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  • The Biology of Sugars Points to a Sweet Strategy for Treating Cancer

    via SA: Over the last few decades, researchers tinkering with molecules that turn an immune cell on and off have created a revolutionary approach to fighting cancer. Instead of taking aim at the tumor directly, this new class of medicines harnesses the patient’s own immune cells to tackle the disease. Immune-based cancer therapies are saving thousands of lives, and the science behind them earned this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. These drugs, called checkpoint […]

  • Quantum Biology: Spooky, Mysterious, and Fundamental to Life Itself

    Quantum Biology: Spooky, Mysterious, and Fundamental to Life Itself

    via Interesting Engineering: As little as a decade ago, scientists were sure that the chemistry of life and the weird chemistry of the quantum world were completely separate things. Quantum effects were usually observed only on the nanometer scale, surrounded by hard vacuum, ultra-low temperatures, and a tightly controlled laboratory environment. Biology, however, is a macroscopic world that is warm, messy, and anything but controlled. It seemed elementary that a quantum phenomenon such as ‘coherence’, in […]

  • New platform based on biology and nanotechnology carries mRNA directly to target cells

    New platform based on biology and nanotechnology carries mRNA directly to target cells

    via Phys.org: Delivering an effective therapeutic payload to specific target cells with few adverse effects is considered by many to be the holy grail of medical research. A new Tel Aviv University study explores a biological approach to directing nanocarriers loaded with protein “game changers” to specific cells. The groundbreaking method may prove useful in treating myriad malignancies, inflammatory diseases and rare genetic disorders. Prof. Dan Peer, director of the Laboratory of Precision Nanomedicine at the […]

  • Study links genes to social behaviors, including autism

    Study links genes to social behaviors, including autism

    via Phys.org: Those pesky bees that come buzzing around on a muggy summer day are helping researchers reveal the genes responsible for social behaviors. A new study published this week found that the social lives of sweat bees—named for their attraction to perspiration—are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism. “Bees have complex social behaviors, and with this species of bee, we can directly compare individuals that live in social […]

  • Biology Week 2018: the scientists studying what makes cancer tick

    Biology Week 2018: the scientists studying what makes cancer tick

    via ICR: Looking back to the Royal Society of Biology’s 7th annual Biology Week, Sarah Wells met with Professor Jon Pines, Head of the ICR’s Division of Cancer Biology, to find out what the division has been working on, and where he sees our fundamental biology research going next. Here at the ICR, we are making great inroads in finding new treatments and improving the lives of people who have cancer. To make sure that we […]

  • How nature, nurture shape the sleeping brain

    How nature, nurture shape the sleeping brain

    via Eurek Alert: Some patterns of electrical activity generated by the brain during sleep are inherited, according to a study of teenage twins published in JNeurosci. Pinpointing the relative contributions of biology and experience to sleep neurophysiology could inform therapies for numerous psychiatric disorders in which alterations in brain activity during sleep can be detected. Leila Tarokh and colleagues used electroencephalography to measure the brain activity of 11- to 14-year-old pairs of identical and fraternal twins […]

  • Scientists Describe How Cells Form New Blood Vessels

    Scientists Describe How Cells Form New Blood Vessels

    via Scicasts: Basel, Switzerland (Scicasts) — Blood vessel formation relies on the ability of vascular cells to move while remaining firmly connected to each other. This enables the vessels to grow and sprout without leaking any blood. In Nature Communications, scientists from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel describe how this works. In this process, the cytoskeleton pushes the cell forward, while an adhesion protein subsequently closes the gap to the neighbouring cell, like a […]

  • New stem cell model can be used to test treatments for a rare nervous system disorder

    New stem cell model can be used to test treatments for a rare nervous system disorder

    via ScienceDaily: A City of Hope researcher has developed a stem cell model to assess possible treatments for a rare nervous system disorder that is in the same disease group as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The finding takes Yanhong Shi, Ph.D., senior author of the study, and her colleagues one step closer to finding a way to slow or treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The team studied Alexander disease […]

  • How Plant-Rotting Bacteria Steal Iron To Survive

    via Science Daily: In a new study, researchers identify important new insights into a survival mechanism of the bacteria that cause rotting in certain plants, including some highly invasive weeds. The study, publishing on August 2 in the Open-Access journal PLOS Biology, demonstrates for the first time exactly how the bacterium Pectobacterium obtains the iron vital to its survival and replication: by pirating it from iron-bearing proteins in the host plants. The study was led by […]

  • Biologists Program Cells To Self-Organize Into 3D-Structures In A First Step Towards Tissues That Regrow And Self-Repair

    Biologists Program Cells To Self-Organize Into 3D-Structures In A First Step Towards Tissues That Regrow And Self-Repair

    via Phys.org: How do complex biological structures—an eye, a hand, a brain—emerge from a single fertilized egg? This is the fundamental question of developmental biology, and a mystery still being grappled with by scientists who hope to one day apply the same principles to heal damaged tissues or regrow ailing organs. Now, in a study published May 31, 2018 in Science, researchers have demonstrated the ability to program groups of individual cells to self-organize into multi-layered […]