New under the sun: Recurrent genetic mutations in melanoma
May 9, 2012
Melanoma – the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer – has long been linked to time spent in the sun. Now a team led by scientists from the Broad Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has sequenced the whole genomes of 25 metastatic melanoma tumors, confirming the role of chronic sun exposure and revealing new genetic changes important in tumor formation
Game on! UCLA researchers use online crowd-sourcing to diagnose malaria
May 2, 2012
Working on the assumption that large groups of public non-experts can be trained to recognize infectious diseases with the accuracy of trained pathologists, UCLA researchers have created a crowd-sourced online gaming system in which players distinguish malaria-infected red blood cells from healthy ones by viewing digital images obtained from microscopes.
Discovery could reduce chemotherapy’s side effects
March 11, 2012
A team of researchers at Duke University has determined the structure of a key molecule that can carry chemotherapy and anti-viral drugs into cells, which could help to create more effective drugs with fewer side effects to healthy tissue.
Molecular motor struts like drunken sailor
January 8, 2012
A tiny motor inside of us called dynein, tasked with shuttling vital payloads throughout the cell, staggers like a drunken sailor, quite contrary to the regular, efficient poise of its fellow motors.
Scientists Trick Bacteria with Small Molecules
October 7, 2010
A team of Yale University scientists has engineered the cell wall of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, tricking it into incorporating foreign small molecules and embedding them within the cell wall.
September 1, 2010
The seeds for electrical engineer Aydogan Ozcan’s latest invention—a lensless microscope that can spot pathogens in blood and water samples in remote areas with no access to other imaging technology—were planted in the shadows.
Common apnea questionnaire needs customization for pregnant moms
May 6, 2010
The Berlin questionnaire, a common tool for identifying obstructive sleep apnea, does not accurately identify pregnant women whose breathing is intermittently interrupted or stopped (a condition called apnea) during sleep, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The Pre-History of Life: elegantly simple organizing principles seen in ribosomes
April 12, 2010
With few exceptions, all known forms of life on our planet rely on the same genetic code to specify the amino acid composition of proteins. Although different hypotheses abound, just how individual amino acids were assigned to specific three-letter combinations or codons during the evolution of the genetic code is still subject to speculation.
Stretching the Golgi: a link between form and function
October 15, 2009
A research team at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has provided a surprisingly simple explanation for the mechanism and features of the “Golgi apparatus”—a structure that has baffled generations of scientists.
Gene action partially explains treatment success in newborn lungs
September 23, 2009
For more than a decade, obstetrician-gynecologists have given pregnant women facing premature birth steroids to hasten the development of their newborn's lungs. Now a study appearing online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involving a "mystery" gene called Erk3 explains the success of that therapy.
High fat diet in pregnancy changes metabolome of mother, offspring
September 4, 2009
A high fat diet during pregnancy not only results in offspring with fatty livers, but actually changes the small molecules that govern metabolism, said a consortium of researchers led by those from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Konrad Hochedlinger: A reprogramming revolutionary
July 7, 2009
In 1999, Konrad Hochedlinger squeezed into a packed lecture at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna to hear stem cell researcher Rudolf Jaenisch talk about nuclear transfer cloning techniques.
Ed Boyden: The brain engineer
March 3, 2009
At the end of his junior year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998, Ed Boyden was hanging out with friends in the basement of the famed Media Lab, trying to figure out what to do for the summer.