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Derya Unutmaz
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 Biochemists Solve the Structure of Cell's DNA Gatekeeper
Caltech scientists have produced the most detailed map yet of the massive protein machine that controls access to the DNA-containing heart of the cell.
In a new study, a team led by André Hoelz, an assistant professor of biochemistry, reports the successful mapping of the structure of the symmetric core of the nuclear pore complex (NPC), a cellular gatekeeper that determines what molecules can enter and exit the nucleus, where a cell's genetic information is stored.
The study appears in the April 15, 2016 issue of the journal Science, featured on the cover.
The findings are the culmination of more than a decade of work by Hoelz's research group and could lead to new classes of medicine against viruses that subvert the NPC in order to hijack infected cells and that could treat various diseases associated with NPC dysfunction.
http://www.caltech.edu/news/biochemists-solve-structure-cells-dna-gatekeeper-50446

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Scientists say that a diverse gut microbiome is a healthy one, and it turns out that your lifestyle plays a huge role in shaping that. In a new study out of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, researchers examined specific foods and beverages that either contributed to or impaired microbiota diversity, and found that coffee, wine and tea all helped improve people’s gut bacteria.

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Very well explained, must watch. An international team working at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached at either end to gold nanoparticles. The images detail the flexible structure of the DNA segments, which appear as nanoscale jump ropes.
News link:
http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2016/03/30/revealing-the-fluctuations-of-flexible-dna-in-3-d/


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Everything you thought you knew about DNA's shape is wrong.

In recent years, scientists have made tremendous progress in reading the sequence of our DNA. But the three-dimensional shape of DNA remains mostly mysterious. In fact, it’s only recently that scientists have even begun to get a glimpse at how our DNA is folded. Today, scientists focus on the ways that gene mutations cause diseases like cancer. But totally normal genes can still malfunction if they get folded in the wrong way. It’s possible that ongoing research may eventually reveal a hidden world of “folding diseases.”

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Liam completes an iPhone disassembly process every 11 seconds, with dozens running through the system at all times. About 350 units are turned around each hour, equivalent to 1.2 million iPhones each year. About 350 units are turned around each hour, equivalent to 1.2 million iPhones each year. Apple wouldn't say when Liam started its work, but emphasized the project is still in the research and development stages.

Via @Mashable

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"The Bullshit Asymmetry Principle" formulated by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, states that:

"The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
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A controversial genetic technology able to wipe out the mosquito carrying the Zika virus will be available within months, scientists say.

The technology, called a “gene drive,” was demonstrated only last year in yeast cells, fruit flies, and a species of mosquito that transmits malaria. It uses the gene-snipping technology CRISPR to force a genetic change to spread through a population as it reproduces.

Three U.S. labs that handle mosquitoes, two in California and one in Virginia, say they are already working toward a gene drive for Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquito blamed for spreading Zika. If deployed, the technology could theoretically drive the species to extinction.

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Lasers Can Stimulate The Natural Healing Of Deeper Skin Wounds.

The “nano-suturing” technique involves the use of a medical dye, called rose bengal, that links up the skin’s collagen structural proteins. When collagen is lacking an electron, it will bond with other nearby collagen molecules. Blasting the rose bengal dye with a laser beam causes it to steal an electron from the collagen, leaving it with an odd number of electrons. In order to resolve the electron’s unpaired state, the collagen will fuse with its neighbors, hence creating a natural seal. Unlike more intrusive means of sealing wounds (like stitches and staples), this method won’t cause any inflammation or mild trauma to the skin.

In the study, the researcher tested their technique on a 10-millimeter-deep (0.39-inch-deep) cut on a deceased pig’s skin. Within 15 minutes, the wound was bonded.

http://bit.ly/1mt28zi
Study: doi:10.1038/ncomms10374
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In what may be a timely move, the FDA has issued clearance to RevMedX to introduce its XStat Rapid Hemostasis System for treating gunshot wounds in the civilian population. Last year the device received FDA clearance to be used on the battlefield, but now ambulances in the U.S. will have the option of carrying XStats as well.

The device contains a bunch of tablet-sized sponges that are injected, similar to using a typical syringe, deep into the wound. The tablets absorb blood and rapidly expand to fill the cavity that they find themselves in. The patient is then transported to a trauma ward where the sponges are removed and treatment can continue.

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It's an oft-repeated idea that blind people can compensate for their lack of sight with enhanced hearing or other abilities. The musical talents of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, both blinded at an early age, are cited as examples of blindness conferring an advantage in other areas. Then there's the superhero Daredevil, who is blind but uses his heightened remaining senses to fight crime.

It is commonly assumed that the improvement in the remaining senses is a result of learned behavior; in the absence of vision, blind people pay attention to auditory cues and learn how to use them more efficiently. But there is mounting evidence that people missing one sense don't just learn to use the others better. The brain adapts to the loss by giving itself a makeover. If one sense is lost, the areas of the brain normally devoted to handling that sensory information do not go unused — they get rewired and put to work processing other senses.
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