New discoveries of the way plants transport important substances across their biological membranes to resist toxic metals and pests, increase salt and drought tolerance, control water loss and store sugar can have profound implications for increasing the supply of food and energy for our rapidly growing global population.
A mechanism that permits essential substances to enter our cells while at the same time removing from them harmful components also has a 'down side'. This negative aspect prevents vital drugs, such as anti-cancer drugs, from achieving their designed functions, while also enabling bacterial cells to develop resistance to penetration of antibiotics.
The number of private and public entities conducting research in synthetic biology worldwide grew significantly between 2009 and 2013, according to the latest version of an interactive map produced by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
For the first time, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to obtain detailed images of the way in which the transport protein GLUT transports sugars into cells. Since tumours are highly dependent on the transportation of nutrients in order to be able to grow rapidly, the researchers are hoping that the study will form the basis for new strategies to fight cancer cells.
Enzymes could break down cell walls faster - leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation - if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests.
The protein C4BP is similar to a spider in its spatial form with eight 'arms'. The structure of the 'spider body' leads scientists to unconventional ideas - the protein is possibly suitable as a scaffold for the transport of active pharmaceutical substances, particularly biomolecules.
A team of scientists has conducted a study on plants (Arabidopsis) that shows that the site of action of the repression of target gene expression occurs on the endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle that is an interconnected network of membranes - essentially, flattened sacs and branching tubules - that extends like a flat balloon throughout the cytoplasm in plant and animal cells.
Immune cells in newborn humans appear to be more ready to do battle than previously thought. New Cornell research shows that small populations of preprogrammed immune cells can fight specific pathogens that they have never encountered. The findings, say the researchers, have the potential to revolutionize how and when people are immunized.
Nine students who are involved in a multi-institutional effort to produce better blueberries only see the fruit as codes, symbols, numbers and letters on computer screens, rather than the nutritional, sweet treat they love.
A research team led by Cornell University's Creative Machines Lab has created a computer algorithm that can be used to witness virtual creatures evolving their squishy, muscle-like features in order to teach themselves to walk.
Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and their collaborators have tailor-made a new chemical compound that blocks a protein that has been linked to poor responses to treatment in cancer patients. The development of the compound, called WEHI-539, is an important step towards the design of a potential new anti-cancer agent.
Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have developed a novel and powerful technique to identify the targets for a group of enzymes called RNA cytosine methyltransferases in human RNA.