Being directly responsible for a great majority of processes in living cells, proteins are the most important class of biological molecules. They are literally ‘molecular machines’ which facilitate the import of nutrients into the cell and expulsion of waste products from it, production of energy and transportation of material within the cell, as well as cellular respiration and mechanical motion. Due to their immense importance, proteins are among the most vigorously studied topics in biology today.
Over half a million different protein species have been identified in humans, each of them related to particular types of human cells. Different tissues, such as muscles, bones, nerves or skin, are distinguished by the unique ‘protein fingerprint’ – the specific relative abundance of different proteins contained in their cells. Moreover, pathological changes in any type of tissue necessarily have an impact on the tissue’s protein composition, and therefore protein fingerprinting can be used for early diagnostics and identification of various diseases such as tumors or infections.
Unfortunately, producing a good quality protein fingerprint has until now been a complicated, time consuming and expensive enterprise. However, based on their research of tumors conducted on horseradish plant tissue, the Croatian team proposed a novel approach to bypass this obstacle. Applying computational methods of artificial intelligence, they ‘trained’ a computer to precisely extract the most relevant information on the protein fingerprint from rather ‘fuzzy’ experimental data obtained by 1D protein electrophoresis, a well known, simple, quick and cheap experimental method of molecular biology. Their result hence opens up the possibility for development of a cheap, convenient and reliable method for producing good quality protein fingerprints.
Duje Bonacci | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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