New findings in mSphere suggest that the genetic makeup of the host organism can influence the transfer of plasmids. By identifying the host factors that facilitate or stop plasmid transfer, the researchers hope to identify new ways to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the United States alone.
Models by chemists calculate the chemical and mechanical energies involved in ‘bursty’ RNA production in cells. Their models show how RNA polymerases create supercoils of DNA allowing production of RNA that goes on to produce proteins.
Biomedical scientists have discovered that a defect in the ATP13A2 gene causes cell death by disrupting the cellular transport of polyamines. When this happens in the part of the brain that controls body movement, it can lead to Parkinson’s disease.
Using a genetic screen that was previously impossible in the mammalian brain, neuroscientists have identified hundreds of genes that are necessary for neuron survival. They also used the approach to identify genes that contribute to the toxic effects of mutant protein that causes Huntington’s disease.
Researchers have determined that a mutation affecting the important process of RNA splicing can manipulate the ‘quality control’ in your cell. The resulting conditions characterize many deadly blood cancers.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers has found that a gene regulator, called BACH1, facilitates the spread of pancreatic cancer to other parts of the body. The scientists say drugs that control BACH1 could improve disease prognosis.
By figuring out how a common virus hides from the immune system, scientists have identified a potential vaccine to prevent sometimes deadly respiratory infections in humans.
A team of biologists has identified the molecular receptors that cause hearing loss. In experiments with mice, the team successfully used a drug that prevented hearing damage while still allowing the mice to hear.
Scientists have uncovered the underlying rules that, when broken, contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS.