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Cell senescence is regulated by innate DNA sensing

02-Aug-2017

Cells in the body or in cultures eventually stop replicating. This phenomenon is called "senescence" and is triggered by shortening of telomeres, oxidative stress or genetic damage to the cells, either acute or simply due to the cell growing "old". Understanding the causes and impact of ...

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3-D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement

24-Jul-2017

EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton - a ...

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Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale

26-May-2017

Nanometric-sized water drops are everywhere - in the air as droplets or aerosols, in our bodies as medication, and in the earth, within rocks and oil fields. To understand the behavior of these drops, it is necessary to know how they interact with their hydrophobic environment. This interaction ...

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A fresh look inside the protein nano-machines

24-May-2017

Proteins perform vital functions of life, they digest food and fight infections and cancer. They are in fact nano-machines, each one of them designed to perform a specific task. But how did they evolve to match those needs, how did the genes encode the structure and function of proteins? ...

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Discovery of a key regulatory gene in cardiac valve formation

24-May-2017

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have identified a key regulator gene for the formation of cardiac valves - a process crucial to normal embryonic heart development. The heart is the first functional organ that develops in vertebrate embryos. In humans, it starts to beat ...

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Hydrogen bonds directly detected for the first time

16-May-2017

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are ...

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Cracking the code of Huntington's disease

24-Mar-2017

Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients to lose their ability to move, speak, and even think. It is caused by a gene mutation that produces an abnormal form of the protein huntingtin, which aggregates and builds up inside neurons of the cortex and striatum. Small ...

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New optical nanosensor improves brain mapping accuracy, opens way for more applications

03-Mar-2017

A new optical nanosensor enabling more accurate measurement and spatiotemporal mapping of the brain also shows the way forward for design of future multimodal sensors and a broader range of applications, say researchers. Neuronal activity results in the release of ionized potassium into ...

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Molecular structure of the cell nucleoskeleton revealed for the first time

03-Mar-2017

Using 3D electron microscopy, structural biologists from the University of Zurich succeeded in elucidating the architecture of the lamina of the cell nucleus at molecular resolution for the first time. This scaffold stabilizes the cell nucleus in higher eukaryotes and is involved in organizing, ...

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Screening the most useful nanoparticles for medicine

07-Feb-2017

The use of nanoparticles -- small, virus-sized elements developed under laboratory conditions -- is increasingly widespread in the world of biomedicine. This rapidly-evolving technology offers hope for many medical applications, whether for diagnosis or therapies. In oncology, for example, the ...

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