How do the billions of cells communicate in order to perform tasks? The cells exert force on their environment through movement - and in doing so, they communicate. They work as a group in order to infiltrate their environment, perform wound healing and the like. They sense the stiffness or softness of their surroundings and this helps them connect and organize their collective effort. But when the connection between cells is distrubeddisturbed, a situation just like when cancer is initiated, can appear.
Most infectious bacteria and viruses bind to sugars on the surface of our cells. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have created a library of tens of thousands of natural cells containing all the sugars found on the surface of our cells. The library may help us understand the role played by sugars and their receptors in the immune system and the brain, the researchers behind the study explain.
The uncontrolled growth and division of cells can lead to the creation of tumours. The signalling molecule SHP2 is believed to play a crucial role in this process. But the question of how SHP2 becomes activated has never been fully resolved. Understanding the activation mechanism is, however, of fundamental importance for the development of anti-cancer drugs. Massimiliano Anselmi and Jochen Hub have recently managed to solve the twenty-year-old puzzle of SHP2 activation.
Researchers from Osaka University and JOANNEUM RESEARCH develop ultrathin piezoelectric flexible patches that harvest the body's energy to monitor the patient's pulse and blood pressure. This work may lead to novel biosensors and self-powered wearable electronics.
A new imaging technique that can capture movies of individual receptors on the surface of living cells in unprecedented detail could pave the way to a trove of new drugs.
Research has identified critical factors that enable dangerous bacteria to spread disease by surviving on surfaces in hospitals and kitchens.
Genome wide analyses have revealed that MSEI, a gene linked with anemia is also associated with insomnia. The correlation between the two conditions, however, remains largely unexplored in adults. Thus, in a cross-sectional study, researchers assessed the relation between anemia and insomnia in a large Chinese cohort. Their findings, published in Chinese Medical Journal, suggest that anemia increases the risk of insomnia. Further studies can help elucidate the underlying molecular and physiological associations.
Notch proteins are key regulators of growth and differentiation of both normal and cancer cells. Researchers in Turku, Finland, have now demonstrated that the activities of distinct Notch family members are modified differently by phosphorylation. These results can be used in the development of new cancer treatments, especially for hormone-dependent breast cancer.
Researchers led by Professors Ivan Berg (University of Münster) and Wolfgang Eisenreich (Technical University of Munich) have new insights into the citric acid cycle: Certain bacteria can use this central metabolic pathway "backwards", but to do so they must have very high concentrations of the enzyme citrate synthase and of carbon dioxide. This pathway may be a relic from the early development of life.
A research group led by Prof. Hiroyasu Nakano of Department of Biochemistry, Toho University Faculty of Medicine, found that interleukin 11 (IL-11)-positive cells rapidly appear in the colons of mice with colitis and colitis-associated colorectal cancers. In RNA-seq analysis of the gene expression profiles, they found that high expression of enriched genes in IL-11-positive fibroblasts correlated with short duration of disease-free survival in human colorectal cancer patients.