A study demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's.
The last Neanderthal died 40,000 years ago, but much of their genome lives on, in bits and pieces, through modern humans. The impact of Neanderthals' genetic contribution has been uncertain. Researchers now report evidence that Neanderthal DNA sequences still influence how genes are turned on or off in modern humans. Neanderthal genes' effects on gene expression likely contribute to traits such as height and susceptibility to schizophrenia or lupus, the researchers found.
How can the same infection result in dramatically different levels of illness in two different people? A new study identifies two conditions -- a genetic immunodeficiency and delayed acquired immunity -- that explain why a patient developed a life-threatening disease in response to a common strain of bacterium.
New research has resolved a 195-year old confusion regarding relationships between the species of Asian Horned Frogs, an enigmatic group of frogs often with horn-like projections over their eyes. Using DNA sequences, they discovered many potentially new species in this group previously unknown to science.
A preliminary study shows that giving a clot-busting drug in a mobile stroke unit ambulance may lead to less disability after stroke, compared to when the clot-buster is given after reaching the hospital. The study suggests that ambulances with the personnel and equipment capable of diagnosing ischemic stroke may be worth the extra cost, due to the decrease in patient disability afterward.
It has long been thought that each copy of our DNA instructions -- one inherited from mom and one from dad -- is treated the same. A new study shows that it is not uncommon for cells in the brain to preferentially activate one copy over the other. The finding breaks basic tenants of classic genetics and suggests new ways in which genetic mutations might cause brain disorders.
A new study is the first to comprehensively examine existing literature to identify broader patterns and suggest ways in which the phenomenon is important for plant populations and seed evolution. Predator-assisted seed dispersal is important to colonize and recolonize plant life in the wild, say researchers.
The mystery that is the origin of flowering plants has been partially solved thanks to a team of scientists. Their discovery sheds light on a question that much intrigued Darwin: the appearance of a structure as complex as the flower over the course of evolution.
In a new, first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found a 700-percent surge in infections caused by bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family resistant to multiple kinds of antibiotics among children in the US. These antibiotic resistant infections are in turn linked to longer hospital stays and potentially greater risk of death.
A new study suggests that music -- and specifically infant-directed song -- evolved as a way for parents to signal to children that their needs are being met, while still freeing up parents to perform other tasks, like foraging for food, or caring for other offspring.
Origami-inspired materials use folds in materials to embed powerful functionality. However, all that folding can be pretty labor intensive. Now, researchers are drawing material inspiration from another ancient Japanese paper craft -- kirigami.
Bioengineers have developed a new tool to identify RNA-DNA interactions. The tool can provide a full account of all the RNA molecules that interact with a segment of DNA, as well as the locations of all these interactions -- in just a single experiment. The research is a step toward identifying new functions and instructions encoded in the genome.
Donepezil, a medication that is approved to treat people with Alzheimer's disease, should not be prescribed for people with mild cognitive impairment without a genetic test. Researchers discovered that for people who carry a specific genetic variation -- the K-variant of butyrylcholinesterase, or BChE-K -- donezpezil could accelerate cognitive decline.