A new toolkit for studying how ‘PARP’ activity boosts cancers

A new method is likely to speed the study of an important biological process called ADP-ribosylation — a process driven by PARP enzymes that helps some cancers grow and is suspected to be a factor in other common diseases.
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It’s all in the code: Protein production efficiency can be predicted by gene sequence

Scientists explored mRNA and protein public databases to unravel hidden meanings of the genetic code. Using a metric derived from mRNA codon composition, they found out how gene sequence choice can predict different aspects of protein synthesis, such as protein production efficiency. The study could help the development of new biotechnological applications of genes and proteins.
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HIV drug could treat Alzheimer’s, age-associated disorders

Researchers have found that blocking retrotransposon activity with a generic HIV/AIDS medication significantly reduces age-related inflammation in old mice and senescent human cells, providing hope for treating age-associated disorders.
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Male Y chromosomes not ‘genetic wastelands’

Researchers have found a way to sequence a large portion of the Y chromosome in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster — the most that the Y chromosome has been assembled in fruit flies. The research provides new insights into the processes that shape the Y chromosome, adding to the evidence that, far from a genetic wasteland, Y chromosomes are highly dynamic and have mechanisms to acquire and maintain genes.
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Cancer cells’ plasticity makes them harder to stop

Researchers have created a basic framework of how cancer cells adapt when their attempts to metastasize are blocked by drugs or the body’s immune system. Understanding the cells’ strategies could someday help scientists design therapies that keep them in check.
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Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components

Physicists have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs.
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Scientists discover genes that help harmful bacteria thwart treatment

A team has discovered two genes that make some strains of harmful Staphyloccocus bacteria resistant to treatment by copper, a potent and frequently used antibacterial agent. The discovery shows that Staphyloccocus aureus can acquire additional genes that promote infections and antibacterial resistance and may open new paths for the development of antibacterial drugs.
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