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Monday, October 6, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top News

ScienceDaily: Top News

'Programmable' antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbes

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Conventional antibiotics are indiscriminate about what they kill, a trait that can lead to complications for patients and can contribute to the growing problems of antibiotic resistance. But a a 'programmable' antibiotic would selectively target only the bad bugs, particularly those harboring antibiotic resistance genes, and leave beneficial microbes alone.

Number of genes linked to height revealed by study

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

The largest genome-wide association study to date, involving more than 300 institutions and more than 250,000 subjects, roughly doubles the number of known gene regions influencing height to more than 400. The study provides a better glimpse at the biology of height and offers a model for investigating traits and diseases caused by many common gene changes acting together.

Breakthrough allows researchers to watch molecules

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

A new crystallographic technique is set to transform scientists' ability to observe how molecules work. Although fast time-resolved crystallography (Laue crystallography) has previously been possible, it has required advanced instrumentation that is only available at three sites worldwide. Only a handful of proteins have been studied using the traditional technique The new method will allow researchers across the world to carry out dynamic crystallography and is likely to provide a major boost in areas of research that rely on understanding how molecules work.

First pictures of BRCA2 protein show how it works to repair DNA

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Scientists have taken pictures of the BRCA2 protein for the first time, showing how it works to repair damaged DNA. The findings showed that each pair of BRCA2 proteins binds two sets of RAD51 that run in opposite directions. This allows it to work on strands of broken DNA that point in either direction. They also show that BRCA2's job is to help RAD51 form short filaments at multiple sites along the DNA, presumably to increase the efficiency of establishing longer filaments required to search for matching strands.

Attacking type 2 diabetes from a new direction with encouraging results

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Promising evidence that a modified form of the drug niclosamide – now used to eliminate intestinal parasites – may hold the key to battling type 2 diabetes at its source, scientists report.

Discovery of a novel heart, gut disease

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

A newly discovered disease, which has been named "Chronic Atrial Intestinal Dysrhythmia syndrome" (CAID), is a serious condition caused by a rare genetic mutation. This finding demonstrates that heart and guts rhythmic contractions are closely linked by a single gene in the human body.

'Unsung' cells double benefits of a new osteoporosis drug

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Experiments in mice with a bone disorder similar to that in women after menopause show that a scientifically overlooked group of cells are likely crucial to the process of bone loss caused by the disorder. This discovery not only raises the research profile of the cells, called preosteoclasts, but also explains the success and activity of an experimental osteoporosis drug with promising results in phase III clinical trials.

Study questions the prescription for drug resistance

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 06:43 PM PDT

A new study questions the accepted wisdom that aggressive treatment with high drug dosages and long durations is always the best way to stem the emergence and spread of resistant pathogens. The review of nearly 70 studies of antimicrobial resistance reveals the lack of evidence behind the practice of aggressive treatment in many cases.

Breakthrough technique offers prospect of silicon detectors for telecommunications

Posted: 03 Oct 2014 10:53 AM PDT

Researchers have demonstrated a breakthrough technique that offers the first possibility of silicon detectors for telecommunications. For decades, silicon has been the foundation of the microelectronics revolution and, owing to its excellent optical properties in the near- and mid-infrared range, is now promising to have a similar impact on photonics.

Gout linked to heightened diabetes risk

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 07:12 PM PDT

Gout is linked to a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, suggests research. The magnitude of the association seems to be significantly greater in women, among whom the risk of diabetes appears to be twice that of women who don't have gout, the findings show.

Blackflies may be responsible for spreading nodding syndrome

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 01:27 PM PDT

Despite decades of research, scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of nodding syndrome (NS), a disabling disease affecting African children. A new report suggests that blackflies infected with the parasite Onchocerca volvulus may be capable of passing on a secondary pathogen that is to blame for the spread of the disease. When present, the first indication of the disease is an involuntary nodding of the head, followed by epileptic seizures. The condition can cause cognitive deterioration, stunted growth, and in some cases, death.

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