Genetics & Molecular Biology

In the animal kingdom, predators use a full range of strategies, such as camouflage, speed and optical illusions, to catch their prey. Meanwhile, prey species resort to the same tactics to escape from their predators. Such tricks are also used at the molecular level, as discovered by researchers from the CNRS, INRA, CEA and INSERM in one of the most devastating bacterial plant pathogens in the world, which bypasses plant cell defenses by preventing an immune signaling from being triggered.

Even more surprising is the fact that plant cells have developed a receptor incorporating a decoy intended to catch the invader in its own trap. 

A long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), which might give an impact on tyrosine kinase-targeted leukemia therapy, was found to be expressed in a leukemia cell line.

The function of the lncRNA CCDC26 is not fully understood; however, researchers found the mechanisms by which CCDC26 controls the receptor tyrosine kinase KIT expression. Recent transcriptomic studies have revealed the existence of numerous RNAs that are relatively long but not translated into proteins. Some of such lncRNAs are suggested to regulate the expression of other genes. Mutations or imbalances in the noncoding RNA repertoire within the body can therefore cause a variety of diseases such as cancer. However, the molecular functions of lncRNAs remain to be fully elucidated.

Researchers have unraveled one of the mysteries of how a small group of immune cells work: That some inflammation-fighting immune cells may actually convert into cells that trigger disease. 

White blood cells, called T-cells, iare one of the body's critical disease fighters. Regulatory immune cells, called "Tregs," direct T-cells and control unwanted immune reactions that cause inflammation. They are known to produce only anti-inflammatory proteins to keep inflammation caused by disease in check.


Some flavorings used in electronic cigarette liquid may alter important cellular functions in lung tissue, according to a presentation at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

The changes in cell viability, cell proliferation, and calcium signaling are flavor-dependent so coupling these results with chemicals identified in each flavor could prove useful in identifying flavors or chemical constituents that might produce adverse effects in users.


A new study suggests that bread from certain wheat varieties have differentiated sensory properties and that could mean customized breeding for more personalized food in the future.

A research group at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) has developed the sensory profile of five different wheat varieties -three bread wheat (Triticum aestivum ssp. vulgare L.) and two spelt wheat (T. aestivum ssp. spelta) and has found significant differences among them. 

Transposable elements are DNA sequences that are capable of changing their genome position by cut and paste or copy and paste through the enzyme transposase.

This ability can be harmful for hosts if transposable elements destroy functioning genes, but it can also bring advantages. From an evolutionary point of view, transposable elements diversify the genome and open up chances for adaptation.


Cellular structures called microtubules are tagged with a variety of chemical markers that can influence cell functions and the pattern of these markers makes up the "tubulin code". One of the main writers of this code is tubulin tyrosine ligase-7 (TTLL7), according to a new paper. 


Researchers have discovered a gene, which they have named ICARUS1,  that enables plants to regulate their growth in different temperatures, and it could lead to new ways of optimizing plant growth in different climates.


Photosynthesis, the process by which plants utilize the sun's energy to create their own, leaves behind a unique calling card in the form of a chemical signature that is spelled out with stable oxygen isotopes.

Photosynthesis by microscopic plants forms the base of the oceanic food chain, but it is difficult to measure how productive these plants are in natural settings. This research will make it easier to do so.

Most oxygen atoms contain eight protons and eight neutrons and are represented by the symbol O-16. More than 99.9 percent of Earth's oxygen is O-16, but two heavier oxygen isotopes exist in trace amounts: O-17, with one extra neutron, and O-18, with two.


Mutations in two genes cause a fatal lung scarring disease known as familial pulmonary fibrosis and can cause excessive shortening of the ends of chromosomes, known as telomeres. Telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes from deteriorating. Think of them like the plastic ends of shoelaces, which protect shoelaces from fraying.