Beyond mere blueprints: Variable gene expression patterns and type 1 diabetes
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Genetics plays a major role in determining a person's risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but environmental and lifestyle factors are also important. In an article recently published in Chinese Medical Journal, a team of researchers explore the interplay of genetic and environmental factors by summarizing the literature on type 1 diabetes and epigenetics -- the study of how gene expression patterns can be modified. These findings have important implications in treating type 1 diabetes.
Chronic stress could be one reason why some animal orphans have shorter lives and less offspring. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the Institute of Cognitive Sciences, CNRS in Lyon assessed if, as orphan humans, orphan chimpanzees are exposed to chronic stress. They found that maternal loss is stressful but orphans experience little chronic stress since stress hormones return to normal after two years, possibly thanks to care provided by other chimpanzees.
Scientists have identified key molecular events in the developing human embryo between days 7 and 14 -- one of the most mysterious, yet critical, stages of our development.
Once thought to be extinct, lobe-finned coelacanths are enormous fish that live deep in the ocean. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on June 17 have evidence that, in addition to their impressive size, coelacanths also can live for an impressively long time--perhaps nearly a century.
Weddell seals, the southernmost born mammal, are known as champion divers. But they don't begin life that way. Cal Poly researchers examined the development of diving behavior in Weddell seal pups and found that they time their dives with their mother but likely do not learn to forage at that time. Instead, they focus their early efforts on learning to swim and navigate under the sea ice.
Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have determined how certain short protein fragments, called peptides, can protect neuronal cells found in the light-sensing retina layer at the back of the eye. The peptides might someday be used to treat degenerative retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Chemical additives used in plastic production have been found in herring gull eggs, new research shows.
Researchers from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology have found that plants balance growth and genome maintenance by organizing their responses to damage. Plants can't replace dead cells as animals do, and must deal with DNA damage without halting growth. Combined control of the plant hormones cytokinin and auxin allows plants to organize different DNA damage responses while minimizing cell death. This study will have broad applications to research on plants and other organisms.
Proper chromosome segregation into two future daughter cells requires the mitotic spindle to elongate in anaphase. However, although some candidate proteins are implicated in this process, the molecular mechanism that drives spindle elongation in human cells has been unknown, until now! Researchers at the Croatian Ru?er Boškovi? Institute (RBI) have discovered the exact molecular mechanism of bridging microtubules sliding and its role in proper distribution of genetic material during cell division.
Researchers from Osaka University used innovative imaging techniques to demonstrate symmetric collective alignment of nuclei in the muscle cells of the anterior midgut of the Drosophila embryo. This 'collective nuclear behavior' further influences bilateral asymmetry in the development of internal organs. A clear understanding of the factors that influence the shape and location of viscera will help inform future research into experimental, and eventually therapeutic, organ regeneration technology.