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A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2014

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A 'GPS' for molecules

In everyday life, the global positioning system (GPS) can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists have now developed a molecular 'GPS' with which the whereabouts of metal ions in enzymes can be reliably determined. Such ions play important roles in all corners of metabolism and synthesis for biological products.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2014

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Scientists open new frontier of vast chemical 'space'

Chemists have invented a powerful method for joining complex organic molecules that is extraordinarily robust and can be used to make pharmaceuticals, fabrics, dyes, plastics and other materials previously inaccessible to chemists.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2014

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3-D maps reveal the genome's origami code (w/video)

In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation - a kind of 'genomic origami' that allows the same genome to produce different types of cells.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2014

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Now researchers can see how unfolded proteins move in the cell

When a large protein unfolds in transit through a cell, it slows down and can get stuck in traffic. Using a specialized microscope , researchers now can watch the way the unfolded protein diffuses. Studying the relationship between protein folding and transport could provide great insight into protein-misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2014

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Molecular decoys help overcome drug resistance

Efflux pumps are surface proteins that prevent antimicrobial drugs from getting a foothold in a bacterial cell by identifying and pumping them out of the cell. New research suggests that small pieces of those drugs could keep the efflux pumps busy and allow the antimicrobial drugs to reach a critical mass inside the cell.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2014

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Stain every nerve

Scientists can now explore nerves in mice in much greater detail than ever before, thanks to an approach developed by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The work enables researchers to easily use artificial tags, broadening the range of what they can study and vastly increasing image resolution.

Posted: Dec 9th, 2014

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