Led by Dr. Janet Smith, this study offers important insights into the evolution of kinases, which are enzymes involved in cell communication pathways. Approximately 2.5% of human genes code for protein kinases, and mutations in many of these genes are at the root of a range of human diseases. Dictyostelium is a widely used model organism for scientific study, as it is remarkably similar to mammalian cells, and it is amenable to a range of laboratory techniques.
To solve the kinome of Dictyostelium, Dr. Smith and her colleagues at Boston Biomedical utilized the power of bioinformatics, a cutting edge scientific technique which employs databases and computer algorithms to allow researchers to gain information and compile data about genes and kinases in a fast and efficient way, which can be very useful for drug discovery and development.
According to Dr. Smith, Dictyostelium provides a simple model in which to study conserved cellular processes, and illuminates a period in the evolutionary history of the metazoa after the divergence of the plants but before that of the fungi. “Our findings document the impressive evolutionary creativity of the Dictyostelium kinome- a large portion of the kinases are unique to Dictyostelium, and are probably involved in unique aspects of this organism’s biology,” said Dr. Smith.
But conservation is also a major theme. By comparing the Dictyostelium kinome with those of other organisms, the authors find 46 types of kinases that appear to be conserved in all organisms, and are likely to be involved in fundamental cellular processes. “We believe this study will be very useful to researchers who are studying cell communication pathways in other organisms, including vertebrates, by demonstrating what aspects of signaling are conserved, and revealing opportunities to use Dictyostelium to understand important human proteins.”
Boston Biomedical Research Institute is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to the understanding, treatment and prevention of specific human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and conditions such as obesity and reproductive health problems.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine