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

  • Plants sacrifice 'daughters' to survive chilly weather
    on June 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Plants adopt different strategies to survive the changing temperatures of their natural environments. This is most evident in temperate regions where forest trees shed their leaves to conserve energy during the cold season. In a new study, a team of plant biologists found that some plants may selectively kill part of their roots to survive under cold weather conditions. […]

  • Protein mingling under blue light
    on June 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    One of the current challenges in biology is to understand rapidly-changing phenomena. Interestingly, only a small fraction of them is due to proteins acting in isolation, the majority of biological events are regulated by proteins acting together in clusters. Researchers have developed a new tool, called "CRY2clust", to trigger protein cluster formation in response to blue light. This new technique has a much faster response rate and higher sensitivity to light than existent methods. […]

  • How a single chemical bond balances cells between life and death
    on June 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    With SLAC's X-ray laser and synchrotron, scientists measured exactly how much energy goes into keeping a crucial chemical bond from triggering a cell's death spiral. […]

  • A rising star: Researchers dissect the process by which blood vessels shrink, which could have...
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    It's a tiny marine invertebrate, no more than 3 millimeters in size. But closely related to humans, Botryllus schlosseri might hold the key to new treatments for cancer and a host of vascular diseases. […]

  • How bacterial organelles assemble
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell. This work could benefit research in bioenergy and pathogenesis, and it could lead to new methods of bioengineering bacteria for beneficial purposes. […]

  • UV-sensing protein in brain of marine annelid zooplankton
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Larvae of a marine ragworm Platynereis dumerilii have been studied as a zooplankton model, and possess photoreceptor cells in the brain to regulate circadian swimming behavior. This study revealed that a photoreceptive protein in the brain photoreceptor cells is UV (ultra-violet) sensitive. Since avoidance of UV irradiation is a major cause of a large-scale daily movement of zooplankton, the UV sensor in the brain would be important for physiology and ecology of the zooplankton model. […]

  • Cells in fish's spinal discs repair themselves
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    A unique repair mechanism has been discovered in the developing backbone of zebrafish that could give insight into why spinal discs of longer-lived organisms like humans degenerate with age. The repair mechanism protects fluid-filled cells of the notochord, the precursor of the spine, from mechanical stress. Notochord cells eventually form the gelatinous center of intervertebral discs, the structures that often degenerate with age to cause back and neck pain. […]

  • How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom. Scientists studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and advanced computing. Supercomputers helped the team identify a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons, study secondary contact in related rattlesnake species, and develop tools to recognize evolutionary changes caused by natural selection. […]

  • Reconstruction of ancient chromosomes offers insight into mammalian evolution
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Researchers have gone back in time, at least virtually, computationally recreating the chromosomes of the first eutherian mammal, the long-extinct, shrewlike ancestor of all placental mammals. […]

  • New mechanism for genome regulation discovered
    on June 21, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The mechanisms that separate mixtures of oil and water may also help the organization of a part of our DNA called heterochromatin, according to a new study. Researchers found that liquid-liquid phase separation helps heterochromatin organize large parts of the genome into specific regions of the nucleus. The work addresses a long-standing question about how DNA functions are organized in space and time, including how genes are silenced or expressed. […]

  • Active 24/7 and doing great: New clues to circadian clocks
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Circadian clocks control the day-night cycle of many living beings. But what do the pacemakers do in animals whose activities do not follow this pattern? Scientists have now looked into this question. […]

  • Clear view on stem cell development
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Today, tracking the development of individual cells and spotting the associated factors under the microscope is nothing unusual. However, impairments like shadows or changes in the background complicate the interpretation of data. Now, researchers have developed a software that corrects images to make hitherto hidden development steps visible. […]

  • Newly identified protection mechanism serves as first responder to cellular stress
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    A new type of rapid-response defense mechanism has been discovered that helps protect cells from environmental stress while giving slower, well-known protection systems time to act. […]

  • The rise of giant viruses
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, researchers have found. The discovery has implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup. […]

  • Isolating anti-Alzheimer's compounds in plants
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Scientists have developed a method to isolate and identify active compounds in plant medicines, which accurately accounts for drug behavior in the body. Using the technique, they have identified several active compounds from Drynaria Rhizome, a traditional plant medicine, which improve memory and reduce disease characteristics in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. […]

  • Selfish gene acts as both poison and antidote to eliminate competition
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    An unprecedented genetic survival strategy has been identified that would be right at home in an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel. […]

  • Scientists demonstrate adaptation of animal vision in extreme environments
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Animals can adapt their ability to see even with extreme changes in temperature, researchers have discovered. The researchers looked deeply into the eyes of catfish living in cold-water streams at altitudes of up to nearly 3 km in the Andes Mountains, and found the protein known as rhodopsin that enables vision in dim light also accelerates the speed at which vision occurs as temperatures drop. […]

  • How to stop the nasty lurking toxoplasmosis parasite? Target its 'stomach,' research suggests
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    One in three people has a potentially nasty parasite hiding inside their body -- tucked away in tiny cysts that the immune system can't eliminate and antibiotics can't touch. But new research reveals clues about how to stop it: Interfere with its digestion during this stubborn dormant phase. […]

  • Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Today's soybeans are typically golden yellow, with a tiny blackish mark where they attach to the pod. In a field of millions of beans, nearly all of them will have this look. Occasionally, however, a bean will turn up half-black, with a saddle pattern similar to a black-eyed pea. New research indicates why. […]

  • Grape-based compounds kill colon cancer stem cells in mice
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Compounds from grapes may kill colon cancer stem cells both in a petri dish and in mice, according to a team of researchers. […]

  • New approach to unlock the genetic potential of plant cell wall
    on June 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Researchers have unlocked the genetic secrets of plant cell walls, which could help improve the quality of plant-based foods, outlines a new report. […]

  • Southern California mountain lions' genetic connectivity dangerously low
    on June 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Mountain lions in the Santa Ana mountains have lowest genetic diversity ever reported for pumas besides the Florida panther. Of seven male pumas that crossed 1-15 in past 20 years, only one produced offspring, report researchers. […]

  • Mutations that allow bird flu strain to spread among humans identified
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Scientists have identified several genetic mutations that, should they arise, could potentially allow the avian influenza strain H7N9 to spread between humans. […]

  • Scientists reveal mechanism behind mosquito-borne-disease 'blocker' used to fight viruses
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    A new study may explain how a bacterium called Wolbachia prevents mosquitoes from transmitting deadly diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus and Zika. […]

  • New antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria: pseudouridimycin. The new antibiotic is produced by a microbe found in a soil sample collected in Italy and was discovered by screening microbes from soil samples. The new antibiotic kills a broad spectrum of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant bacteria in a test tube and cures bacterial infections in mice. […]

  • 3-D images show how sperm binds to the egg surface
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Researchers have obtained the first 3-D snapshots of a sperm protein attached to a complementary egg coat protein at the beginning of fertilization. The study reveals a common egg protein architecture that is involved in the interaction with sperm in both mollusc and mammal. […]

  • Gut bacteria might one day help slow down aging process
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Slowing down the aging process might be possible one day with supplements derived from gut bacteria. […]

  • Video imaging of single molecule DNA replication
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Almost all life on Earth is based on DNA being copied, or replicated. Now for the first time, scientists have been able to watch the replication of a single DNA molecule, with some surprising findings. For one thing, there's a lot more randomness at work than has been thought. […]

  • Cryo-EM images reveal how key biological machine unfolds problem proteins
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Hand over hand. That's how new, near-atomic resolution, 3-D snapshots show that a key biological machine unfolds a ribbon of protein through its central channel. […]

  • Pre-clinical study suggests Parkinson's could start in gut endocrine cells
    on June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    A potential new mechanism has been identified in both mice and human endocrine cells that populate the small intestines. Inside these cells is a protein called alpha-synuclein, which is known to go awry and lead to damaging clumps in the brains of Parkinson's patients, as well as those with Alzheimer's disease. […]