Showing: 1 - 10 of 11 RESULTS

Boosting the efficiency of single-cell RNA-sequencing helps reveal subtle differences between healthy and dysfunctional cells — ScienceDaily

Sequencing RNA from individual cells can reveal a great deal of information about what those cells are doing in the body. MIT researchers have now greatly boosted the amount of information gleaned from each of those cells, by modifying the commonly used Seq-Well technique.

With their new approach, the MIT team could extract 10 times as much information from each cell in a sample. This increase should enable scientists to learn much more about the genes that are expressed in each cell, and help them to discover subtle but critical differences between healthy and dysfunctional cells.

“It’s become clear that these technologies have transformative potential for understanding complex biological systems. If we look across a range of different datasets, we can really understand the landscape of health and disease, and that can give us information as to what therapeutic strategies we might employ,” says Alex K. Shalek, an associate professor

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New 3-D model of a DNA-regulating complex in human cells provides cancer clues — ScienceDaily

Scientists have created an unprecedented 3-dimensional structural model of a key molecular “machine” known as the BAF complex, which modifies DNA architecture and is frequently mutated in cancer and some other diseases. The researchers, led by Cigall Kadoch, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have reported the first 3-D structural “picture” of BAF complexes purified directly from human cells in their native states — rather than artificially synthesized in the laboratory -providing an opportunity to spatially map thousands of cancer-associated mutations to specific locations within the complex.

“A 3-D structural model, or ‘picture,’ of how this complex actually looks inside the nucleus of our cells has remained elusive — until now,” says Kadoch. The newly obtained model represents “the most complete picture of the human BAF complex achieved to date,” said the investigators, reporting in the journal Cell.

These new findings “provide a critical foundation for understanding human disease-associated mutations

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Potential new antibiotics work by disrupting bacterial membrane and summoning immune cells in animal models — ScienceDaily

A team led by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom. The team hopes to develop the molecules into new bacteria-killing drugs, an important advancement considering increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can cause illness such as sepsis and tuberculosis.

In the study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers altered a highly toxic small protein from a common Asian wasp species, Vespula lewisii, the Korean yellow-jacket wasp. The alterations enhanced the molecule’s ability to kill bacterial cells while greatly reducing its ability to harm human cells. In animal models, the scientists showed that this family of new antimicrobial molecules made with these alterations could protect mice from otherwise lethal bacterial infections.

There is an urgent need for new drug treatments for bacterial infections, as

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How deadly parasites ‘glide’ into human cells — ScienceDaily

In biological terms, gliding refers to the type of movement during which a cell moves along a surface without changing its shape. This form of movement is unique to parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa, such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Both parasites, which are transmitted by mosquitoes and cats, have an enormous impact on global heath. Plasmodium causes 228 million malaria infections and around 400,000 deaths per year. Toxoplasma, which infects even one third of the human population, can cause severe symptoms in some people, and is particularly dangerous during pregnancy.

Gliding enables the Apicomplexa parasites to enter and move between host cells. For example, upon entering the human body through a mosquito bite, Plasmodium glides through human skin before crossing into human blood vessels. This type of motion relies on actin and myosin, which are the same proteins that enable muscle movement in humans and other vertebrates. Myosin has a

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The making of memory B cells and long-term immune responses

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IMAGE: B cell differentiation in GC
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Credit: Osaka University

Osaka, Japan — The current COVID-19 climate has made vaccines, antibodies, and immune responses topics of everyday conversation. Now, it isn’t just immunologists who want to know how our bodies respond to re-infections months, years, or sometimes decades after an initial immune response. A new study by Tomohiro Kurosaki at Osaka University shows that this ability requires Bach2, a protein that regulates the expression of genes needed to instruct activated B cells under selection to become memory B cells.

Like most biological processes, immune responses are complicated. They involve numerous types of cells and proteins, performing precise step-by-step processes. And of course, we don’t know all of them yet. For example, memory B cells are a type of white blood cell that are created in lymph nodes or spleens during an infection. They stick around for years and allow

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Tesla wants to build battery cells in Texas alongside Cybertrucks

  • Tesla may be planning to build batteries at its forthcoming Texas factory.
  • In documents filed to the state’s Commission on Environmental Quality, the company mentions a proposal for cell production.
  • Last month, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla found new innovations to bring down the cost of producing batteries while integrating them inside of its cars more efficiently. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla may be planning to build battery cells alongside Cybertrucks and other vehicles at its newest factory, set to open in 2021.

Documents filed with the state’s Commission on Environmental Quality, first reported by the Austin Business Journal, cite battery cell manufacturing among activities to occur at the 2,100-acre site near Austin.

“The facility is proposing to operate a cell-manufacturing unit to produce the battery packs that are installed in the vehicle,” one of the permit applications first spotted by Bloomberg says.

In recent months, Tesla

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Researchers apply CRISPR technology to eliminate fusion genes present in tumor cells

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool is one of the most promising approaches to advancing treatments of genetic diseases – including cancer -, an area of research where progress is constantly being made.

Now, the Molecular Cytogenetics Unit led by Sandra Rodríguez-Perales at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has taken a step forward by effectively applying this technology to eliminate so-called fusion genes, which in the future could open the door to the development of cancer therapies that specifically destroy tumors without affecting healthy cells. The paper is published in Nature Communications.

Fusion genes are the abnormal result of an incorrect joining of DNA fragments that come from two different genes, an event that occurs by accident during the process of cell division. If the cell cannot benefit from this error, it will die and the fusion genes will be eliminated.

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Quality control mechanism closes the protein production ‘on-ramps’ in cells

Quality control mechanism closes the protein production 'on-ramps'
An illustration of stalled ribosomes as stalled cars on a freeway. New work shows that factors GIGYF2 and 4EHP prevent translation from being initiated on problematic messenger RNA fragments. This is akin to closing an on-ramp to prevent additional traffic backups after an incident. Credit: Kamena Kostova and Navid Marvi.

Recent work led by Carnegie’s Kamena Kostova revealed a new quality control system in the protein production assembly line with possible implications for understanding neurogenerative disease.


The DNA that comprises the chromosomes housed in each cell’s nucleus encodes the recipes for how to make proteins, which are responsible for the majority of the physiological actions that sustain life. Individual recipes are transcribed using messenger RNA, which carries this piece of code to a piece of cellular machinery called the ribosome. The ribosome translates the message into amino acids—the building blocks of proteins.

But sometimes messages get garbled. The resulting incomplete

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Researchers identified that SUCLA2-deficient prostate cancer cells can be selectively treated with thymoquinone — ScienceDaily

The compound thymoquinone (TQ) selectively kills prostate cancer cells at advanced stages, according to a new study published in Oncogene. Led by researchers at Kanazawa University, the study reports that prostate cancer cells with a deletion of the SUCLA2 gene can be therapeutically targeted. SUCLA2-deficient prostate cancers represent a significant fraction of those resistant to hormone therapy or metastatic, and a new therapeutic option for this disease would have immense benefits for patients.

Hormone therapy is often chosen for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer but nearly half of patients develop resistance to the treatment in as little as 2 years. A mutation in RB1, a tumor suppressor gene that keeps cell growth under control, has been pegged as a particularly strong driver of treatment resistance and predicts poor outcome in patients.

“Mutations in tumor suppressor genes are enough to induce initiation and malignant progression of prostate cancer, but

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The world’s first successful identification and characterization of in vivo senescent cells

The world's first successful identification and characterization of in vivo senescent cells
The research team generate a p16-Cre ERT2 – tdTomato mouse model to uncover the in vivo dynamics and properties of p16high cells. Single-cell RNA-seq analyses of various tissues from early middle-aged p16-CreERT2-tdTomato mice reveal that p16high cells exhibit heterogenous senescence-associated phenotypes, while elimination of p16high cells ameliorates steatosis and inflammation in a NASH model. Credit: The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo

Cell senescence is a state of permanent cell cycle arrest that was initially defined for cells grown in cell culture. It plays a key role in age-associated organ dysfunction and age-related diseases such as cancer, but the in vivo pathogenesis is largely unclear.


A research team led by Professor Makoto Nakanishi of the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, generated a p16-Cre ERT2 -tdTomato mouse model to characterize in vivo p16 high cells at the single-cell level.

They found tdTomato-positive p16 high cells detectable

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