast protein that evolved from scratch can fold into a compact three-dimensional shape -- contrary to the general understanding of young proteins. Recent evidence suggests new genes can arise from the non-coding sections, or 'junk,' DNA and that those new genes could code for brand-new proteins. Scientists thought such newly evolved proteins were works-in-progress that could not fold into complex shapes the way more ancient proteins do.
A team of scientists led by Whitehead Institute has uncovered a surprising molecular link that connects how cells regulate growth with how they sense and make available the nutrients required for growth. The researchers' findings also implicate a new protein, SLC38A9, as a potential drug target in pancreatic cancer.