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Emilia Fisicaro, Carlotta Compari, Franco Bacciottini, Laura Contardi, Erika Pongiluppi, Nadia Barbero, Guido Viscardi, Pierluigi Quagliotto, Gaetano Donofrio, Marie Pierre Krafft
Biological and thermodynamic properties of a new homologous series of highly fluorinated bispyridinium cationic gemini surfactants, differing in the length of the spacer bridging the pyridinium polar heads in 1,1' position, are reported for the first time. Interestingly, gene delivery ability is closely associated with the spacer length due to a structural change of the molecule in solution. This conformation change is allowed when the spacer reaches the right length, and it is suggested by the trends of the apparent and partial molar enthalpies vs molality...
October 15, 2016: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Irina Trofimova, Alla Krasikova
Tandemly organized highly repetitive DNA sequences are crucial structural and functional elements of eukaryotic genomes. Despite extensive evidence, satellite DNA remains an enigmatic part of the eukaryotic genome, with biological role and significance of tandem repeat transcripts remaining rather obscure. Data on tandem repeats transcription in amphibian and avian model organisms is fragmentary despite their genomes being thoroughly characterized. Review systematically covers historical and modern data on transcription of amphibian and avian satellite DNA in somatic cells and during meiosis when chromosomes acquire special lampbrush form...
October 20, 2016: RNA Biology
Gordon G Carmichael
Murine polyomavirus (MPyV) infects mouse cells and is highly oncogenic in immunocompromised hosts and in other rodents. Its genome is a small, circular DNA molecule of just over 5000 base pairs and it encodes only seven polypeptides. While seemingly simply organized, this virus has adopted an unusual genome structure and some unusual uses of cellular quality control pathways that, together, allow an amazingly complex and varied pattern of gene regulation. In this review we discuss how MPyV leverages these various pathways to control its life cycle...
October 17, 2016: Viruses
Runyu Guo, Jinke Gu, Meng Wu, Maojun Yang
Respirasome, a huge molecular machine that carries out cellular respiration, has gained growing attention since its discovery, because respiration is the most indispensable biological process in almost all living creatures. The concept of respirasome has renewed our understanding of the respiratory chain organization, and most recently, the structure of respirasome solved by Yang's group from Tsinghua University (Gu et al. Nature 237(7622):639-643, 2016) firstly presented the detailed interactions within this huge molecular machine, and provided important information for drug design and screening...
October 14, 2016: Protein & Cell
Eriko Aoyama, Takako Hattori, Satoshi Kubota, Masaharu Takigawa
Recombinant proteins are important tools for understanding molecular functions in vitro. Recent progress in the generation of recombinant proteins is amazing. However, when we plan to produce them, we should choose the best method according to the nature and the use of the target recombinant protein. Degradation and mis-folding are major problems in producing active recombinant CCN2. The method shown in this chapter describes the appropriate conditions under which we can produce CCN2 and its truncated fragments in Escherichia coli...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Nathalie Boissot, Alexandra Schoeny, Flavie Vanlerberghe-Masutti
We review half a century of research on Cucumis melo resistance to Aphis gossypii from molecular to field levels. The Vat gene is unique in conferring resistance to both A. gossypii and the viruses it transmits. This double phenotype is aphid clone-dependent and has been observed in 25 melon accessions, mostly from Asia. It is controlled by a cluster of genes including CC-NLR, which has been characterized in detail. Copy-number polymorphisms (for the whole gene and for a domain that stands out in the LLR region) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in the Vat cluster...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Shabbir Muhammad, Masayoshi Nakano, Abdullah G Al-Sehemi, Yasutaka Kitagawa, Ahmad Irfan, Aijaz R Chaudhry, Ryohei Kishi, Soichi Ito, Kyohei Yoneda, Kotaro Fukuda
Carbon atoms have the potential to produce a variety of fascinating all-carbon structures with amazing electronic and mechanical properties. Over the last few decades, several efforts have been made using experimental and computational techniques to functionalize graphene, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes for potential use in modern hi-tech electronic, medicinal, optical and nonlinear optical (NLO) applications. Since photons replaced electrons as a carrier of information, the field of NLO material design has drawn immense interest in contemporary materials science...
September 30, 2016: Nanoscale
Alessandra Zulian, Marco Schiavone, Valentina Giorgio, Paolo Bernardi
The hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction can be a general mechanism for cell death in muscle diseases is 40 years old. The key elements of the proposed pathogenetic sequence (cytosolic Ca(2+) overload followed by excess mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake, functional and then structural damage of mitochondria, energy shortage, worsened elevation of cytosolic Ca(2+) levels, hypercontracture of muscle fibers, cell necrosis) have been confirmed in amazing detail by subsequent work in a variety of models. The explicit implication of the hypothesis was that it "may provide the basis for a more rational treatment for some conditions even before their primary causes are known" (Wrogemann and Pena, 1976, Lancet, 1, 672-674)...
September 30, 2016: Pharmacological Research: the Official Journal of the Italian Pharmacological Society
Aleksandra S Tsarkova, Zinaida M Kaskova, Ilia V Yampolsky
Bioluminescence, the ability of a living organism to produce light through a chemical reaction, is one of Nature's most amazing phenomena widely spread among marine and terrestrial species. There are various different mechanisms underlying the emission of "cold light", but all involve a small molecule, luciferin, that provides energy for light-generation upon oxidation, and a protein, luciferase, that catalyzes the reaction. Different species often use different proteins and substrates in the process, which suggests that the ability to produce light evolved independently several times throughout evolution...
September 26, 2016: Accounts of Chemical Research
Helena Sá, Rita Leal, Manuel Santos Rosa
To deride the hope of progress is the ultimate fatuity, the last word in poverty of spirit and meanness of mind. There is no need to be dismayed by the fact that we cannot yet envisage a definitive solution of our problems, a resting-place beyond which we need not try to go. -P.B. Medawar, 1969* [Formula: see text] Thomas E. Starlz, also known as the Father of Clinical Transplantation, once said that organ transplantation was the supreme exception to the rule that most major advances in medicine spring from discoveries in basic science [Starzl T...
September 28, 2016: International Reviews of Immunology
Julien Wist
Untargeted strategies have changed the rules of the game in complex mixture analysis, introducing an amazing potential for medical and biological applications that is just starting to be tapped. But with great power come great challenges; although untargeted mixture analysis opens the road for many exciting possibilities, the road is still full of perils. On the one hand, this article highlights some of the difficulties that need to be sorted for mixture analysis by NMR to fulfill its potential, along with insight on how they may be managed...
September 26, 2016: Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry: MRC
Xueshan Cao, Katsuhiko Tabuchi
Neurexins and neuroligins are two distinct families of single-pass transmembrane proteins localized at pre- and postsynapses, respectively. They trans-synaptically interact with each other and induce synapse formation and maturation. Common variants and rare mutations, including copy number variations, short deletions, and single or small nucleotide changes in neurexin and neuroligin genes have been linked to the neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In this review, we summarize the structure and basic synaptic function of neurexins and neuroligins, followed by behaviors and synaptic phenotypes of knock-in and knock-out mouse of these family genes...
September 21, 2016: Neuroscience Research
C Vacacela Gomez, M Pisarra, M Gravina, J M Pitarke, A Sindona
Among their amazing properties, graphene and related low-dimensional materials show quantized charge-density fluctuations-known as plasmons-when exposed to photons or electrons of suitable energies. Graphene nanoribbons offer an enhanced tunability of these resonant modes, due to their geometrically controllable band gaps. The formidable effort made over recent years in developing graphene-based technologies is however weakened by a lack of predictive modeling approaches that draw upon available ab initio methods...
September 9, 2016: Physical Review Letters
A Uncini
We are approaching the centenary of the first description of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The past 30 years had witnessed an amazing progress in the understanding of the immunological and pathological mechanisms of this disorder. We now recognize that Guillain-Barré syndrome is remarkably heterogeneous and under this umbrella term are several variants and subtypes with distinct clinical, electrophysiological and immunopathological features. This review is a historical journey, through a personal perspective, following the milestones that led to the current substantial knowledge of Guillain-Barré syndrome...
October 2016: Revue Neurologique
John Medwyn Hutson, Ruili Li, Jaya Vikraman, Moshe Loebenstein
Testicular descent occurs in most mammals in two main steps that have different hormonal control and anatomical processes. The evolution of testicular descent reveals the same basic processes in humans and animals, with minor differences in timing and anatomy, especially the location of the scrotum and the processus vaginalis. Animal models are useful as they reveal some embryological processes that cannot be studies easily in humans, such as the potential role of the mammary line and the role of the genitofemoral nerve...
October 2016: European Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Tim H W Cornelissen, Melissa L-H Võ
People have an amazing ability to identify objects and scenes with only a glimpse. How automatic is this scene and object identification? Are scene and object semantics-let alone their semantic congruity-processed to a degree that modulates ongoing gaze behavior even if they are irrelevant to the task at hand? Objects that do not fit the semantics of the scene (e.g., a toothbrush in an office) are typically fixated longer and more often than objects that are congruent with the scene context. In this study, we overlaid a letter T onto photographs of indoor scenes and instructed participants to search for it...
September 19, 2016: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
Grigory M Arzumanyan, Nelya V Doroshkevich, Kahramon Z Mamatkulov, Sergey N Shashkov, Egor V Zinovev, Alexey V Vlasov, Ekaterina S Round, Valentin I Gordeliy
Serial crystallography at last generation X-ray synchrotron sources and free electron lasers enabled data collection with micrometer and even submicrometer size crystals, which have resulted in amazing progress in structural biology. However, imaging of small crystals, which although is highly demanded, remains a challenge, especially in the case of membrane protein crystals. Here we describe a new extremely sensitive method of the imaging of protein crystals that is based on coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering...
October 10, 2016: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Robert Root-Bernstein, Yunsoo Kim, Adithya Sanjay, Zachary F Burton
Multiple models have been advanced for the evolution of cloverleaf tRNA. Here, the conserved archaeal tRNA core (75-nt) is posited to have evolved from ligation of three proto-tRNA minihelices (31-nt) and two-symmetrical 9-nt deletions within joined acceptor stems (93 - 18 = 75-nt). The primary evidence for this conclusion is that the 5-nt stem 7-nt anticodon loop and the 5-nt stem 7-nt T loop are structurally homologous and related by coding sequence. We posit that the D loop was generated from a third minihelix (31-nt) in which the stem and loop became rearranged after 9-nt acceptor stem deletions and cloverleaf folding...
October 19, 2016: Transcription
T Vats, S Dutt, R Kumar, P F Siril
Amazing conductivity, perfect honeycomb sp(2) arrangement and the high theoretical surface area make pristine graphene as one of the best materials suited for application as catalyst supports. Unfortunately, the low reactivity of the material makes the formation of nanocomposite with inorganic materials difficult. Here we report an easy approach to synthesize nanocomposites of pristine graphene with palladium (Pd-G) using swollen liquid crystals (SLCs) as a soft template. The SLC template gives the control to deposit very small Pd particles of uniform size on G as well as RGO...
2016: Scientific Reports
Sheilagh M Maguiness
Over the past decade, I have been amazed at the growth in the field of vascular anomalies. The recognition of vascular birthmarks as a defined area of medicine is a relatively recent event. The International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA) was founded by Drs John Mulliken and Anthony Young in the late 1970s. Mulliken and Glowacki's sentinel 1982 paper on the biologic classification of vascular anomalies further established the field, by providing clarity of nomenclature and unifying concepts that had previously been lacking...
March 2016: Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery
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