At the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, the biologist Sylvia Fischer has discovered how organisms protect themselves against transposons. Transposons are pieces of DNA which can translocate themselves within the genome. Sometimes transposons cause damage to the DNA. Plants probably have a similar mechanism which protects them against viruses.
Biologists from Utrecht discovered that the nematode C. elegans keeps transposons in check with a sophisticated mechanism. Due to the mechanism, the transposons cannot make any of the proteins needed to jump through the DNA. In this manner the nematodes render the transposons virtually harmless. The dcr-1 gene seems to play a crucial role in the mechanism.
During the study, Sylvia Fischer also discovered how new transposons can arise. If a transposon jumps out of the DNA a hole remains in the DNA chain. The body’s recovery mechanism uses a transposon further along the DNA as an example to repair the damage. However, the example to be copied sometimes changes during the copying process. This gives rise to a new transposon in the form of a hybrid of the chosen example.
Michel Philippens | alfa
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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...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
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...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
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