Scientists have discovered a new role for estrogen in maintaining health. Drs. Yuka Nagata and Kazuo Todokoro report in the December 1 issue of Genes & Development that the most abundant form of naturally occurring estrogen, estradiol, triggers the formation of blood platelet cells. This discovery has important clinical implications for the treatment of conditions associated with altered platelet counts, like anemia, certain leukemias, and even chemotherapy.
Blood is composed of 3 cell types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets circulate in the bloodstream to facilitate clotting and halt bleeding. Platelets are derived from a specialized bone marrow cell called a megakaryocyte. A mature megakaryocyte extends long cytoplasmic processes (termed proplatelets) from its cell surface that, in one of the most dramatic morphological changes known to cell biologists, simultaneously fragments into thousands of new platelet cells.
Dr. Nagata and colleagues set out to identify the cellular signal of this remarkable event. Previous work identified a gene regulator (what scientists refer to as a transcription factor) named p45 NF-E2 as being expressed in megakaryocyte cells and required for proplatelet formation. However, the target(s) of p45 NF-E2 were, until now, unknown.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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