Category Archives: Science News

Scientists learn how to ramp up microbes’ ability to make memories

Scientists learn how to ramp up microbes’ ability to make memoriesResearchers have identified a mutation that prompts bacterial cells to acquire genetic memories 100 times more frequently than they do naturally. This discovery provides a powerful research tool and could bring scientists one step closer to developing DNA-based data storage devices. More »

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Research on sweat glands suggests a route to better skin grafts

Research on sweat glands suggests a route to better skin graftsScientists have discovered the signaling pathways that help hair follicles and sweat glands form during development, and identified the mechanism that allows both of these features to coexist in human skin. The findings may improve the methods used to grow tissue used in grafting procedures.
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Researchers develop automated melanoma detector for skin cancer screening

Researchers develop automated melanoma detector for skin cancer screeningDoctors have trouble diagnosing melanoma because benign moles look very similar to malignant growths. But in developing a new technology that automatically extracts quantitative data from images of melanomas, scientists hope to help doctors detect the disease earlier and avoid unnecessary biopsies. More »

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New molecular map reveals how cells spew out potassium

New molecular map reveals how cells spew out potassiumResearchers have determined for the first time the complete structure of an ion channel known as BK, or “big potassium.” This molecular map offers new insights on how BK works and may aid in the development of treatments for diseases in which it malfunctions. More »

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New structure shows how cells assemble protein-making machinery

New structure shows how cells assemble protein-making machineryResearchers have created the most detailed images to date of a particle destined to become part of a ribosome. Their findings gave them a new view of how these essential nano-machines are put together. More »

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Fifty years after landmark methadone discovery, stigmas and misunderstandings persist

Fifty years after landmark methadone discovery, stigmas and misunderstandings persistIn 1966, Rockefeller scientists published a landmark paper that would lead to the first medical treatment for heroin addiction. The drug has helped millions of heroin users around the world, yet its use in the United States remains controversial. More »

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First structural map of the cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause disease

First structural map of the cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause diseaseA map that shows the arrangement of atoms within the cystic fibrosis protein will help researchers better understand how specific mutations cause disease. Ultimately, this knowledge may reveal potential targets for new drugs. More »

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Survey of New York City soil uncovers medicine-making microbes

Survey of New York City soil uncovers medicine-making microbesSifting soil from city parks, scientists have found microbial genes capable of making compounds whose potent effects can make them valuable tools in the fight against disease. Their research suggests that many more await discovery, even in a place as mundane as urban dirt. More »

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New research clarifies why wounds heal more slowly with age

New research clarifies why wounds heal more slowly with age With age, it takes longer for skin cells to close an injury. New research shows that a breakdown in communication between these cells and neighboring immune cells causes this delay—a discovery that has implications for improving healing among older people. More »

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Researchers discover new antibiotics by sifting through the human microbiome

MRSA screenThe bacteria we carry within us could be a untapped source of new drugs. Researchers put this idea to the test by mining the human microbiome for new antibiotics—and identified two compounds that might be effective against some particularly dangerous bacteria. More »

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Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleus

Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleusTo make proteins, cells must export RNA from their carefully guarded nuclei. Researchers have determined the structure of one important component of the restrictive gate through which this cargo must pass, with implications for understanding disease. More »

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Scientists prove how genetics change behavior by studying worms’ foraging strategies

Scientists prove how genetics change behavior by studying worms’ foraging strategiesLike all animals, C. elegans worms pay attention to their peers and can adjust their behavior in response to competition. Neuroscientists have discovered a genetic component of this social phenomenon, providing concrete biological evidence for game theory. More »

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Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brain

Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brainWhen the brain is at work, neurons talk rapidly to one another, forming networks. Using a new method based on so-called light sculpting, scientists have recorded the activity in these networks within three-dimensional sections of the brains of mice. More »

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Genomic testing could speed research on skin disease and bring new drugs to patients faster

Mayte Suarez-Farinas and Joel Correa da Rosa in Greenberg BuildingWhen a person suffering from psoriasis starts taking a new therapy, it can currently take months to assess if the drug is working. But according to a recent study, that process could be significantly sped up with genomic testing and analysis. More »

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Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filaments

Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filamentsResearchers have described how two proteins work together to guide the assembly of important structural elements known as microtubules within the cell. This discovery helps explain how cells prepare to use these filaments. More »

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A possible explanation for why male mice tolerate stress better than females

A possible explanation for why male mice tolerate stress better than femalesRockefeller scientists have described a molecular mechanism that may explain in part why anxiety levels vary between the sexes. The research team identified a molecule that halts the action of a stress-inducing hormone—but it only does so in male mice. More »

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Study explains how an intestinal microbe protects against other, more dangerous bacteria

Worm Cross Section ThumbnailWorking in animal models, scientists have found that an enzyme produced by one microbe can shield the gut against attack from other, more harmful bacteria. The findings could potentially inform the design of new probiotics for use against dangerous pathogens like those spreading hospital-acquired infections. More »

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New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on Ebola

New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on EbolaCholesterol is essential for human health, but getting too much of it can contribute to potentially fatal diseases. New research on the structure of two cholesterol-transporting proteins helps explain how cells use only the amount they need. It also offers new insights into the biology of Ebola. More »

A compound that stops cells from making protein factories could lead to new antifungal drugs

A newly identified compound shows promise for fighting fungal infectionsRibosomes manufacture all the protein cells need, making them an appealing target for researchers seeking to develop new medicines. New research in yeast has identified a compound that prevents the assembly of ribosomes, raising hopes for drug development. More »

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Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off viruses

Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off virusesLike humans, bacteria come under attack from viruses—and their immune systems, like ours, are capable of remembering a virus so as to preempt any future invasion. New research explores how the bacterial immune system CRISPR stores and ranks these memories. More »

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