Powering up the circadian rhythm

Powering up the circadian rhythm

LA JOLLA--(May 26, 2016) At noon every day, levels of genes and proteins throughout your body are drastically different than they are at midnight. Disruptions to this 24-hour cycle of physiological activity are why jet lag or a bad night's sleep can alter your appetite and sleep patterns for days--and even contribute to conditions like heart disease, sleep disorders and cancers.

Top-down design brings new DNA structures to life

Top-down design brings new DNA structures to life

Among the valuable holdings in London's Wellcome Library is a rough pencil sketch made in 1953 by Francis Crick. The drawing is one of the first to show the double-helix structure of DNA--Nature's blueprint for the design of sea snails, human beings, and every other living form on earth.

Few could have predicted however, that DNA's simple properties of self-assembly, and its versatile information-carrying capacity, could be put to many uses never imagined by Watson and Crick, (or indeed, by Nature herself).

Scientists uncover potential trigger to kill cancer

Scientists uncover potential trigger to kill cancer

Melbourne researchers have discovered a new way of triggering cell death, in a finding that could lead to drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune disease.

Programmed cell death, also called apoptosis, is a natural process that removes unwanted cells from the body. Failure of apoptosis can allow cancer cells to grow unchecked or immune cells to inappropriately attack the body.

The protein known as Bak is central to apoptosis. In healthy cells Bak sits in an inert state but when a cell receives a signal to die, Bak transforms into a killer protein that destroys the cell.

Migration back to Africa took place during the Paleolithic

Migration back to Africa took place during the Paleolithic

The Palaeogenomics study conducted by the Human Evolutionary Biology group of the Faculty of Science and Technology, led by Concepción de la Rua, in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, the Netherlands and Romania, has made it possible to retrieve the complete sequence of the mitogenome of the Pestera Muierii woman(PM1)using two teeth. This mitochondrial genome corresponds to the now disappeared U6 basal lineage, and it is from this lineage that the U6 lineages, now existing mainly in the populations of the north of Africa, descend from.

Bright lights, healthy choices

Bright lights, healthy choices

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Targeting metals to fight pathogenic bacteria

Targeting metals to fight pathogenic bacteria

Researchers at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University in Sweden participated in the discovery of a unique system of acquisition of essential metals in the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This research was led by scientists at the CEA in France, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Pau, the INRA and the CNRS. It represents a new potential target for the design of antibiotics. These results are being published in the journal Science on Friday 27 May.

Investigational drugs show promise for treating overactive bladder

In a recent study of patients with overactive bladder (OAB), a 30 mg extended release formulation of propiverine hydrochloride was at least as effective and safe as a 4 mg extended release formulation of tolterodine tartrate. Both medications are called antimuscarinic drugs that block certain cell receptors, but propiverine differs from other antimuscarinics because of a dual mode of action.

Researchers aiming at improved early diagnosis of arthrosis

Arthrosis, a degenerative disease that affects the joints, becomes more common as people become older. The disease is becoming increasingly common among older people in Finland as well. Arthrosis is currently the subject of research in a number of projects funded by the Academy of Finland.

A look beyond the horizon of events

In principle, nothing that enters a black hole can leave the black hole. This has considerably complicated the study of these mysterious bodies on which generations of physicists have debated ever since 1916, the year their existence was hypothesized as a direct consequence of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. There is, however, some consensus in the scientific community on the fact that black holes possess an entropy, because their existence would otherwise violate the second law of thermodynamics.

Why is there no Labor Party in the United States?

The improbable rise of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign presents an interesting question: why is Sanders, a self-proclaimed "democratic socialist," running as a Democrat? McGill University sociologist Barry Eidlin examines this question through an historical comparison with Canada, a country similar to the U.S. in many ways, but whose political culture and electoral system have ostensibly been more hospitable to labor parties.