Conversations with Nishimura Yoshiki: Chloroplasts and Hollidays

Chloroplasts are essential to plant life. They are found in every plant cell. Photosynthesis occurs within the organelles’ interior, converting sunlight into usable energy stored in the form of ATP and NADP. That energy gradually makes its way through the entire food chain. To say that understanding and possibly manipulating chloroplasts is important is an … Continue reading Conversations with Nishimura Yoshiki: Chloroplasts and Hollidays

Conversations with Saito Susumu: Saving the world from plastics 

Everyone knows that plastics are destroying the world. It's really no secret. Yet since the 1950s, when mass produced plastics started appearing everywhere from Tupperware to telephones, the amount of non-biodegradable, barely destructible plastics manufactured around the world has increased every year. In time, they won't only full landfills but also our streets. Microplastics already … Continue reading Conversations with Saito Susumu: Saving the world from plastics 

Conversations with Stephen Tsang: Putting CRISPR to the test

CRISPR-cas9 has revolutionized the fields of genetics and genome editing. Since it’s discovery, researchers have adopted a full-speed-ahead approach to employing the tool in the lab. And rightly so. It has provided researchers with a precise and easily reproducible way of making alterations to the genes of any organism they want. It's been used to … Continue reading Conversations with Stephen Tsang: Putting CRISPR to the test

Conversations with Oliver Lieleg: Biofilms, lotus leaves, and rose petals

Biofilms. They’re everywhere. Coating our teeth. Lining the tubes that supply our water. Corroding the pipes transporting gas across thousands of miles. And yet, despite decades of research, they’ve been unwilling to reveal their secrets to researchers. Much of this has been due to technological limitations. For a long time the only way to study … Continue reading Conversations with Oliver Lieleg: Biofilms, lotus leaves, and rose petals

Common antimicrobial may lead to birth defects

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have discovered that exposure to environmental levels of triclocarban (TCC), an antibacterial chemical common in personal care products like soaps and lotions as well as in the medical field, can transfer from mother to offspring and interfere with lipid metabolism. Ultimately, the findings could have implications for human health. The … Continue reading Common antimicrobial may lead to birth defects

Dual gene and drug delivery vehicles improve cancer treatment

Clinicians today have an arsenal of more than 200 drugs at their disposal for treating a range of cancers -- 68 drugs were approved between 2011 and 2016 alone. But many chemotherapeutic agents pose stubborn challenges: they cause serious side effects because they kill healthy cells in addition to cancer cells; some forms of cancer … Continue reading Dual gene and drug delivery vehicles improve cancer treatment

Controlling checkpoints leads to better allergy therapies

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the regulation of immune cells that play a pivotal role in allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema. They have identified a 'checkpoint' manned by these immune cells that, if barred, can halt the development of the lung inflammation associated with allergies. The … Continue reading Controlling checkpoints leads to better allergy therapies

Fruit flies tend to be less violent to siblings

Male fruit flies with strong family ties are less likely to become abusive during mating than others, according to new Oxford research. Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) courtship is known to be a violent affair. Males compete aggressively for a female's attention, attacking each other with their front legs -- often harming the object of their … Continue reading Fruit flies tend to be less violent to siblings

Researchers target enzyme to slow bacteria from spreading

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have gained key structural insights into the machinery employed by opportunistic, disease-causing bacteria, which may help chemists design new drugs to inhibit them. The scientists, led by Fellow Emeritus in Trinity's School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Professor Martin Caffrey, used next-gen X-ray crystallography techniques to 'look under the bacterial bonnet' … Continue reading Researchers target enzyme to slow bacteria from spreading

More evidence indicates common food additives cause obesity

Can chemicals that are added to breakfast cereals and other everyday products make you obese? Growing evidence from animal experiments suggests the answer may be "yes." But confirming these findings in humans has faced formidable obstacles - until now. A new study published today in Nature Communications details how Cedars-Sinai investigators developed a novel platform … Continue reading More evidence indicates common food additives cause obesity

Petroglyphs suggest ancient fascination with solar eclipse 

As the hullabaloo surrounding the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun swells by the day, a University of Colorado Boulder faculty member says a petroglyph in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon may represent a total eclipse that occurred there a thousand years ago. CU Boulder Professor Emeritus J. McKim "Kim" Malville said the petroglyph -- … Continue reading Petroglyphs suggest ancient fascination with solar eclipse 

Researchers link marijuana use with hypertension 

Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. "Steps are being taken towards legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana in the United States, and rates of recreational marijuana use may increase substantially as a result," said lead author Barbara A … Continue reading Researchers link marijuana use with hypertension 

Keeping track of tastes’ complex organization pathways

New research at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has revealed how special molecules help the tongue communicate with the brain to identify the correct taste. Using this knowledge, scientists were able rewire the taste-system of mice to perceive sweet stimuli as bitter tastes, and vice versa. The discovery provides new insights into how the tongue … Continue reading Keeping track of tastes’ complex organization pathways

Hepatitis C treatment at a crossroads in Australia 

Tens of thousands of Australians have been cured of Hepatitis C since new treatments were made universally available last year, and a report released last month said Australia is on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2026. But while new treatments continue to dramatically reshape the landscape, data from the Centre for Social Research in … Continue reading Hepatitis C treatment at a crossroads in Australia