Biology

Every bottle of prosecco may erode 4.4 kilograms of Italian hillside

Genetics - сб, 2019-01-19 11:00
In Italy's traditional prosecco-growing region, estimates suggest that 400,000 tonnes of soil is eroded from the vineyards each year
Категории: Biology

Structure of the DP1–DP2 PolD complex bound with DNA and its implications for the evolutionary history of DNA and RNA polymerases

PLOS Biology (new articles) - сб, 2019-01-19 00:00

by Pierre Raia, Marta Carroni, Etienne Henry, Gérard Pehau-Arnaudet, Sébastien Brûlé, Pierre Béguin, Ghislaine Henneke, Erik Lindahl, Marc Delarue, Ludovic Sauguet

PolD is an archaeal replicative DNA polymerase (DNAP) made of a proofreading exonuclease subunit (DP1) and a larger polymerase catalytic subunit (DP2). Recently, we reported the individual crystal structures of the DP1 and DP2 catalytic cores, thereby revealing that PolD is an atypical DNAP that has all functional properties of a replicative DNAP but with the catalytic core of an RNA polymerase (RNAP). We now report the DNA-bound cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the heterodimeric DP1–DP2 PolD complex from Pyrococcus abyssi, revealing a unique DNA-binding site. Comparison of PolD and RNAPs extends their structural similarities and brings to light the minimal catalytic core shared by all cellular transcriptases. Finally, elucidating the structure of the PolD DP1–DP2 interface, which is conserved in all eukaryotic replicative DNAPs, clarifies their evolutionary relationships with PolD and sheds light on the domain acquisition and exchange mechanism that occurred during the evolution of the eukaryotic replisome.
Категории: Biology, Journals

We've dug up tiny animals from beneath a frozen Antarctic lake

Genetics - пт, 2019-01-18 18:51
The discovery of preserved carcasses of tiny crustaceans and tardigrades beneath Lake Mercer suggests biologically complex life may survive deep beneath the ice
Категории: Biology

10 year challenge: How science and the world have changed

Genetics - пт, 2019-01-18 17:36
The last 10 years have seen amazing advances in science and technology – and stark damage to the world we live in. Like a lot of people on social media we thought we'd take a look back at the last ten years in science and New Scientist
Категории: Biology

Australia swelters in record temperatures with warmest ever night

Genetics - пт, 2019-01-18 14:23
Noona in New South Wales recorded Australia's warmest ever night with temperatures remaining above 35.9°C on 17 January
Категории: Biology

Peacocks might use their showy tails for covert communication

Genetics - пт, 2019-01-18 10:00
Tigers, leopards and dogs all hunt peacocks, but their colour vision is poor, suggesting they might not actually notice a peacock's colourful tail
Категории: Biology

Behind the Sheet review: Eye-opening play follows slaves’ story

Genetics - пт, 2019-01-18 03:01
The story of the unsung slave women who helped end an excruciating condition by enduring surgery without anaesthetic makes a play that deserves a wide audience
Категории: Biology

Avoidance response to CO<sub>2</sub> in the lateral horn

PLOS Biology (new articles) - пт, 2019-01-18 00:00

by Nélia Varela, Miguel Gaspar, Sophie Dias, Maria Luísa Vasconcelos

In flies, the olfactory information is carried from the first relay in the brain, the antennal lobe, to the mushroom body (MB) and the lateral horn (LH). Olfactory associations are formed in the MB. The LH was ascribed a role in innate responses based on the stereotyped connectivity with the antennal lobe, stereotyped physiological responses to odors, and MB silencing experiments. Direct evidence for the functional role of the LH is still missing. Here, we investigate the behavioral role of the LH neurons (LHNs) directly, using the CO2 response as a paradigm. Our results show the involvement of the LH in innate responses. Specifically, we demonstrate that activity in two sets of neurons is required for the full behavioral response to CO2. Tests of the behavioral response to other odors indicate the neurons are selective to CO2 response. Using calcium imaging, we observe that the two sets of neurons respond to CO2 in a different manner. Using independent manipulation and recording of the two sets of neurons, we find that the one that projects to the superior intermediate protocerebrum (SIP) also outputs to the local neurons within the LH. The design of simultaneous output at the LH and the SIP, an output of the MB, allows for coordination between innate and learned responses.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3) is a distinct catecholamines clearance route in adipocytes mediating the beiging of white adipose tissue

PLOS Biology (new articles) - пт, 2019-01-18 00:00

by Wenxin Song, Qi Luo, Yuping Zhang, Linkang Zhou, Ye Liu, Zhilong Ma, Jianan Guo, Yuedong Huang, Lili Cheng, Ziyi Meng, Zicheng Li, Bin Zhang, Siqi Li, Sook Wah Yee, Hao Fan, Peng Li, Kathleen M. Giacomini, Ligong Chen

Beiging of white adipose tissue (WAT) is a particularly appealing target for therapeutics in the treatment of metabolic diseases through norepinephrine (NE)-mediated signaling pathways. Although previous studies report NE clearance mechanisms via SLC6A2 on sympathetic neurons or proinflammatory macrophages in adipose tissues (ATs), the low catecholamine clearance capacity of SLC6A2 may limit the cleaning efficiency. Here, we report that mouse organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3; Slc22a3) is highly expressed in WAT and displays the greatest uptake rate of NE as a selective non-neural route of NE clearance in white adipocytes, which differs from other known routes such as adjacent neurons or macrophages. We further show that adipocytes express high levels of NE degradation enzymes Maoa, Maob, and Comt, providing the molecular basis on NE clearance by adipocytes together with its reuptake transporter Oct3. Under NE administration, ablation of Oct3 induces higher body temperature, thermogenesis, and lipolysis compared with littermate controls. After prolonged cold challenge, inguinal WAT (ingWAT) in adipose-specific Oct3-deficient mice shows much stronger browning characteristics and significantly elevated expression of thermogenic and mitochondrial biogenesis genes than in littermate controls, and this response involves enhanced β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR)/protein kinase A (PKA)/cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-responsive element binding protein (Creb) pathway activation. Glycolytic genes are reprogrammed to significantly higher levels to compensate for the loss of ATP production in adipose-specific Oct3 knockout (KO) mice, indicating the fundamental role of glucose metabolism during beiging. Inhibition of β-AR largely abolishes the higher lipolytic and thermogenic activities in Oct3-deficient ingWAT, indicating the NE overload in the vicinity of adipocytes in Oct3 KO adipocytes. Of note, reduced functional alleles in human OCT3 are also identified to be associated with increased basal metabolic rate (BMR). Collectively, our results demonstrate that Oct3 governs β-AR activity as a NE recycling transporter in white adipocytes, offering potential therapeutic applications for metabolic disorders.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Silencing brain cells in mice can make them no longer care about pain

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 21:00
When certain brain cells are silenced in mice, they still sense pain but no longer seem bothered by it. The finding could lead to new pain treatments
Категории: Biology

Moon craters reveal surprise rise in asteroid shrapnel pelting Earth

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 21:00
Craters on the moon show that it and Earth faced a massive increase in large meteorite strikes about 290 million years ago, which could have endangered life on the planet
Категории: Biology

Saturn’s rings formed in a smash-up less than 100 million years ago

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 21:00
Some of the Cassini spacecraft’s final measurements of Saturn’s gravitational field show that its rings are younger than we thought, and its winds run deeper
Категории: Biology

Could a diet save the planet? Only if we pay the real cost of food

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 19:27
There is no doubt that a “planetary diet” involving more vegetables and less meat would benefit the environment and likely save lives too, but making it happen won’t be easy
Категории: Biology

AI chemist figures out how to legally clone expensive patented drugs

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 18:00
Pharma firms protect their drugs with hundreds of complex patents but an AI called Chematica can find workarounds, which could potentially make drugs cheaper
Категории: Biology

Global leaders warn of ecological collapse and technological meltdown

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 14:38
The top five global threats are all now either environmental or technological, according to a World Economic Forum survey of business and political leaders
Категории: Biology

We've seen methane rain gleaming on the icy plains of Titan

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 14:29
Images from the Cassini spacecraft have revealed the rainy season near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan - and it's pretty weird
Категории: Biology

Why CERN's plans for a €20 billion supersized collider are a bad idea

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 13:10
The research potential of a proposed massive particle smasher that would dwarf the Large Hadron Collider doesn’t justify its huge price tag, says Sabine Hossenfelder
Категории: Biology

Rational thinking is saving antibiotics – it could work on Brexit too

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 12:35
The turning of the tide in the fight against bacterial resistance to antibiotics shows the benefits of clear thinking and leadership, and it could work for Brexit too
Категории: Biology

Songwriter AI emulates the Beatles with a little help from its friends

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 12:00
Many songwriters have honed their skills listening to the Beatles. Now AI has done the same by learning to write pop songs that mimic their style
Категории: Biology

Mathematician’s record-beating formula can generate 50 prime numbers

Genetics - чт, 2019-01-17 10:00
Figuring out the pattern of the primes is one of the long-standing mysteries of maths, and now there is a way to spit some out on demand
Категории: Biology