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Protein

Space

Essential feature of life detected outside our solar system

A molecule that exhibits a specific property associated with all life on Earth has been discovered in interstellar space for the first time. Displaying the quality of chirality, or "handedness", this molecule has a distinct one-way molecular geometry found only in biological building blocks like amino acids, proteins, and enzymes. This discovery may help provide answers to the origins of homochirality, whereby all a substance's molecules are of the same chiral form, and why it appears so important for biology.Read More

Materials

Naturally-occurring protein has melting ice cream problem licked

There are few things that go as well together as an ice cream cone and a hot summer's day, but it can be a race against the clock to get the sweet treat down before it turns into a sticky mess. Such disasters could become a thing of the past thanks to scientists in Scotland who have discovered a naturally-occurring protein that can be added to ice cream to make it melt more slowly.Read More

Medical

Newly discovered protein ramps up immune response to cancer

One of the body's defenses against deadly cancer cells may have just received a much-needed boost. Researchers at Imperial College London have happened upon a previously unknown protein that ramps up the presence of all-important cytotoxic T cells, which destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells. Read More

Medical

MRI-based cancer detection technique could replace biopsies

While non-invasive imaging technologies, such as mammograms or CT scans, are capable of detecting tumors, identifying whether they are malignant or benign usually involves getting out the scalpel and conducting a biopsy. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to noninvasively detect cancerous cells, offering the potential of supplementing biopsies or maybe one day replacing them altogether.Read More

Medical

Microcapsule delivery method opens door for protein to treat osteoarthritis

Although known to reduce inflammation and aid in the repair of damaged tissue, the protein molecule called C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) could not previously be put to use in treating osteoarthritis as it breaks down easily in the body. But now researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) could make this possible by using slow-release microcapsules containing the protein. Read More

Medical

New study may provide fresh avenues of treatment for patients suffering from skin diseases

A fresh study carried out by researchers from King's College London (KCL) has established a link between a certain form of bacteria present on the skin following a surface wound and a type of white blood cell receptor, that together tip the scale away from the normal healing process and instead encourage the formation of cancerous tumors. The results of the study have the potential to create innovative treatment options for patients suffering from skin diseases, such as those that result in chronic ulcers and severe blistering. Read More

Science

Protein that regulates protein production could also control fat levels

Research around how the body's fat levels are regulated and ways in which they might be manipulated has uncovered numerous potential fat switches. The latest is a particular protein that has long been known to regulate protein synthesis and has now been demonstrated to also control fat levels in worms. This has lead researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) to believe that the version found in the human body could provide a new target for fat-fighting pharmaceuticals. Read More

Medical

Protein that wakes up the brain could provide target for Alzheimer's prevention

In recent years, research has linked sleep problems to Alzheimer’s disease. This relationship involves a neurotransmitter called orexin that awakens the brain from sleep and has shown to be heightened in moderate to severe sufferers of Alzheimer’s. New research conducted at Washington University in St Louis suggests that removing the orexin protein in mice enables them to sleep longer, which could serve to hinder development of the disease. Read More

Environment Feature

The buzz about entomophagy: Is eating insects more than a novelty?

Jiminy Cricket may be able to do more than guide our consciences: he, or his kin, may also provide food security solutions for a growing and hungry world. However, the notion of insects-as-food struggles to find widespread traction amid problems with standardization of food safety standards, government disinterest and only a small body of research. So is there a future for cricket sushi or fried silk worms?Read More

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