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Prefer tea or coffee? It may be down to your genes for bitter tastes

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2018-11-15 16:00
People with genes that make them taste caffeine more strongly tend to be coffee-drinkers, while tea-drinkers have genetic aversions to strongly bitter tastes

A new DNA sequencing service wants to reward you for sharing your data

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2018-11-15 16:00
Genetics pioneer George Church's new company says it will sequence your genome for free and secure it on a blockchain, so that you can choose who uses your data

We’ve got thinking all wrong. This is how your mind really works

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2018-11-15 14:10
From unconscious biases to advertising, the idea we can think fast or slow is influential, but it may be mistaken. Here’s how to think better
Categories: Science and society

We’ve got thinking all wrong. This is how your mind really works

Genetics - Thu, 2018-11-15 14:10
From unconscious biases to advertising, the idea we can think fast or slow is influential, but it may be mistaken. Here’s how to think better
Categories: Biology

Life may have begun with cells made wholly from simple proteins

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2018-11-15 14:05
Crude proteins made of short chains of amino acids can form life-like “protocells” that host biological processes – hinting that life began with proteins
Categories: Science and society

Life may have begun with cells made wholly from simple proteins

Genetics - Thu, 2018-11-15 14:05
Crude proteins made of short chains of amino acids can form life-like “protocells” that host biological processes – hinting that life began with proteins
Categories: Biology

Life may have begun with cells made wholly from simple proteins

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2018-11-15 14:05
Crude proteins made of short chains of amino acids can form life-like “protocells” that host biological processes – hinting that life began with proteins

How lab-on-a-chip technology is turning smartphones into food sensors

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2018-11-15 12:00
A lab-on-a-chip that fits inside a smartphone is set to change our relationship with food and the chemicals we use to make it
Categories: Science and society

New techniques may soon make designer babies a reality – are we ready?

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2018-11-15 12:00
As tests that screen embryos for complex traits become available, it's time to decide how to use these ethically – and where to draw the line
Categories: Science and society

How lab-on-a-chip technology is turning smartphones into food sensors

Genetics - Thu, 2018-11-15 12:00
A lab-on-a-chip that fits inside a smartphone is set to change our relationship with food and the chemicals we use to make it
Categories: Biology

New techniques may soon make designer babies a reality – are we ready?

Genetics - Thu, 2018-11-15 12:00
As tests that screen embryos for complex traits become available, it's time to decide how to use these ethically – and where to draw the line
Categories: Biology

New techniques may soon make designer babies a reality – are we ready?

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2018-11-15 12:00
As tests that screen embryos for complex traits become available, it's time to decide how to use these ethically – and where to draw the line

Antibiotic resistance genes are showing up in Antarctic penguins

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Thu, 2018-11-15 09:00
Antibiotic resistance has spread around the world - so much so that even penguins living near Antarctic research bases have resistant bacteria in their gut
Categories: Science and society

Antibiotic resistance genes are showing up in Antarctic penguins

Genetics - Thu, 2018-11-15 09:00
Antibiotic resistance has spread around the world - so much so that even penguins living near Antarctic research bases have resistant bacteria in their gut
Categories: Biology

Antibiotic resistance genes are showing up in Antarctic penguins

HIV and AIDS - Thu, 2018-11-15 09:00
Antibiotic resistance has spread around the world - so much so that even penguins living near Antarctic research bases have resistant bacteria in their gut

Intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction regulates integrin structure and function

PLOS Biology (new articles) - Thu, 2018-11-15 00:00

by Jun Guo, Youhua Zhang, Hua Li, Huiying Chu, Qinshu Wang, Shutan Jiang, Yan Li, Hongbin Shen, Guohui Li, Jianfeng Chen, Chenqi Xu

Protein transmembrane domains (TMDs) are generally hydrophobic, but our bioinformatics analysis shows that many TMDs contain basic residues at terminal regions. Physiological functions of these membrane-snorkeling basic residues are largely unclear. Here, we show that a membrane-snorkeling Lys residue in integrin αLβ2 (also known as lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 [LFA-1]) regulates transmembrane heterodimer formation and integrin adhesion through ionic interplay with acidic phospholipids and calcium ions (Ca2+) in T cells. The amino group of the conserved Lys ionically interacts with the phosphate group of acidic phospholipids to stabilize αLβ2 transmembrane association, thus keeping the integrin at low-affinity conformation. Intracellular Ca2+ uses its charge to directly disrupt this ionic interaction, leading to the transmembrane separation and the subsequent extracellular domain extension to increase adhesion activity. This Ca2+-mediated regulation is independent on the canonical Ca2+ signaling or integrin inside-out signaling. Our work therefore showcases the importance of intramembrane ionic protein–lipid interaction and provides a new mechanism of integrin activation.
Categories: Biology, Journals

There is no fundamental difference between male and female brains

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) - Wed, 2018-11-14 22:00
A lasting desire to find differences in how male and female brains work serves to affirm gender stereotypes, not explain them, says Dean Burnett
Categories: Science and society

There is no fundamental difference between male and female brains

Genetics - Wed, 2018-11-14 22:00
A lasting desire to find differences in how male and female brains work serves to affirm gender stereotypes, not explain them, says Dean Burnett
Categories: Biology

There is no fundamental difference between male and female brains

HIV and AIDS - Wed, 2018-11-14 22:00
A lasting desire to find differences in how male and female brains work serves to affirm gender stereotypes, not explain them, says Dean Burnett

Urbanisation made flooding from Hurricane Harvey 21 times as likely

HIV and AIDS - Wed, 2018-11-14 20:00
Tall buildings in Houston made hurricane Harvey dump more rain on the region, before the water ran straight off the city's hard surfaces causing epic flooding