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Scientists watch living taste cells in action

Scientists have for the first time captured live images of the process of taste sensation on the tongue. The international team imaged single cells on the tongue of a mouse with a specially designed microscope system.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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New lab technique reveals structure and function of proteins critical in DNA repair

By combining two highly innovative experimental techniques, scientists have for the first time simultaneously observed the structure and the correlated function of specific proteins critical in the repair of DNA, providing definitive answers to some highly debated questions, and opening up new avenues of inquiry and exciting new possibilities for biological engineering.

Posted: Apr 17th, 2015

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New transitional stem cells discovered

In an effort to grow placenta cells to better study the causes of pre-eclampsia, researchers serendipitously discovered a previously unknown form of human embryonic stem cell.

Posted: Apr 16th, 2015

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How a bacterial cell recognizes its own DNA

It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system. And like any immune system, the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between 'foreign' and 'self'. A group of researchers has now revealed exactly how bacteria do this.

Posted: Apr 15th, 2015

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Millions of liters of juice from 1 grapefruit

New method allows production of expensive grapefruit aroma Nootkatone biotechnologically from cheap sugar using a 'turbo-yeast'. The versatile, healthy and tasty substance is used in soft drinks, pharmaceutical products or even as an insect repellent.

Posted: Apr 15th, 2015

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Versatile switch for light-controlled cells

Scientists uncovered the atomic structure of KR2, a light-driven transporter for sodium ions which had only recently been discovered. Based on the structural information the team then identified a simple way to turn KR2 from a sodium into a potassium pump using simple means. Integrated into neurons, this could make KR2 a valuable tool for optogenetics, a new field of research that uses light-sensitive proteins as molecular switches to precisely control the activity of neurons and other electrically excitable cells using light impulses.

Posted: Apr 9th, 2015

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