Researchers have built a three-dimensional map of the anthrax toxin that may explain how it efficiently transfers its lethal components into the cytoplasm of infected cells.
A family of proteins known as histones provides support and structure to DNA, but for years, scientists have been puzzling over occasional outliers among these histones, which appear to exist for specific, but often mysterious reasons. Now, researchers have uncovered a new purpose for one such histone variant: preventing genetic mutations by keeping certain so-called “jumping genes” in place.
Bacteria may not have brains, but they do have memories, at least when it comes to viruses that attack them. Many bacteria have a molecular immune system which allows these microbes to capture and retain pieces of viral DNA that they have encountered in the past, in order to recognize and destroy it when it shows up again.
Forgetfulness, it turns out, is all in the head. Scientists have shown that fading memory and clouding judgment, the type that comes with advancing age, show up as lost and altered connections between neurons in the brain. But new experiments suggest an existing drug, known as riluzole and already on the market as a treatment for ALS, may help prevent these changes.
A team of neuroscientists has devised a fast, inexpensive imaging method for probing the molecular intricacies of large biological samples
Nanobodies' promise hasn’t been fully realized, because scientists have lacked an efficient way of identifying the nanobodies most closely tuned to their targets
By imaging the immune response, researchers have observed how two types of immune cells, T and B cells, interact with one another during a critical period following infection
When they are not busy attacking us, germs go after each other. But when viruses invade bacteria, it doesn’t always spell disaster for the infected microbes: Sometimes viruses actually carry helpful genes that a bacterium can harness to, say, expand its diet or better attack its own hosts.
Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds — a finding that could lead researchers to better understand the development of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Even the most careful chosen meal can contain surprises. To defend against infectious microbes, viruses or other potential hazards that find their way to the intestines, a dedicated contingent of immune cells keeps watch within the thin layer of tissue that divides the contents of the gut from the body itself.