A team of scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science has revealed the structure of a cellular editor that “cuts and pastes” the first draft of RNA straight after it is formed from its DNA template. Many diseases appear to be tied to mistakes in this process, and understanding the workings of the machinery involved may lead to the ability to correct or prevent them in the future.
Since the discovery, around 25 years ago, that the bits of DNA in the genes that code for protein formation are interspersed with “filler” segments that have no known function, scientists have worked to understand the process by which the right sequences are lifted out and strung together to make a coherent set of instructions. This act, referred to as “RNA splicing,” takes place in the “spliceosome” situated in the cell nucleus. A large complex of proteins and short strands of RNA, the spliceosome distinguishes the beginnings and ends of coded segments, precisely cutting and stitching them together. Alternative splicing, which underlies the huge diversity of proteins in the body by allowing segments of the genetic code to be strung together in different ways, takes place in the spliceosome as well.
The team consisted of husband-and-wife scientists Prof Ruth Sperling of the Genetics Department of the Hebrew University and Prof Joseph Sperling of the Organic Chemistry Department of the Weizmann Institute; Ruth’s graduate student Maia Azubel; and Sharon Wolf of the Chemical Research Support Department at the Weizmann Institute. They produced the most detailed 3-D representation of the spliceosome’s structure to date with their study, published in the current edition of the journal Molecular Cell. Rather than follow previous attempts to unravel the workings of the splicing mechanism by studying spliceosomes created in test tubes, they managed to take spliceosomes directly from living cells and examine them under an electron microscope.
Jerry Barach | alfa
Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy