Proteins are the molecular building blocks and machines of the cell and are involved in virtually every process of life. After protein production, many proteins are equipped with attachments such as sugar residues in order to perform their tasks properly. This process is directly coupled to the transport across a membrane. Employing various methods of structural biology, scientists have now gained insights into the architecture of the protein complex responsible for this process.
The Proteostasis initiative, supported by the European Union (EU), is led by the Basque centre for research in biosciences, CIC bioGUNE, in collaboration with the Inbiomed foundation, and includes groups that carry out research on the degradation and modification of cellular proteins.
Harvard stem cells scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT can now engineer cells that are more easily controlled following transplantation, potentially making cell therapies, hundreds of which are currently in clinical trials across the United States, more functional and efficient.
When autologous, skin-derived stem cells were transplanted within collagen nerve guide tubes aimed at bridging gaps in damaged nerves, into the upper arms of a patient who was suffering peripheral nerve damage, the procedure successfully led to the rescue of peripheral nerves. The procedure spared the patient with poly-injury to motor and sensory nerve damage from amputation of the upper arms and resulted in 'suitable functional recovery'. Three year follow up revealed nerve regeneration.
Artificial bone marrow may be used to reproduce hematopoietic stem cells. A prototype has now been developed. The porous structure possesses essential properties of natural bone marrow and can be used for the reproduction of stem cells at the laboratory.
A team of researchers led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has released the first report of widespread biofluorescence in the tree of life of fishes, identifying more than 180 species that glow in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, working in collaboration with scientists from Columbia University Medical Center, for the first time generated induced pluripotent stem cells lines from non-cryoprotected brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
With the help of biomimetic matrices, a research team led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego has discovered exactly how calcium phosphate can coax stem cells to become bone-building cells.
For about 20 years now, experimental research on nuclear DNA has been supplemented by research based on computer simulations aimed at reconstructing the structure and function of this molecule that is so essential to life as we know it. A systematic review - carried out with the participation of SISSA in Trieste - provides a detailed summary of the majority of models developed to date. The review is mainly aimed at biologists, for whom it may become an important research tool.
Scientists have obtained the first detailed molecular structure of a member of the Tet family of enzymes. The finding is important for the field of epigenetics because Tet enzymes chemically modify DNA, changing signposts that tell the cell's machinery 'this gene is shut off' into other signs that say 'ready for a change'.