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Learning the alphabet of gene control

Scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have made progress in understanding how human genes are regulated. In their study they have identified the DNA sequences, which bound to over four hundred proteins controlling the expression of genes.

Posted: Jan 28th, 2013

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Computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks

In biology, molecules can have multi-way interactions within cells, and until recently, computational analysis of these links has been "incomplete," according to T. M. Murali, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. His group authored an article on their new approach to address these shortcomings.

Posted: Jan 25th, 2013

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Scientists discover genetic key to efficient crops

With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humankind faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today. Cornell researchers have taken a leap toward meeting those needs by discovering a gene that could lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50 percent higher yields.

Posted: Jan 23rd, 2013

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Odd biochemistry yields lethal bacterial protein

While working out the structure of a cell-killing protein produced by some strains of the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, researchers stumbled on a bit of unusual biochemistry. They found that a single enzyme helps form distinctly different, three-dimensional ring structures in the protein, one of which had never been observed before.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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A diffusion trap

Sticky spots on cell membranes hold onto the master regulator of cell polarity, helping to ensure that the regulatory protein accumulates in high enough concentrations to trigger cell polarity.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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A molecular assembly line brings muscles into shape

Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria and at the University of Cologne, Germany have discovered the molecular basis underlying the patterned folding and assembly of muscle proteins.

Posted: Jan 18th, 2013

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Scientists shed light on the "dark matter" of DNA

Genes make up only a minority of the entire genome sequence - roughly two percent in humans. The remainder was once dismissed as "junk", mostly because its function remained elusive. "Dark matter" might be more appropriate, but gradually light is being shed on this part of the genome, too.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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