Scientists who developed the first yeast model of Parkinsons disease (PD) have been able to describe the mechanisms of an important genes role in the disease. Tiago Fleming Outeiro, Ph.D., and Susan Lindquist, Ph.D., of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied the genes actions under normal conditions and under abnormal conditions to learn how and when the genes product, alpha-synuclein, becomes harmful to surrounding cells. The scientists created a yeast model that expresses the alpha-synuclein gene, which has been implicated in Parkinsons disease (PD). Yeast models are often used in the study of genetic diseases because they offer researchers a simple system that allows them to clarify how genes work.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the study, which appears in the December 5, 2003, issue of Science.
The alpha-synuclein protein, which is found broadly in the brain, has been implicated in several neurodegenerative disorders. Sometimes a mutation or a misfolding of the protein causes the problems; other times there are too many copies of the normal gene. A study earlier this year reported that patients with a rare familial form of PD had too many normal copies of the alpha-synuclein gene, which resulted in a buildup of protein inside brain cells, causing the symptoms of PD.
Margo Warren | EurekAlert!
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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