Nanomaterials found in consumer and health-care products can pass from the bloodstream to the brain side of a blood-brain barrier model with varying ease depending on their shape - creating potential neurological impacts that could be both positive and negative, a new study reveals.
A unique study of ancient diamonds has shown that the basic chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere which makes it suitable for life's explosion of diversity was laid down at least 2.7 billion years ago. This shows that one of the basic conditions necessary to support life, the presence of life-giving elements in sufficient quantity, appeared soon after Earth formed, and has remained fairly constant ever since.
Scientists have taken the first steps in developing a new method of identifying the movements of criminals using chemical analysis of soil and dust found on equipment, clothing and cars. The locating system allows police or security services to match soil remnants found on personal items to regional soil samples, to either implicate or eliminate presence at a crime scene. The work is presented as a Keynote Lecture at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference, after recent publication.
Hot vents in the deep sea are home to microbes that feed on ethane. They were discovered recently from scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Now the researchers from Bremen succeeded in finding an important component in the microbial conversion of the gas. They were able to decode the structure of the enzyme responsible for the ethane fixation. The results have now been published in the renowned journal Science.
We generated a mouse model for a subgroup of schizophrenia patients by feeding Glo1 knockout mice VB6-deficent diets (KO/VB6(-)). We found that the KO/VB6(-) mice accumulated methylglyoxal (MG) in the brain and showed schizophrenia-like behavioral impairments. Furthermore, we found aberrant gene expression related to mitochondria function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the KO/VB6(-) mice. Finally, we demonstrated abnormal mitochondrial respiratory function and enhanced oxidative stress in the PFC of KO/VB6(-) mice.
Researchers discover enzyme prototype for formation of ecologically and pharmaceutically important tropone compounds.
Kyushu University researchers found that the main gene that causes Rett syndrome, MeCP2, controls the differentiation pattern of neural stem cells through the microRNA miR-199a. Dysfunction in MeCP2 or miR-199a cause neural stem cells to produce more astrocytes than neurons. Furthermore, the researchers found that miR-199a mediates the production of Smad1, a downstream transcription factor of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling.
Researchers from University of Tsukuba and University of Florida have found that pigments controlling the color of tomatoes also play a role in determining their flavor. By analyzing the pigment profiles of 157 different tomato varieties, the team showed that fruit with high chlorophyll levels had a higher sugar content, and that the carotenoid, prolycopene, is associated with an abundance of aroma compounds. Understanding how growing conditions influence pigment profiles could improve the flavor of tomatoes.
Researchers have developed a more efficient platform for studying proteins that play a key role in regulating gene expression. The approach uses engineered yeast cells to produce enzyme and histone proteins, conduct biochemical assays internally, and then display the results.
Not only animals and humans host a complex community of microorganisms -- plants do this as well. Researchers at ETH Zurich have recently published two new studies that shed light on fundamental aspects of these close -- and often overlooked -- relationships.