One of the wonders of cell biology is its symmetry. Mammalian cells have one nucleus and one cell membrane, and most humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes.
Scientists have identified a molecular mechanism that could reverse the genetic defect responsible for Friedreich’s ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease that leaves its victims with difficulty walking, a loss of sensation in the arms and legs and impaired speech. The researchers discovered that the genetic anomaly that causes the disease — the multiple repetition of a three letter DNA sequence — could potentially be reversed by enhancing a natural process that contracts the repetitive sequences in living tissue.
Researchers report that a type of biodegradable, lab-engineered nanoparticle they fashioned can successfully deliver a ”suicide gene” to pediatric brain tumor cells implanted in the brains of mice. The poly(beta-amino ester) nanoparticles, known as PBAEs, were part of a treatment that also used a drug to kill the cells and prolong the test animals’ survival.
The nucleic acids of DNA encode genetic information, while the amino acids of proteins contain the code to turn that information into structures and functions. Together, they provide the two fundamental codes underlying all of life.
Foods such as honey, licorice, oregano, and hot sauce have an antimicrobial effect and some of them trigger phage production in our gut. We could use compounds in these foods to control harmful microbes and balance microbial diversity in the gut microbiome, new research suggests.
Some plastic food and beverage containers still contain bisphenol A (BPA), which can mimic the hormone estrogen. Although experts say that small amounts of BPA detected in foods are unlikely to cause problems, some people worry that constant low-level exposures could have health effects, especially for developing fetuses, infants and children. Now, researchers report that in mice, BPA activates an immune response that persists for at least three generations.