Riboswitches are RNA segments that switch genes on and off, either during DNA transcription or during protein translation, but little is known about the precise workings of this process. A study at SISSA uncovers some of the basic steps in this complex mechanism and paves the way for future research.
Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. The work revolves around the fungus Trichoderma reesei, which introduced itself to US troops during World War II by chewing through their tents in the Pacific theater. Now the fungus is a star in the world of biofuels.
For 10 years, Patrick Cramer and his colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have probed the structure of RNA polymerase I, a crucial cog in the machinery of all cells. Now they unveil the full three-dimensional conformation of the enzyme - at atomic resolution.
The molecular machine that makes essential components of ribosomes - the cell's protein factories - is like a Swiss-army knife, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas in Madrid, Spain, have found.
Researchers from Rice University's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics have deciphered the operating principles of a genetic circuit that allows cancer to metastasize. The study revealed that the decision circuit has three settings, an oddity that could open the door to cancer treatments that disrupt the circuit.
Semiconductor Research Corporation, the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, today launched the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SSB) research program on hybrid bio-semiconductor systems to provide insights and opportunities for future information and communication technologies. The program will initially fund research at six universities: MIT, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Yale, Georgia Tech, Brigham Young and the University of Washington.
To produce proteins on an industrial scale without using living cells is the ambitious goal of cell-free bioproduction. This method could help us to produce biological ingredients more quickly and with fewer resources than conventional techniques allow.
Bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that physical cues can replace certain chemicals when nudging mature cells back to a pluripotent stage, capable of becoming any cell type in the body.