One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues. This behavior is essential to the formation of an embryo and other processes, but it must be tightly controlled. A disturbance can lead to the spread of cancer cells or diseases like Spina bifida and Lissencephaly, in which cells fail to reach their proper destinations. Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo have now made a significant step forward in understanding cell motility.
The researchers discovered that a molecule called n-cofilin is critical for regulating cell movement. Most cells in the body are normally locked to their neighbors, tightly embedded in a tissue. Their connections to their neighbors depend on fibers built from long chains of a protein called actin. For an embryo to form properly, certain types of cells have to immigrate to new locations, where they help to form the face, muscles, and skin.
Before cells “set sail”, the actin fibers that bind them to their neighbors are untied and recycled. This not only allows the cells to move, but also changes their form, because actin fibers give the cell its basic shape. Cells carefully regulate the breakdown and assembly of actin fibers because if they are cast off at the wrong time and place, for example in a tumor, cancerous cells may spread throughout the body and form metastases.
Trista Dawson | alfa
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13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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09.01.2017 | Event News
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