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Image: chemical structure of furanosteroids-Structures of wortmannin and viridin; Copyright: The University of Tokyo

Identification of biosynthetic pathway for the steroids with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibition activity

25/05/2018

A group of researchers from Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of Tokyo and Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural Products at Jinan University, identified the biosynthetic gene cluster for the furanosteroid demethoxyviridin, and deciphered its biosynthetic pathway.
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Image: semaphorin 6D reverse signaling controls lipid metabolism and anti-inflammatory polarization; Copyright: Osaka University

Neuron guidance factor found to play a key role in immune cell function

25/05/2018

Macrophages are white blood cells involved in a variety of biological functions, from destroying infectious pathogens to repairing damaged tissue. To carry out their different roles, macrophages must first be activated and transformed into different subtypes. However, the mechanisms that lead to macrophage activation are not fully understood.
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Image: illustration of DNA strings; Copyright: pixabay.com

The dark side of our genes – healthy ageing in modern times

24/05/2018

The transition to modernity – largely driven by the Industrial Revolution – provided us with easier access to food and clean water, with antibiotics, vaccines, and modern medicine. Yet modernity did not just bring fewer infectious diseases and longer life: it also created an environment radically different from the one we evolved in.
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Image: network of protein fibrills; Copyright: Claessens

Parkinson-related protein is 'tunable'

24/05/2018

Fibrils of the protein alpha-synuclein, that plays a role in Parkinson's disease, form a stiffer and stronger network in water, when temperature is increased. Researchers of the University of Twente show that this has to do with the water-repellent part of the fibres coming to the surface and interacting.
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Image: smartphone with the app on the display; Copyright: SUSU/Ivan Volkov

Mobile application for diabetics being perfected

23/05/2018

Master's student of the SUSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Ivan Volkov developed a mobile application DiaMeter several years ago. The application makes it possible for diabetics to keep a convenient electronic diary. At present, a second, more fine-tuned version of the application which will include a carbohydrate unit calculator is being completed.
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Image: Image from a confocal microscope showing so-called pin-wheel structure of the lateral wall of the lateral ventricle; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Everything flows: cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division

22/05/2018

Stem cells in the brain can divide and mature into neurons participating in various brain functions, including memory. In a paper published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have shown how this works. They found that ion channels play a key role in mediating force signals to the neural stem cells to activate them.
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Image: pair of legs during walking; Copyright: IStock

You walk talks

22/05/2018

The way you walk can reveal current and future health problems. New research from Halmstad University suggests the use of wearable sensors for analysing your movement. This can potentially result in early detection of for example Parkinson's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and other neuro-physiological disorders.
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Image: Illustration of lung structure from CT scan data; Copyright: University of Southampton

How the power of mathematics can help assess lung function

21/05/2018

Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new computational way of analysing X-ray images of lungs, which could herald a breakthrough in the diagnosis and assessment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.
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Image: A simple protocol developed for insulin preparation; Copyright: Michio Iwaoka

High efficiency synthesis of insulin by self-assembly based organic chemistry

21/05/2018

Researchers at Tokai, Osaka, Tohoku and Fukuoka Universities report in the journal Communications Chemistry on the synthesis of insulin based on the self-assembly of polypeptide chains at about 40% efficiency.
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Image: PET scan showing clumping proteins in rat hearts (top). The enlarged heart (right) is one with heart failure. Other PET scans showing blood flow; Copyright: Circulation Research, May 11, 2018

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?

18/05/2018

Protein clumping may contribute to heart failure development and could be used as a diagnostic tool for testing therapies or disease progression.
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