New research has shown, using human tissue biopsies - a hypothesis that until now could only be argued indirectly using cell cultures – that the significant increase in genomic "disorder" that is associated with breast cancer occurs in the transition between the typical hyperplasia and the in situ carcinoma, coinciding with a reduction to a critical minimum in the cell chromosome terminations (known as telomeres). This process of critical reduction, occurring due to the accumulation of cell divisions, causes problems in the cell division process, giving rise to cells with an abnormal genetic content. These cells are normally detected and eliminated from the organism thanks to a complex control and defence mechanism, but the activation of a protein known as telomerase is capable of short-circuiting these defence mechanisms and perpetuate these cells with abnormal genetic content, facilitating the development of the cancer.
The research work was carried out in the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy at Berkeley (California) in collaboration with the University of California in San Francisco.
The contribution of the Spanish scientists Carlos Ortiz de Solórzano and Enrique García Rodríguez to the research was the development of programmes for the analysis of images from confocal 3D microscopy by which each cell can be observed separately and the amount of DNA in each cell nucleus determined. The number of de copies of genes involved in the development of the cancer and the number and length of the telomeres of these cells can be thus determined. This study would not have been possible without the 3D scientific visualisation programmes. The task group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was directed by Dr. Carlos Ortiz de Solórzano, who leads a microscopy and biomedical image analysis group.
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
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Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
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...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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27.03.2017 | Life Sciences