The body's ability to repair DNA damage declines with age, which causes gradual cell demise, overall bodily degeneration and greater susceptibility to cancer. Now, research reveals a critical step in a molecular chain of events that allows cells to mend their broken DNA.
It is well known that as plants grow, their stems and shoots respond to outside signals like light and gravity. But if plants all have similar stimuli, why are there so many different plant shapes? Using simple mathematical ideas, researchers have constructed a framework that explains and quantifies the different shapes of plant stems.
Results from experiments and computational modeling studies that definitively identify the 'active site' of a catalyst commonly used for making methanol from CO2 will guide the design of improved catalysts for transforming this pollutant to useful chemicals.
Astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age. These progenitors of today's giant spiral galaxies are surrounded by 'super halos' of hydrogen gas that extend many tens-of-thousands of light-years beyond their dusty, star-filled disks.
EPFL scientists have carried out a genomic and evolutionary study of a large and enigmatic family of human proteins, to demonstrate that it is responsible for harnessing the millions of transposable elements in the human genome. The work reveals the largely species-specific gene-regulatory networks that impact all of human biology, in both health and disease.
In a first-of-its-kind look at human kidney development, researchers at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have isolated human nephron progenitor (NP) cells. Their results, published online in the journal Stem Cell Translational Medicine, will help scientists understand how these progenitor cells become renal cells in the developing fetus, and possibly offer a future way to foster renal regeneration after chronic kidney failure or acute injury.
For the first time, researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have been able to identify in human cancers two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionising radiation. These fingerprint patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumours have been caused by radiation, and investigate if they should be treated differently.
Scientists from the Senckenberg and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have analysed the genetic relationships of all major populations of giraffe in the wild. The large study on the genetic makeup of giraffe, published today in Current Biology, shows that there are four distinct giraffe species. Until now, only one giraffe species had been recognized. The unexpected results are based on analyses using several nuclear marker genes of more than 100 animals. The new insights are set to improve protection efforts of these endangered animals in Africa.
In research published online today in Science, a team of scientists describe a new therapeutic strategy to target a hidden Achilles' heel shared by all known types of Ebola virus. Two antibodies developed with this strategy blocked the invasion of human cells by all five ebolaviruses, and one of them protected mice exposed to lethal doses of Ebola Zaire and Sudan, the two most dangerous. The team included scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Integrated Biotherapeutics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and The Scripps Research Institute.