In the latest January 10th issue of Cell, a discovery is published by Barends et al. of Leiden University about the artful way by which an infecting plant virus succeeds in conquering the protein factories (ribosomes) of a host cell for subsequent enforced production of viral proteins. To this aim, the virus uses a molecular ’Trojan Horse’ mimicking the shape of transfer RNA, the regular molecular ’van’ for the delivery of amino acids as protein building-stones into those factories.
In the case of Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus, the transfer-RNA mimic appears to have also smuggled the complete viral RNA in its cargo, with a coercive programme for the production of the viral replicase enzyme. As a result of the replicase action, many new copies of virus RNA are generated in the interior of the host cell for subsequent production of a load of new virus particles. Also other RNA viruses might deploy a comparable ’Trojan Horse’ in their molecular ’struggle for life’.
From a philosophical point this novel mechanism may also inspire to further image forming about the molecular evolution of ribosomal protein synthesis at the genesis of primordial life from an RNA world.
Dr. Barend Kraal | alfa
For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy