Genetics & Molecular Biology

Since Shinya Yamanaka reprogrammed first mouse and then human ordinary cells into powerful pluripotent stem cells, termed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, back in 2006-2007 many new research avenues have opened up.

Researchers have identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease.

This is
the first robust physical evidence that ME/CFS is a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder, and the first evidence that the disease has distinct stages and could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.


Enzymes are the workhorses of our bodies, they make biochemical reactions happen faster than they otherwise would and sometimes essential reactions would not happen at all without them. 

The Rubisco enzyme, the most abundant protein on the planet, has one of the most significant responsibilities in life on Earth - the conversion of carbon dioxide to organic compounds, the building blocks of all plant and animal cells.
Low birth weight is indicative of various problems and fortunately modern science has made it possible for more low-birth weight babies than ever to thrive, survival is over 94 percent for children born in the third trimester of pregnancy.

But low birth weight is being linked to residual effects and in a new paper researchers find that underweight infants may eventually become the grandparents of children at a higher risk for metabolic problems like high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, according to a new study.

Hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common genetic disorder in the western world, and yet is barely known outside biology. In the US 1 in 9 people carry the mutation, though not necessarily the disease.

New transcriptome data for underutilized legumes means underappreciated crops could soon become valuable tools in agriculture.

Thousands of species belong to the legume family, the Fabaceae, yet only a few of them are used in mainstream agriculture. Dozens more are underutilized. Unlike soybean, peanut, chickpea, and other chart toppers, the underutilized species can grow in areas of very poor soil with limited water availability. This is because they are equipped with unique variations in plant growth genes that have been lost from mainstream crops through years of breeding.
It's been over 50 years since the first experimental use of adult stem cells - bone marrow transplants - began, and in that time over 1,000,000 hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT - cells isolated from the blood or bone marrow that can renew themselves and differentiate to a variety of specialized cells) transplantations (have been performed in 75 countries, but there are striking variations between countries and regions in the use of this lifesaving procedure and high unmet need due to a chronic shortage of resources and donors that is putting lives at risk.  
Human pluripotent stem cells, which include both human embryonic stem cells(hESCs) and adult stem cells like induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), need large numbers for transplantation into patients but the process of translating their potential into effective, real-world treatments involves deciphering and resolving a host of daunting complexities, according to a new study.

The authors say they have definitively shown that the culture conditions in which stem cells are grown and mass-produced can affect their genetic stability.

What should I do when the equivalent of the Surgeon General of the UK calls my concerns about something "bunk"?

It sure gave me some pause. 

What's going on?

Mitochondria, the energy power plants inside our cells, are able to oxidize the food we eat to create a universal energy currency for all our currency. These intracellular organelles possess their own DNA, and proteins derived from their genetic instructions are produced according to a specific process which is not well known. 

What is well-known is that misregulation of this process can cause mitochondrial diseases in humans. A team led by Jean-Claude Martinou, professor at the Faculty of Science of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), has discovered a new component of the process which was unknown in mammals. It relates to the biogenesis of ND6, a protein essential for mitochondrial activity and provides insight into the general process of mitochondrial RNA maturation.