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Why cryptophyte algae are really good at harvesting light

The key to their survival, a study reveals, is the ability to more than triple how fast they capture light energy and funnel it through to molecules that convert it into food. The finding could generate new bio-inspired designs for light-harvesting systems.

Posted: Dec 8th, 2016

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Scientists learn more about how motors maneuver our cells' roadways

Much like motors power our cars, they also ensure that proteins get to the right place in our cells, and a wide variety of diseases - from cancer to heart problems - can result when they don't. Now scientists have evidence of more flexibility and a little crosstalk in how motors maneuver our cells' intricate roadway system.

Posted: Dec 6th, 2016

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Mystery of biological plastic synthesis machinery unveiled

In two papers, a research team has reported the crystal structure of PHA synthase from Ralstonia eutropha, the best studied bacterium for PHA production. The research team also reported the structural basis for the detailed molecular mechanisms of PHA biosynthesis.

Posted: Dec 1st, 2016

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Researchers tweak enzyme 'assembly line' to improve antibiotics

Researchers have discovered a way to make pinpoint changes to an enzyme-driven 'assembly line' that will enable scientists to improve or change the properties of existing antibiotics as well as create designer compounds. The work is the first to efficiently manipulate which building blocks the enzyme selects in the act of synthesizing erythromycin, an important antibiotic.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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Digital microbes for munching yourself healthy

A research team has taken an important step in modelling the complexity of the human gut's bacterial communities - the microbiome - on the computer. The researchers gathered all known data on the metabolism of 773 bacterial strains - more than ever before. Working from this data, they developed a computer model for each bacterial strain.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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Mysteries of enzyme mechanism revealed

An international research team has made a breakthrough advance by trapping an intermediate in the mechanism of enzymes called heme peroxidases and determining its structure using a beam of neutrons from the heart of a nuclear reactor.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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