Personal Health

Assisted reproduction technology leaves its mark on genes temporarily, study shows

Any effect that assisted reproduction technology has on babies’ genes is largely corrected by adulthood, new research led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has found. Published in the latest edition of Nature Communications, the study found events that occur in early development, including ovarian stimulation, manipulation of the embryo and the extra hormones common […]

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Abnormal expression of genes in psychopathy

The expression of many genes that have previously been associated with autism is abnormal also in violent psychopathy, a new study shows. The researchers used stem cell technology to analyse the expression of genes and proteins in the brain cells of psychopathic violent offenders. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the findings may open up new avenues […]

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Pluripotency: ‘Butterfly effect’ discovered: Single change at telomeres controls the ability of cells to generate a complete organism

Pluripotent cells can give rise to all cells of the body, a power that researchers are eager to control because it opens the door to regenerative medicine and organ culture for transplants. But pluripotency is still a black box for science, controlled by unknown genetic (expression of genes) and epigenetic signals (biochemical marks that control […]

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New synthesis method opens up possibilities for organic electronics

Semiconducting polymers, very large chain-like molecules made from repeating sub-units, are increasingly drawing the attention of researchers because of their potential applications in organic electronic devices. Like most semiconducting materials, semiconducting polymers can be classified as p-type or n-type according to their conducting properties. Although p-type semiconducting polymers have seen dramatic improvements thanks to recent […]

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Finding a cause of neurodevelopmental disorders: Scientists uncover a mechanism linking a protein mutation with abnormal nervous system development

Neurodevelopmental disorders arising from rare genetic mutations can cause atypical cognitive function, intellectual disability, and developmental delays, yet it is unclear why and how this happens. Scientists suspected a mutation in a complex of proteins could be the culprit for a group of rare genetic disorders and, now, Salk Institute researchers have identified the molecular […]

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Molecular biophysics: The ABC of ribosome recycling

Ribosomes, the essential machinery used for protein synthesis is recycled after each one round of translation. An enzyme called ABCE1 is responsible for this process and turns out to be remarkably plastic as Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich biophysicists report. Ribosomes translate the genetic information, which is first transcribed into messenger RNAs by polymerases, into the […]

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New gene editor harnesses jumping genes for precise DNA integration

A new discovery by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons could fix one of the major shortcomings of current gene-editing tools, including CRISPR, and offer a powerful new approach for genetic engineering and gene therapy. Their new technology, called INTEGRATE, harnesses bacterial jumping genes to reliably insert any DNA sequence into […]

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Scientists uncover binding secret behind protein ‘superglue’: Mechanism found in Chinese herb helps to create lab-grown enzymes that may speed up drug development

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have pinpointed how a special class of plant-derived enzymes, known as peptide ligases, work to join proteins together. Such binding is an important process in the development of drugs, for example in specifically attaching a chemotherapy drug to an antibody that recognises tumour markers to target cancer […]