Scientists have discovered a molecule that interrupts biochemical signals essential for the survival of tumor cells called Wnt-addicted cancer stem cells. The discovery is the product of an approach known as 'rational drug design', targeting specific molecules based on a thorough understanding of the biology of a disease and the biochemical signals that support it.
Precise control of the distribution of specific proteins is essential for many biological processes. Researchers have now described a new model for intracellular pattern formation. Here, the shape of the cell itself plays a major role.
Scientists have achieved critical insight into the size of neural connections, putting the memory capacity of the brain far higher than common estimates. The new work also answers a longstanding question as to how the brain is so energy efficient and could help engineers build computers that are incredibly powerful but also conserve energy.
Bioengineers and cognitive scientists have developed the first portable, 64-channel wearable brain activity monitoring system that's comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories.
Scientists have discovered that a metabolic pathway previously only suggested to be functional in photosynthetic organisms is actually a major pathway and can enable efficient conversion of carbon dioxide to organic compounds.
Biophysicists have developed a hypothesis to explain the function of a light-driven protein which pumps sodium ions across a cell membrane, and they have revealed the key structural feature of these pumps. The scientists see these sodium pumps as being highly promising tools in using light signals to control nerve cells - which is exactly what is involved in the new scientific field of optogenetics.