For the first time, researchers have sequenced all 36 genes of novel receptors that appear to play a critical role in the innate immune protection of zebrafish – an achievement that could lead to a better understanding of infectious diseases and certain cancers.
Their paper, titled "Resolution of the novel immune-type receptor gene cluster in zebrafish," appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This is the most genetically complex system of innate immune receptors thus far described,"said principal investigator Gary Litman, PhD, Hines professor of pediatrics who works at the Childrens Research Institute at the University of South Florida and All Childrens Hospital. "They may be related to receptors in humans involved in natural killer cell function." Natural killer cells sense and kill malignant cells and cells infected with certain viruses.
The zebrafish, a small species of freshwater aquarium fish, increasingly serves as an animal model for the study of genetic diseases. Like humans, it has two types of immune systems – innate and adaptive. Innate immune systems provide a first line of defense against foreign microorganisms. But, humans and other jawed vertebrates have also evolved more customized or adaptive immune systems, which use an arsenal of antibodies and T-cell receptors to fend off diverse pathogens and prevent repeat attacks.
Anne DeLotto Baier | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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