New tool mines scientific texts for fusion protein facts: Computational approach could aid efforts to develop personalized cancer treatments

A new computational tool called ProtFus screens scientific literature to validate predictions about the activity of fusion proteins — proteins encoded by the joining of two genes that previously encoded two separate proteins. Somnath Tagore in the Frenkel-Morgenstern Lab at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and colleagues present ProtFus in PLOS Computational Biology. Different kinds of fusion proteins can arise naturally in […]

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Thermally stable TB vaccine closer to reality thanks to microscopic silica cages: A promising TB vaccine can be protected from heat damage

Scientists working on a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine have achieved a major step forward by showing that a promising TB antigen and a novel vaccine adjuvant can be protected from heat damage with a technique developed at the University of Bath. Their method prevents these crucial vaccine components from spoiling outside of a fridge — meaning a thermally stable vaccine […]

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Mankai duckweed plant found to offer health benefits

Mankai, a new high-protein aquatic plant strain of duckweed, has significant potential as a superfood and provides glycemic control after carbohydrate consumption, a team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has determined. Hila Zelicha, a registered dietician (R.D.) and Ph.D. student in the BGU Department of Public Health and her BGU colleagues researched the glycemic aspect of […]

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High-risk pregnancy: The interferon effect: Discovery of a cellular mechanism involved in abnormal placental development during some high-risk pregnancies

High-risk pregnancies occur frequently and may be caused by various factors. It is estimated that 10 to 20% of pregnant women miscarry during their first trimester of pregnancy. Slow fetal growth may also arise as a result of maternal infection with certain microbes, parasites or viruses (such as toxoplasmosis or infection with rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes or Zika) or because […]

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Keeping a cell’s powerhouse in shape

A German-Swiss team around Professor Oliver Daumke from the MDC has investigated how a protein of the dynamin family deforms the inner mitochondrial membrane. The results, which also shed light on a hereditary disease of the optic nerve, have been published in Nature. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, generating energy in the form of chemical compounds such as […]

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Cell-killing proteins suppress listeria without killing cells

New North Carolina State University research shows that key proteins known for their ability to prevent viral infections by inducing cell death can also block certain bacterial infections without triggering the death of the host cells. Rather than killing host cells infected by Listeria in the gastrointestinal tract, the RIPK3 and MLKL proteins recognize the chemical composition of the bacteria […]

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Pan-filovirus T-cell vaccine protects mice from Ebola and Marburg

Vaccines that induce protective T-cell responses could protect against members across the filovirus family, according to a study published February 28 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Tomáš Hanke of the University of Oxford, Bette Korber of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and colleagues. Developing an effective vaccine against filovirus outbreaks is an important public health aim. Vaccine candidates […]

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Fine-tuning cell death: New component of death machinery revealed

An important component of the microscopic machinery that drives cell death has been identified by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists. Studying the ‘pro-death’ machinery that forces damaged, diseased or unwanted cells to die, the research team revealed a protein called VDAC2 was critical for the function of a key pro-death protein called Bax. The team also showed VDAC2 contributed […]

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How your muscles form

All vertebrates need muscles to function; they are the most abundant tissue in the human body and are integral to movement. In a recent article published in Nature Communications, an international team of researchers discovered two proteins essential to the development of skeletal muscle. This research, led by Jean-François Côté, a professor at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and […]

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Chlamydia attacks with Frankenstein protein: The bacterium remodels human cells for its own nefarious purposes

When Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide, infects a human cell, it hijacks parts of the host to build protective layers around itself. Inside this makeshift fortress, the bug grows and reproduces, eventually bursting out in search of a new target and killing the host cell. While scientists have known for […]

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