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Knowing how bacteria take out trash could lead to new antibiotics

A team of scientists has reconstructed how bacteria tightly control their growth and division, the cell cycle, by destroying specific proteins through regulated protein degradation. All organisms use controlled protein degradation to alter cell behavior in response to changing environment. A process as reliable and stable as cell division also has to be flexible, to allow the organism to grow and respond. But little has been known about the molecular mechanics of how this works.

Posted: Sep 5th, 2014

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A 'clear' choice for clearing 3-D cell cultures

Scientists have hailed recent demonstrations of chemical technologies for making animal tissues see-through, but a new study is the first to evaluate three such technologies side-by-side for use with engineered 3-D tissue cultures.

Posted: Sep 3rd, 2014

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Tracking down organic fraudsters

Organic food is booming - but was the much more expensive tomato really grown organically? This can be found out by means of an analytic technique that scientists are working on.

Posted: Sep 3rd, 2014

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A new synthetic amino acid for an emerging class of drugs

Scientists have developed a new amino acid that can be used to modify the 3D structure of therapeutic peptides. Insertion of the amino acid into bioactive peptides enhanced their binding affinity up to 40-fold. Peptides with the new amino acid could potentially become a new class of therapeutics.

Posted: Sep 3rd, 2014

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Throwing a loop to silence gene expression

Cells attach so-called 'epigenetic' signals to their genome to select which part of their genetic information is used. Scientists have now systematically investigated the interplay between components of an epigenetic network and developed a mathematical model that describes how it operates. The results can be used to predict how cellular gene expression programs respond to drug treatment or other perturbations of the cellular environment.

Posted: Sep 2nd, 2014

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Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don't know what they do - even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the cell, and therefore could offer a new approach to disease treatment. Now, researchers are issuing a call to investigators to focus their attention on the role of these formations.

Posted: Sep 1st, 2014

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