Category Archives: Science News

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scent

Research suggests how mosquitoes evolved an attraction to human scentTo understand the evolutionary basis of the mosquito’s attraction to humans, scientists examined the genes that drive preferences of two different subspecies. Their findings suggest that Aedes aegypti aegypti acquired a love for human body odor, a key step in specializing on people. More »

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3D deep-imaging advance likely to drive new biological insights

3D deep-imaging advance likely to drive new biological insights’In a significant technical advance, a team of neuroscientists at The Rockefeller University has devised a fast, inexpensive imaging method for probing the molecular intricacies of large biological samples in three dimensions, an achievement that could have far reaching implications in a wide array of basic biological investigations. More »

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Research resolves contradiction over protein’s role at telomeres

Research resolves contradiction over protein’s role at telomeresWhen researchers tagged telomeres, protective ends on chromosomes (green and red), of human cells engineered to lack a particular protein, the telomeres did not attach to one another as some previous studies suggested they would. More »

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New technique efficiently turns antibodies into highly tuned ‘nanobodies’

New technique efficiently turns antibodies into highly tuned ‘nanobodies’Tiny versions of antibodies latch onto their target molecules, which cellular fibers (red) have been engineered to express. Researchers have developed a new system for identifying the nanobodies with the highest affinity for their targets. More »

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One signal means different things to stem cells versus their progeny

One signal means different things to stem cells versus their progenyWhen researchers shut down hair follicle stem cells’ ability to respond to a protein, the cells began dividing prematurely forming a pocket of new cells (red). The same protein has a different effect on the stem cells’ progeny. More »

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Single gene links susceptibility to rare infections with predisposition to autoimmune disease

Single gene links susceptibility to rare infections with predisposition to autoimmune diseaseWhen scientists scanned the brains of patients who lack a particular immune protein, they saw calcium deposits (center white spots) linked with certain diseases that occur as a result of harmful and unnecessary inflammation. More »

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Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is made

Atomic map reveals clues to how cholesterol is madeAn enzyme embedded in the cell membrane performs a crucial step in the complex process by which cells produce cholesterol. Researchers have examined the enzyme’s structure to better understand how it works. More »

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Newly discovered brain cells explain a prosocial effect of oxytocin

Newly discovered brain cells explain a prosocial effect of oxytocinWhen activated by the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, a class of star-shaped neurons (left) in the brain’s cortex encourages female mice to take an interest in males, but only when the females are in heat. More »

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‘Programmable’ antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbes

“Programmable” antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbesBy co-opting a system bacteria normally use to defend themselves, researchers targeted and killed off colonies of the antibiotic resistant Staph cells on mouse skin. The treatment left behind the drug-susceptible microbes. More »

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New technique reveals a role for histones in cell division

New technique reveals a role for histones in cell divisionResearchers have found that key aspects of cell division, such as the formation of the support structure (green) for the envelope that surrounds the nucleus, depend on the presence of DNA-organizing proteins known as histones. More »

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Imaging studies open a window on how effective antibodies are formed

Imaging studies open a window on how effective antibodies are formedBy imaging the immune response, researchers have observed how two types of immune cells interact with one another during a critical period following infection in order to prepare the best antibodies and establish long-lasting protection. More »

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Research hints at why stress is more devastating for some

Research hints at why stress is more devastating for someSome bounce back from stress, while others struggle with it, even developing anxiety and depression as a result. In experiments with mice, researchers have revealed the molecular origins of this so-called stress gap.
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Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful versus helpful viruses

Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful versus helpful virusesViruses can kill bacteria, or viruses can help the microbes by lending them potentially useful genes. New research shows Staph bacteria have an immune system capable of distinguishing dangerous invaders from potentially beneficial ones. More »

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Research explains how cellular guardians of the gut develop

Research explains how cellular guardians of the intestine developA specialized class of immune cell inhabits the thin layer of tissue that lines the intestine. New experiments reveal how these cells arise, sometimes from other mature immune cells. More »

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Antibodies, together with viral ‘inducers,’ found to control HIV in mice

Antibodies, together with viral ‘inducers,’ found to control HIV in miceA new strategy devised by researchers at Rockefeller University harnesses the power of broadly neutralizing antibodies, along with a combination of compounds that induce viral transcription, in order to attack latent reservoirs of HIV-infected cells in an approach termed ‘shock and kill.’ More »

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An embryonic cell’s fate is sealed by the speed of a signal

An embryonic cell’s fate is sealed by the speed of a signalEarly in development, chemical signals tell cells whether to turn into muscle, bone, brain or other tissue. By tracking cells’ responses to signals, researchers found the speed at which the signal arrives has an unexpected influence on that decision. More »

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Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

SmallBy profiling the small RNAs circulating in the blood of healthy people versus those with heart failure, a research team identified three so-called microRNAs with the potential for use as indicators of injury to heart muscle. More »

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Discovery of pro-metastasis protein reveals mysterious link to neurodegeneration

Discovery of pro-metastasis protein reveals mysterious link to neurodegenerationMice injected with metastatic breast cancer cells showed less metastasis when researchers silenced the protein TARBP2 in these cells. TARBP2 appears to promote metastasis in part by blocking suppressor genes, including two linked with neurodegeneration. More »

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Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’

Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’This new tool promises to allow scientists to explore the as-yet-unknown details of how cells unzip the double-stranded DNA molecule and replicate it, a process crucial to life. More »

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Genetically driven gut feelings help female flies choose a mate

Genetically driven gut feelings help female flies choose a mateResearchers at Rockefeller University have determined that the Abdominal-B (Abd-B) gene, previously known as the gene that sculpts the posterior parts of the developing fly, is also important for a complex courtship behavior, at least in the case of female flies. More »

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