In everyday life, blinking lights can send signals — for example, that a car is going to turn. Now, researchers have engineered tiny ‘blinkers’ that reveal single molecules of RNA or protein inside cells based on the duration and frequency of each flash. The research could allow scientists to see the locations of many different biomolecules in a cell simultaneously, possibly leading to better diagnostics and treatments.
An approved drug normally used to treat fungal infections could also do the job of a protein channel that is missing or dysfunctional in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, operating as a prosthesis on the molecular scale, says new research.
Increases in chronic inflammation — not the passage of time — is the main reason why injured bones do not heal as well with age.
Scientists looking at the genetics of Zika virus have found a way to fast-track research which could lead to new vaccines. The study used a new technique to uncover Zika mutations that help foster virus replication in mosquito hosts, while hindering its ability to replicate in mammals.
A new study suggests that there could be a way to bypass barriers to making CRISPR gene-editing treatments a viable option. Researchers found that using more-precise gene-editing technology that induces fewer breaks in DNA may keep stem cells’ natural damage-response pathways under control.
In research that casts cells as curators of their own history, scientists have discovered that adult tissues retain a memory, inscribed on their DNA, of the embryonic cells from which they arose. The discovery led to one even more intriguing — that the memory is fully retrievable: under certain conditions, cells can play the story of their development in reverse to switch on genes that were active in the fetal state.