Researchers have discovered the molecule that links spontaneous physical activity and food intake in mice.
Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)say Bsx is the molecular link between spontaneous physical activity and food intake. Mice lacking the molecule show less spontaneous physical activity, perceive hunger signals differently and have a lower concentration of feeding hormones in their brain than normal mice. Being conserved across species Bsx might be a promising target for controlling diet-induced obesity in humans.
Researchers tied the accumulation of the toxic brain protein beta-amyloid to Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
"Our findings show that beta-amyloid is associated with brain dysfunction—even in apparently normal elderly individuals—providing further evidence that it is likely related to the fundamental cause of Alzheimer's disease," said Christopher Rowe, director of the nuclear medicine department and Centre for PET at Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The Sleeping Beauty tranposon (SB-Tn) system, a gene therapy technology that avoids the pitfalls of transferring genes with viruses, shows promise in laboratory experiments for correcting the gene defect responsible for sickle cell disease (SCD), scientists in Minnesota are reporting.
A new report in the journal Cell confirms the existence of some apparently uncommitted stem cells amongst cells responsible for generating the bulging biceps of body builders and the rippling abs of fitness buffs. The findings could lead to new muscle-regenerating therapies—including cell transplantation regimens and stem cell-replenishing drugs—for people with various muscle-wasting diseases, including muscular dystrophies. Ultimately, such treatments might also help keep people strong as they age, according to the researchers.
It is easy to observe that many networks naturally divide into communities or modules, where links within modules are stronger and denser than those across modules – like the way people from the same age group tend to interact more with each other than with people from different age groups. It is widely believed that networks within cells are modular in much the same way. Drs Zhi Wang and Jianzhi Zhang, from the University of Michigan, now investigate these modular properties and conclude that they may be only a random byproduct of evolution, and not functional at all.
Matthew Tyska, Ph.D., recalls being intrigued, from the first day of his postdoctoral fellowship in 1999, with a nearly 30-year-old photograph. It was an electron micrograph that showed the internal structures of an intestinal cell microvillus, a finger-like protrusion on the cell surface. Microvilli are common features on the epithelial cells that line the body’s cavities.
A recent paper highlights experimental research in evolution and artificial selection, providing insight into how organisms adapt to changing environmental conditions and fluctuations.
In this month's Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Bradley S. Hughes, Alistair J. Cullum, and Albert F. Bennett (University of California, Irvine) explore the effect on E. coli of fluctuating acidity, an especially important environmental factor for the bacteria.
For the first time anywhere, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has succeeded in observing in vivo the generation of neurons in the brain of a mammal.
Magnified photo shows division of neuron in vivo. Credit: (Hebrew University of Jerusalem photo)
Effector proteins are the bad guys that help bacterial pathogens do their job of infecting the host by crippling the body's immune system. In essence, they knock down the front door of resistance and disarm the cell's alarm system.
Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have identified a novel molecular target for an effector protein called YpkA, one of several effectors of the bacteria Yersinia – the pathogen responsible for the Middle Ages' "Black Death" and a virulent form of food poisoning today. Their study will be published online in the May 25 issue of Molecular Cell.
Could the food we eat be contributing to the continuing rise of antibiotic-resistant infections? Harmless and even beneficial bacteria that exist in our food supply may also be carrying genes that code for antibiotic resistance. Once in our bodies, could they transmit the resistance genes to disease-causing bacteria?
"The data indicate that food could be an important avenue for antibiotic-resistant bacterial evolution and dissemination. The role of commensals, especially food-borne microbes, in transmitting resistance genes are becoming a concern to the scientific community," says Hua Wang of Ohio State University.