Transcriptional Mutagenesis may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and aging
Two types of DNA damage that frequently befall most cells on an everyday basis can lead to the creation of damaged proteins that may contribute to neurodegeneration, aging and cancer, according to research by scientists at Emory University School of Medicine, published in the October 23 issue of the journal Molecular Cell.
The investigators used e. coli cells as a model system to study specific kinds of genetic damages that occur in all non-dividing cells undergoing transcription –– the everyday activity in which cells produce the proteins necessary to carry out bodily processes. The vast majority of scientists studying genetic mutations have focused instead on the cell replication process, in which damaged and unrepaired DNA within multiplying cells can be copied before cells divide and passed along to a new generation of cells. Most of the cells within organisms are no longer replicating, however, and instead spend their time manufacturing proteins.
Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
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Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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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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