The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports the research featured in these Biomedical Updates. Although only the lead scientists are named, coworkers and other collaborators contributed to the findings.
Structure of Viral Harpoon Protein Reveals How Viruses Enter Cells (January 04, 2006)
- A team of Northwestern University researchers led by Theodore Jardetzky, Ph.D., and Robert Lamb, Ph.D., Sc.D has solved the structure of a molecule that controls the ability of paramyxoviruses such as those that cause measles, mumps, and many human respiratory diseases, to fuse with and infect human cells.
New Study Expands Understanding of the Role of RNA Editing in Gene Control - (December 23, 2005)
A Wistar Institute led team of scientists has been "teasing out details of a process called RNA editing, in which messenger RNA sequence is altered after transcription by editing enzymes, so that a single gene can produce a number of related but distinct variant proteins. Most recently, scientists have discovered an extensive family of small molecules called microRNAs, or miRNAs, that appear to target and inactivate particular messenger RNAs. This targeted gene silencing is now seen as one of the body's primary strategies for regulating its genome."
'Computer-Chemistry' Yields New Insight into a Puzzle of Cell Division (December 8, 2005) - An interdisciplinary team of Duke University scientists has identified the probable way two key enzymes connect to regulate cell division. Solving this puzzle could lead to anticancer drugs that block the runaway cell division of some cancers.
Discover How Protein Crucial for Mothion is Synthesized at the Right
Place in the Cell (November 23, 2005) - Researchers at the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine of Yeshiva
University and the German
Cancer Research Institute have shown how protein synthesis is
targeted to certain regions of a cell — a process crucial for
the cellular motility that governs nerve growth, wound healing and
Researchers Discover New Form of Cancer Gene Regulation (11/08/05) - Researchers
University and the University
of Wisconsin report the discovery of an important and completely
novel form of regulation of GLI1, a gene associated with severe birth
defects and several childhood cancers.
Common Viruses May Cause Cancer (11/07/05) - Yuri Lazebnik, biologist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has uncovered evidence for a link between viral infection, cell fusion, and cancer. When he fused laboratory-grown human cells with a virus, he found that some of the hybrid cells had the potential to rapidly grow and increase in number—but only if one of the fusion partners had a genetic mutation that predisposed it to cancer. These findings suggest that viral infection can contribute to the runaway cell division that typifies cancer and raises concerns about the use of viruses for clinical applications, such as gene therapy.
Courtesy NIGMS NEWS and Biomedical Beat