Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology News -- ScienceDaily Molecular biology. Read the latest research on molecular biology or search thousands of news articles with images from leading universities and research institutes.

  • Researchers build artificial cellular compartments as molecular workshops
    on May 22, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    How to install new capabilities in cells without interfering with their metabolic processes? Scientists have altered mammalian cells in such a way that they formed artificial compartments in which sequestered reactions could take place, allowing the detection of cells deep in the tissue and also their manipulation with magnetic fields. […]

  • Faster genome evolution methods to transform yeast
    on May 22, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Scientists have created a new way of speeding up the genome evolution of baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the same yeast we use for bread and beer production. […]

  • Computer redesigns enzyme
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Biotechnologists used a computational method to redesign aspartase and convert it to a catalyst for asymmetric hydroamination reactions. Their colleagues in China scaled up the production of this enzyme and managed to produce kilograms of very pure building blocks for pharmaceuticals and other bioactive compounds. […]

  • Observing cellular activity, one molecule at a time
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Using a new mode of atomic force microscopy, researchers have found a way to see and measure protein assembly in real time and with unprecedented detail. […]

  • Snap-lock mechanism in bacterial riboswitch
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    In a discovery that points to potential new antibiotic medicines, scientists have deciphered the workings of a common but little-understood bacterial switch that cuts off protein production. […]

  • Profiling the genome hundreds of variations at a time
    on May 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Using baker's yeast, a team at Harvard's Wyss Institute developed a CRISPR-Cas9-based high-throughput approach that allows researchers to precisely alter hundreds of different genes or features of a single gene at once in individual yeast cells with 80 to 100% efficiency, select cells from the population that show specific behaviors, and identify the gene alterations that either trigger or prevent them. […]

  • Annotation tool provides step toward understanding links between disease, mutant RNA
    on May 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Researchers have developed a computer program that represents a key step toward better understanding the connections between mutant genetic material and disease. […]

  • New insights into malaria parasite
    on May 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Scientists have found that various stages of the development of human malaria parasites, including stages involved in malaria transmission, are linked to epigenetic features and how chromatin -- the complex of DNA and proteins within the nucleus -- is organized and structured in these parasites. […]

  • What bacteria can teach us about combating atrazine contamination
    on May 17, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Researchers are interested in harnessing the bacterial ability to degrade atrazine in order to remediate atrazine-polluted environments. They now describe previously unknown proteins involved in atrazine degradation. […]

  • Surprise cell death discovery provides birth defect clues
    on May 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Researchers have made a surprise discovery that could rewrite our understanding of the role programmed cell death plays in embryonic development and congenital birth defects. The team showed that, while programmed cell death -- or apoptosis -- is essential for healthy development overall, many organs and tissues do not require apoptosis to develop normally. The study also suggested that abnormalities in cell death processes are likely to contribute to some common birth defects in humans, such as spina bifida, heart vessel defects and cleft palate. […]

  • How immune cells kill bacteria with acid
    on May 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    The first line of immune defense against invading pathogens like bacteria are macrophages, immune cells that engulf every foreign object that crosses their way and kill their prey with acid. However, it is not yet entirely understood how the acidification process is established. In their quest to systematically study proteins that transport chemicals across cellular membranes, researchers characterized the critical role for transporter SLC4A7, providing valuable new insights for many pathologic conditions. […]

  • Levers and zippers in the cell's 'customs'
    on May 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    The passage of ions through the cell membrane is controlled by ion channels, which are protein complexes that regulate vital processes, such as the heartbeat, as well as being the target towards which many drugs are directed. Now a study presents a novel model to explain how the pores of these channels open and close. […]

  • Missing ingredient to spark the fireworks of life
    on May 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Using a novel imaging technique, researchers demonstrate that XMAP215, a protein known to help microtubules grow faster and longer, is necessary to nucleating microtubules. For decades, researchers have been struggling to understand why the gamma-tubulin ring complex (g-TuRC) nucleates only a few microtubules in the test tube, looking for some other factor that could activate or enhance g-TuRC. That search may now be over. […]

  • A new system is designed that improves the quality of frozen horse sperm
    on May 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    The method reduces ice crystals that form during cryopreservation and affect spermatozoon structure. […]

  • Mechanical force controls the speed of protein synthesis
    on May 16, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    As cells create proteins, the proteins modulate synthesis speed by exerting a mechanical force on the molecular machine that makes them, according to a team of scientists who used a combination of computational and experimental techniques to understand this force. […]

  • Why chikungunya, other arthritis-causing viruses target joints
    on May 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Scientists have understood little about how chikungunya and related viruses cause arthritis. Now, researchers at have identified the molecular handle that chikungunya grabs to get inside cells. The findings could lead to ways to prevent or treat disease caused by chikungunya and related viruses. […]

  • How the gut influences neurologic disease
    on May 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    A study sheds new light on the connection between the gut and the brain, untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. […]

  • New nuclear RNA retention activity discovered
    on May 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Gene expression involves mRNA transport from its place of synthesis to the cytoplasm where protein translation occurs. However, many non-coding RNA species do not follow this flow and new data now demonstrate how cells prevent the unwanted export of RNA and instead ensure nuclear degradation. […]

  • New way to stimulate cellular recycling process
    on May 15, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    In research that could lead to future therapies for age-related diseases, researchers have found a new way to stimulate the process by which cells recycle their spare parts. […]

  • Biologists find mechanisms that control where transcription factors bind
    on May 15, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    A team of biologists has determined how transcription factors, which guide gene regulation, function differently in embryonic development. The results help illuminate how cells acquire distinct functions as the embryo matures. […]

  • Scientists crack how primordial life on Earth might have replicated itself
    on May 15, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Scientists have created a new type of genetic replication system which demonstrates how the first life on Earth -- in the form of RNA -- could have replicated itself. The scientists say the new RNA utilizes a system of genetic replication unlike any known to naturally occur on Earth today. […]

  • Scientists develop method to tweak tiny 'antennae' on cells
    on May 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Scientists say they have found a fast way to manipulate a cell's cilia, the tiny, fingerlike protrusions that 'feel' and sense their microscopic environment. The experiments, performed in mouse cells, may advance scientists' efforts to not only understand how the nano-sized antennae work, but also how to repair them. […]

  • Using MRSA's strength against it
    on May 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    MRSA evolved to become a deadly killer because it's wily and resilient. A new study, however, is figuring out how to turn one of its strengths against it. […]

  • Biologists 'transfer' a memory through RNA injection
    on May 14, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Biologists report they have transferred a memory from one marine snail to another, creating an artificial memory, by injecting RNA from one to another. This research could lead to new ways to treat traumatic memories with RNA -- perhaps a traumatic memory could be altered -- and perhaps new ways to restore lost memories. […]

  • Scientists find missing factor in gene activation
    on May 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Scientists have unraveled a mystery on how genes are activated. Human genes are blocked by structures known as nucleosomes, components that package DNA inside cells. How do these roadblocks clear out to allow genes to be turned on? Scientists have identified a key factor that unravels nucleosomes and clears the way for gene activation. They say the finding is useful in understanding diseases such as cancer, which can be caused by improper gene activity. […]

  • How bacteria guide electron flow for efficient energy generation
    on May 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Biochemists have isolated a protein supercomplex from a bacterial membrane that, like a battery, generates a voltage across the bacterial membrane. The voltage is used to make ATP, a key energy currency of life. The new findings will inform future efforts to obtain the atomic structures of large membrane protein supercomplexes. […]

  • Optical tweezers -- mini 'tractor beams' -- help arrange artificial cells into tissue structures
    on May 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Researchers have used lasers to connect, arrange and merge artificial cells, paving the way for networks of artificial cells that act like tissues. […]

  • Beyond killing tuberculosis
    on May 11, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Historically, our view of host defense against infection was that we must eliminate pathogens to eradicate disease. However, this perspective has recently been challenged as scientists have taken a lesson from plant biologists about an ancient strategy involving the ability to 'tolerate' rather than 'resist' infection to maintain health. This concept, referred to as 'disease tolerance', provides an opportunity to develop new strategies that mitigate the consequences of infection. […]

  • Key protein in sperm tail assembly identified
    on May 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    A new study focuses on the development of the sperm tail, the structure that enables sperm cells to swim and is therefore critical for male fertility. […]

  • How turning down the heat makes a baby turtle male
    on May 11, 2018 at 12:37 am

    Scientists have started to crack the 50-year-old puzzle of how temperature turns baby turtles male or female. Researchers show that cooler egg incubation temperatures turn up a key gene called Kdm6b in the turtle's immature sex organs. This in turn acts as a biological 'on' switch, activating other genes that allow testes to develop without altering the underlying genetic code. […]