Two new studies in the March Cell Metabolism reveal a survival mechanism by which cells adapt to oxygen starvation by ratcheting down their demand. The mechanism serves to protect against the potentially fatal production of free radicals when oxygen is scarce, one group reported. The findings may also have important implications for understanding the physiology of cancerous tumors, the researchers said, suggesting new combination treatment strategies for fighting the disease.
When the supply of oxygen from the bloodstream fails to meet demand from body tissues--as can occur in the exercising muscle, ischemic hearts, or tumors--hypoxia results, the researchers explained. Cells adapt to low oxygen conditions by activating a "program of gene-expression changes" initiated by so-called hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) transcription factor.
"Over a century ago, Pasteur described that hypoxic cells increase the conversion of glucose [the bodys primary energy source] to lactate, an effect that to date had been primarily attributed to the activities of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors," said study author Chi Dang, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The accompanying decrease in cellular respiration in hypoxia was thought to result passively from the paucity of the required oxygen."
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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