Genetics News -- ScienceDaily Genetics research. Read the latest news on plant and animal genetics from universities and research institutes around the world.

  • Genome architecture's surprising role in cell fate decisions
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    A new study shows unexpected and crucial role of genome architecture in determining cell fate. The work represents an important advance in our understanding of gene regulation and reveals a new layer of complexity that needs to be studied to properly interpret genomics and gene expression in the future. An example of how risky fundamental science with innovative approaches leads to surprising and important advances in knowledge. […]

  • Snapshot of DNA repair
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Scientists have described the crystal structure of RNF168 bound to ubiquitin chains, a crucial interaction for DNA repair, to find a unique interaction. […]

  • Key player in cell metabolism identified
    on January 15, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Researchers have identified a key role for EXD2 in protein production in the mitochondria, the cellular organelles responsible for the majority of energy generation. […]

  • Fast-tracking T-cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Researchers have developed a material-based T-cell-expansion method using APC-mimetic biomaterial scaffolds, which helps achieve greater expansion of primary mouse and human T cells than existing methods. […]

  • New source of world’s deadliest toxin discovered
    on January 12, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Researchers have identified genes encoding a previously undiscovered version of the botulinum neurotoxin in bacteria from a cow’s gut. […]

  • Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Corn resistance genes have been identified, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn's defenses. Now, researchers have discovered how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back. […]

  • All in the family: Focused genomic comparisons
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Aspergillus fungi are pathogens, decomposers, and important sources of biotechnologically-important enzymes. Scientists now report the first outcome from the large-scale sequencing of 300+ Aspergillus species. These findings are a proof of concept of novel methods to functionally annotate genomes to more quickly identify genes of interest. […]

  • Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Dengue virus slowly takes over the endoplasmic reticulum, the production site for a subset of host proteins, and steers clear of the cytosol, the fluid-filled space where the majority of host cellular proteins are synthesized. Its viral RNA template is translated into protein in such an inefficient, lackadaisical manner that it doesn't trip alarms. […]

  • Biologists peek into the past to see the future through tiny spider eyes
    on January 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Biologists look to the past for early genetic development of tiny spider and insect eyes to find potential for research into human visual challenges. […]

  • Solving Darwin's 'abominable mystery': How flowering plants conquered the world
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have found that flowering plants have small cells relative to other major plant groups, made possible by a greatly reduced genome size, and this may explain how they became dominant so rapidly in ecosystems across the world. […]

  • Human protein may aid neuron invasion by virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    A human protein known as prohibitin may play a significant role in infection of the nervous system by EV71, one of several viruses that can cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. […]

  • The nanoscopic structure that locks up our genes
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Wireless headphones, two yo-yos connected by a string, earmuffs: all these items could be used to describe a tiny structure inside a cell's nucleus. For decades, scientists could only speculate about the shape of heterochromatin, a type of chromatin -- which consists of tightly packed DNA and proteins. […]

  • Researchers map druggable genomic targets in evolving malaria parasite
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have used whole genome analyses and chemogenetics to identify new drug targets and resistance genes in 262 parasite cell lines of Plasmodium falciparum -- protozoan pathogens that cause malaria -- that are resistant to 37 diverse antimalarial compounds. […]

  • The circadian clock sets the pace of plant growth
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Researchers have discovered that the members of a protein family from the plant internal clock act sequentially to limit the plant growth until the end of the night. This knowledge could help to understand how plants face different kinds of stress that affect their growth, such as drought or high temperature. […]

  • Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high calorie diet as to a bacterial infection. Unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced. These changes may be involved in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes. […]

  • Re-programming innate immune cells to fight tuberculosis
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease which attacks the lungs, claims someone's life every 20 seconds and 1.5 million lives worldwide every year. A cure has eluded scientists for more than a century but, now, researchers may have discovered a new weapon to combat this global killer. The team is re-programing - or 'training' - immune cells to kill TB. […]

  • Biologists create toolkit for tuning genetic circuits
    on January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Scientists have created a toolkit for synthetic biologists who need to precisely tune the input and output levels of genetic circuits. […]

  • Cell biology: Positioning the cleavage furrow
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Researchers have identified a signaling pathway that restricts cleavage furrow formation to the mid-plane of the cell. […]

  • Why did the passenger pigeon die out?
    on January 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    The passenger pigeon was once among the most numerous species on Earth. The last passenger pigeon died in the Cinncinati Zoo just over 100 years ago. How did it all go so wrong? […]

  • Immune response to bacteria: Distinguishing helpers from harmers
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Some staphylococcus bacteria live peacefully on human skin and membranes in a mutually beneficial relationship with their host, while others are able to exist far from a human host in soil or in water. When we come into contact with bacteria, the activation of our immune system is the first step to fighting off any imminent infection. Just how the immune system distinguishes between potential pathogens and harmless commensal bacteria is the focus of a new study. […]

  • Frogs reveal mechanism that determines viability of hybrids
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Why are some hybrids viable and others not? It is known that this depends on the father species and the mother species. New research in two related frog species shows the influence of mother and father species: one hybrid is viable, the other hybrid dies in early stages of development. […]

  • Light-sensitive THC: Intoxicatingly light-sensitive
    on January 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Chemists have synthesized several variants of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Its structure can be altered with light, and the researchers have used this to create a new tool that can be used to more effectively study the body's own cannabinoid system. […]

  • Unexpected undulations in biological membranes
    on January 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    How biological membranes -- e.g. the plasma membrane of animal cells or the inner membrane of bacteria -- fluctuate over time is not easy to understand. Researchers propose a new theory elucidating the dynamics of such membranes when they are embedded in polymer networks. In a new study they demonstrate that the dynamics of membrane undulations inside such a structured medium are governed by distinctive, anomalous power laws. […]

  • The origin of flower making genes
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    A research team has revealed that the MADS-box genes control sperm motility and cell division and elongation of the stem of gametophores, using the moss Physcomitrella patens. […]

  • Promise of new antibiotics lies with shackling tiny toxic tetherballs to bacteria
    on January 9, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Biologists have developed a method for rapidly screening hundreds of thousands of potential drugs for fighting infections, an innovation that holds promise for combating the growing scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The method involves engineering bacteria to produce and test molecules that are potentially toxic to themselves. […]

  • Cancer targeted with reusable 'stinging nettle' treatment
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Cancer cells can be destroyed more effectively and selectively with a unique new reusable treatment, activated with a substance found in stinging nettles and ants. […]

  • Engineers grow functioning human muscle from skin cells
    on January 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Engineers have grown the first functioning human muscle from non-muscle cells -- skin cells reverted to their primordial stem cell state. The ability to start from cellular scratch using non-muscle tissue will allow scientists to grow far more muscle cells, provide an easier path to genome editing and cellular therapies, and develop individually tailored models of rare muscle diseases for drug discovery and basic biology studies. […]

  • How good bacteria control your genes
    on January 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Scientists have discovered a way that bacteria in the gut can control genes in our cells. Their work shows that chemical messages from bacteria can alter chemical markers throughout the human genome. The signal chemicals are made when bacteria digest fruits and vegetables. By communicating in this way, the bacteria may help to fight infections and to prevent cancer. […]

  • Unusual plant immune response to bacterial infection characterized
    on January 8, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    When you see brown spots on otherwise healthy green leaves, you may be witnessing a plant's immune response as it tries to keep a bacterial infection from spreading. Some plants are more resistant to such infections than others, and plant biologists want to understand why. Scientists studying a plant protein called SOBER1 recently discovered one mechanism by which, counterintuitively, plants seem to render themselves less resistant to infection. […]

  • Nanoscale virus modified to deliver peptide drugs to cells, tissues
    on January 8, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Bioengineers have developed programmable adeno-associated viruses that may be used to deliver peptide drugs. […]