Microbiomes could hold keys to improving life.

Microbial life forms including viruses, bacteria, and fungi are the most diverse and abundant organisms on earth. They have shaped our evolutionary origins for billions of years and continue to have widespread impact. The UMIC foresees the microbiomes being leveraged through genetic engineering for applications within 10 years. “Microbes are everywhere. Therefore understanding microbiomes, whether they be the ones that live in and on our bodies or the ones in the environment, is essential to ...
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Scientists produce clearest-ever images of enzyme that plays key roles in aging, cancer.

An enzyme called telomerase plays a significant role in aging and most cancers, but until recently many aspects of the enzyme’s structure could not be clearly seen. Scientists from UCLA and UC Berkeley have produced images of telomerase in much higher resolution than ever before, giving them major new insights about the enzyme. Their findings, could ultimately lead to new directions for treating cancer and preventing premature aging. “Many details we could only guess at before, we can now see...
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Malaria protein may hold key for cancer cure.

Danish scientists who were working on ways to fight malaria in pregnant women have accidentally discovered that the malaria protein they were using in their vaccine, when armed with a toxin, could kill cancer cells. The test was conducted on mice, and showed that the malaria protein first attached itself to the carbohydrate of the cancer cell, which later was killed off by the toxin. They hope to be able to begin tests on humans in the next four years. For decades, scientists have been search...
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Delivering missing protein heals damaged hearts in animals

Researchers have discovered that a particular protein, Fstl1, plays a key role in regenerating dead heart-muscle cells. Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have enabled damaged heart tissue in animals to regenerate by delivering a protein to it via a bioengineered collagen patch. There is currently no effective treatment to reverse the scarring in the heart after heart attacks. Heart attacks cause millions of deaths annually worldwide and are predi...
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Scientists identify key culprit responsible for dengue virus infections.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a key culprit responsible for the fluid loss and resulting shock that are the hallmark of severe and potentially fatal dengue virus infections. A team of researchers led by molecular virologist Eva Harris, a UC Berkeley School of Public Health professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, presented new evidence that the guilty party is a protein secreted by cells infected with the mosquito-borne dengue v...
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How flu viruses gain the ability to spread

New study reveals the soft palate is a key site for evolution of airborne transmissibility. Researchers from MIT and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) made the surprising finding on Flu virus, while examining the H1N1 flu strain, which caused a 2009 pandemic that killed more than 250,000 people Scientists have discovered that the soft palate which is the soft tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth, plays a key role in viruses’ ability to travel through ...
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