Cardiac fibrosis involves an increase of connective tissue in the cardiac muscle, causing a loss of function. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered that fibrosis occurs less frequently when microRNA 29 (miR-29) is suppressed in cardiac muscle cells. Older studies had suggested that it was in fact low levels of miR-29 that caused fibrosis. The new insights point to potential new approaches for developing drugs against fibrotic diseases.
Mussels protect themselves against environmental disturbances and enemies through a hard, calcareous shell. Increased ocean acidification makes it difficult for organisms to form their shells. In a study published today, in the international journal, Nature Communications, a group of scientists from the Kiel University and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel show that mussel larvae react sensitively to ocean acidification, which leads to reduced calcification rates and shell dissolution.
The Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1214 at the University of Konstanz has developed a method for synthesizing Europium (II) oxide nanoparticles -- a ferromagnetic semiconductor that is relevant for data storage and data transport.
Using a newly developed technique, researchers from Japan, Germany and the US have identified a key step in production of hydrogen gas by a bacterial enzyme. Understanding these reactions could be important in developing a clean-fuel economy powered by hydrogen.
Columbia University biologists have revealed a mechanism by which bacterial cells in crowded, oxygen-deprived environments access oxygen for energy production, ensuring survival of the cell. The finding could explain how some bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), are able to thrive in oxygen-poor environments like biofilms and resist antibiotics. P. aeruginosa biofilm infections are a leading cause of death for people suffering from cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that affects the lungs and the digestive system.
Three new research studies from the University of Texas at Arlington have found harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near unconventional natural gas extraction sites.
A new nanomapping technology could transform the way disease-causing genetic mutations are diagnosed and discovered.
Communication is often mired in contradiction -- also in the brain. Neuroscientists at IST Austria were now able to resolve one such contradiction. The role of Synaptotagmin 7 has been controversial: There was a contradiction between the function it seemed to have, and the characteristics of signal transmission observed. Now, for the first time, scientists defined its functional contribution at an inhibitory GABAergic synapse: it ensures the efficiency of high-frequency inhibitory synaptic transmission.
A new study from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is the first to show precisely how a process in nerve cells, called the S-nitrosylation (SNO) reaction, may contribute to Parkinson's disease.
Scientists have developed a revolutionary dipstick technology that allows DNA and RNA to be extracted from living organisms in as little as 30 seconds. The extracted DNA or RNA can then be used for a range of applications including disease diagnosis, the scientists report in a paper publishing Nov. 21 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.