Reactive oxygen species (ROS), or oxygen radicals, have been identified as major contributors to signs of premature aging, increased cancer prevalence linked to inflammation-associated syndromes and a variety of human diseases. Now scientists at the University of California, San Diego Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) have identified a key network of DNA repair and cell cycle control genes in yeast that prevents the deleterious effects of ROS.
"DNA repair and cell cycle control mechanisms are important guardians against cancerous changes in human cells," says Dr. Richard Kolodner, LICR Member and senior author of the study. "However, the effects of ROS on these cellular responses have not been well characterized. Weve now identified a group of genes that cooperate to suppress DNA mutations and the genome rearrangements that are the hallmarks of cancer cells that occur in response to ROS."
Dr. Kolodner and lead author, Meng-Er Huang, generated various yeast strains each with a mutation in the TSA1 gene, which results in increased production of ROS, plus a mutation in one or more genes involved in DNA repair or cell cycle control. Cell survival and accumulation of DNA mutations and gross chromosomal rearrangements in each strain were then analysed to identify genes that cooperate to prevent the deleterious effects of ROS and promote normal cell survival.
Sarah L. White | EurekAlert!
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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.
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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.
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