Biology

What Is Real? A tale of how big egos hijacked quantum physics

Genetics - сб, 2018-05-19 12:00
The quantum story is all brilliant insights, flawed male scientists – and few female ones. To progress, we may need to dump our prejudices, says a new book
Категории: Biology

Treadmilling analysis reveals new insights into dynamic FtsZ ring architecture

PLOS Biology (new articles) - пт, 2018-05-18 23:00

by Diego A. Ramirez-Diaz, Daniela A. García-Soriano, Ana Raso, Jonas Mücksch, Mario Feingold, Germán Rivas, Petra Schwille

FtsZ, the primary protein of the bacterial Z ring guiding cell division, has been recently shown to engage in intriguing treadmilling dynamics along the circumference of the division plane. When coreconstituted in vitro with FtsA, one of its natural membrane anchors, on flat supported membranes, these proteins assemble into dynamic chiral vortices compatible with treadmilling of curved polar filaments. Replacing FtsA by a membrane-targeting sequence (mts) to FtsZ, we have discovered conditions for the formation of dynamic rings, showing that the phenomenon is intrinsic to FtsZ. Ring formation is only observed for a narrow range of protein concentrations at the bilayer, which is highly modulated by free Mg2+ and depends upon guanosine triphosphate (GTP) hydrolysis. Interestingly, the direction of rotation can be reversed by switching the mts from the C-terminus to the N-terminus of the protein, implying that the filament attachment must have a perpendicular component to both curvature and polarity. Remarkably, this chirality switch concurs with previously shown inward or outward membrane deformations by the respective FtsZ mutants. Our results lead us to suggest an intrinsic helicity of FtsZ filaments with more than one direction of curvature, supporting earlier hypotheses and experimental evidence.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Grape skins and stems can be turned into a greener plastic

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 21:35
Someday you might buy wine in a plastic bottle made from the same grapes. Their skins, stems, and seeds can be used to make plastic that lasts longer
Категории: Biology

Stunning first image sent back by NASA’s planet-hunter satellite

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 20:46
The beauty of the skies is on display in this incredible image, the first sent back by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite on its way past the moon
Категории: Biology

Halo Jones: return of the 50th-century galactic adventurer

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 20:00
One of the great comic book characters of all time, and a pioneer for all women who seek powerful roles, gets a new lease of life
Категории: Biology

An AI can now tell how malnourished a child is just from a photo

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 18:06
A company in Kenya has devised a system that uses artificial intelligence to detect a child’s level of malnutrition from a photo, without bulky equipment or examinations
Категории: Biology

Can a repeat of disastrous Ebola epidemic be averted this time?

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 17:45
The latest outbreak of the deadly virus has spread to a city of a million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But hopes are high disaster can be avoided
Категории: Biology

Upend atom! We’ve found a whole new way of doing chemistry

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 14:00
We thought we knew how molecules worked – but the discovery of an entirely unknown class of reactions has forced us to rethink the basics
Категории: Biology

New algorithm can help spot faked photos before they go viral

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 14:00
Faked pictures can make very powerful propaganda if they get widely shared. A new algorithm aims to weed out doctored images before they spread
Категории: Biology

Feedback: Did dinosaurs fart? Science says yes

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 12:00
The ancestors of birds had some primitive habits. Plus: why you should take the advice of one Australian health food shop with a pinch of (organic) salt, and more
Категории: Biology

Ape ‘midwives’ spotted helping female bonobos give birth

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 11:50
When female bonobos went into labour, other females gathered around to keep them safe, swatting away flies and even seemingly trying to catch the baby as it emerged
Категории: Biology

The way toddlers waddle can teach robot footballers how to play

Genetics - пт, 2018-05-18 09:45
A robot football team trained to mimic how infants walk comprehensively beat others trained on geometric walking patterns
Категории: Biology

Receptors of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism, GPR91 and GPR99, mediate axon growth

PLOS Biology (new articles) - чт, 2018-05-17 23:00

by Hosni Cherif, François Duhamel, Bruno Cécyre, Alex Bouchard, Ariane Quintal, Sylvain Chemtob, Jean-François Bouchard

During the development of the visual system, high levels of energy are expended propelling axons from the retina to the brain. However, the role of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism in the development of the visual system has been overlooked. Here, we report that the carbohydrate metabolites succinate and α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and their respective receptor—GPR91 and GPR99—are involved in modulating retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projections toward the thalamus during visual system development. Using ex vivo and in vivo approaches, combined with pharmacological and genetic analyses, we revealed that GPR91 and GPR99 are expressed on axons of developing RGCs and have complementary roles during RGC axon growth in an extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2)-dependent manner. However, they have no effects on axon guidance. These findings suggest an important role for these receptors during the establishment of the visual system and provide a foundational link between carbohydrate metabolism and axon growth.
Категории: Biology, Journals

A third of ‘protected’ nature zones are quietly being ruined

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 21:00
The world’s nations have set up 200,000 protected areas in which nature is supposed to flourish, but in many cases the protection is pretty much theoretical
Категории: Biology

Someone is wrecking the ozone layer again. They must be stopped

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 19:47
For the health of our planet, and ourselves, we must find and foil those who breach crucial environmental treaties, says Lesley Evans Ogden
Категории: Biology

Frankenstein planets may form from the wreckage of dead worlds

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 17:12
When stars die, they can explode and destroy any planets nearby. But new worlds could arise out of the debris and some could reach the mass of 10 Earths
Категории: Biology

Mystery of the cosmic dawn: What’s eating the first starlight?

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 17:00
A shoestring experiment in the Australian outback has seen the signal of the very first stars – and a weird effect astronomers are struggling to explain
Категории: Biology

How tech bugs could be killing thousands in our hospitals

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 14:00
From falsely calculated drug doses to data-entry error, the true toll of medical IT glitches is only just becoming apparent – but there are obvious fixes
Категории: Biology

Harsh: Europe’s cannabis died just as the first farmers arrived

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 13:45
Cannabis – the source of the drug marijuana – virtually disappeared from Europe just as farmers arrived, so they didn’t get the chance to grow it for another 4500 years
Категории: Biology

Drones plus AI help to spot sick trees and plants in time

Genetics - чт, 2018-05-17 13:45
Drones fitted with multispectral cameras are scanning forests for beetle attack, and orchards and vineyards for signs of disease before it’s too late
Категории: Biology