Liquid-liquid transitions crystallize new ideas for molecular liquids

Crystallization describes the formation of ordered structures from the disordered constituents of a liquid. Although the fundamental theory of crystal formation has been widely investigated and is generally well established, gaps in the understanding still remain. Researchers from The University of Tokyo, Institute of Industrial Science, and Tokyo Metropolitan University have reported experimental findings that … Read more

Unraveling gene expression

The DNA of a single cell is 2-3 meters long end-to-end. To fit and function, DNA is packaged around specialized proteins. These DNA-protein complexes are called nucleosomes, and they are a small part of a larger structure called chromatin. Nucleosomes can be thought of as the cell’s DNA storage and protection unit. When a particular … Read more

Spray painting fiber bandages onto wounds

With newly developed technology, medical personnel can manufacture a bandage with drug-delivery capabilities directly onto a wound. Electrospinning is a well-developed method for developing polymer fibers for a wide variety of applications. If biocompatible materials are used, the fibers produced can be used for biomedical applications. But electrospinning requires very high voltages, making direct deposition … Read more

Creating fake rhino horn with horse hair to help in saving the endangered rhino

Published today in Scientific Reports they hope their method will provide a blueprint to create credible fakes that could eventually flood a market which has decimated the wild rhino population. In Chinese medicine rhino horn is believed to have many benefits, including working as an aphrodisiac. In reality the sellers are often cutting the horn with ground … Read more

Big news for Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients

This is big news for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients: 11 percent of the world’s population suffers from IBS, but the fight against chronic pain has taken a major step forward with scientists identifying receptors in the nervous system which cause the condition in the hope of developing effective treatments. Flinders University researchers at SAHMRI … Read more

Shipment tracking for ‘fat parcels’ in the body

Without fat, nothing works in the body: These substances serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks – including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in the fat metabolism, such as obesity or cancer. Researchers from the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn are now demonstrating how the … Read more

Breakthrough in sex-chromosome regulation

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have uncovered a chromosome-wide mechanism that keeps the gene expression of sex chromosomes in balance in our cells. The findings shed light on molecular reasons for early miscarriage and could be important for the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The study is published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. The … Read more

Chemists clarify a chiral conundrum?

It’s always good when your intuition turns out to be right, but scientists at Rice University studying proteins and particles were more “right” than they expected. Rice chemists Christy Landes and Stephan Link and lead author and Smalley-Curl Postdoctoral Fellow Qingfeng Zhang reported this week in Science that bovine serum albumin (BSA), a standard-issue protein in nano-bio … Read more

Neurons’ response to seizure-induced stress reduces seizure severity

In response to seizures, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a network of flattened tubes in the cell that packages and transports proteins, triggers a stress response that reduces brain activity and seizure severity. The new findings, reported by Nien-Pei Tsai and colleagues at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on 26th September in PLOS Genetics, may have important … Read more