When recovering from a heart attack or stroke, the body must restore blood flow in order to resupply cells with oxygen. Ironically, the process of reoxygenation - so necessary for full recovery - also generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), molecules that induce apoptosis, or cellular death. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Iowa have identified a biochemical strategy to block ROS - which effectively prevents cellular damage and death. Their study is published in February’s Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.
“We’ve known that oxidation can induce apoptosis,” said Toshinori Hoshi, PhD, Associate Professor in Penn’s Department of Physiology. “We also knew that the enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase type A - or MSRA - is a catalyst in reversing the oxidation of the amino acid methionine, an important building block of proteins.”
After using gene-transfer technology to insert extra MRSA into cells, the researchers noticed that the enzyme-packed cells were now protected from the damaging effects of ROS. “Not only were cells protected by an overproduction of MRSA, but our tests showed that the adverse oxidation process was reversed,” explains Hoshi.
Jen Miller | University of Pennsylvania
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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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