Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which the genetic defect underlying cystic fibrosis (CF) leads to fatal bacterial colonization of the lungs. The new findings, published today in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that an aerosol treatment aimed at balancing pH in lung cells could be developed to stave off or delay such infections.
The most common inherited lethal disorder in Caucasians, CF stems from mutations in a gene that encodes the so-called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Although scientists have known that for some time, exactly how the dysfunctional protein relates to the chronic respiratory infections that characterize the disease has remained a mystery. Enter Jens Poschet of the University of New Mexico and colleagues, who found that the defect results in the excess production of acid in lung cells. This, the team determined, prevents the cells from attaching key sugar molecules to certain proteins dotting their surfaces. The absence of those sugars, in turn, enables bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa to latch onto the cells much more easily—a prelude to infection.
Importantly, when the researchers restored normal acidity to such cells in vitro, the bacteria could no longer stick to them. "This was an exciting discovery to us, because in the test tube at least we can correct the deficiency with simple maneuvers," team member Vojo Deretic of the University of New Mexico remarks. "We already have ion pump inhibitors and antacids for treating heartburn," he adds. "If we can design similar compounds to go to the lungs, we might have a simple solution to greatly improve the health of CF patients."
Kate Wong | Scientific American
Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
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.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
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.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences