The image above is from the work of Del Alamo et al., in the August 14th PNAS, on the Spatio-temporal analysis of eukaryotic cell motility by improved force cytometry.
In the interests of promoting science posts relating (however broadly) to my interests of cell and molecular biology, here’s my biweekly installment of “Cells Weekly,” a showcase of topical blog posts by others from the past week.
MIT Creates 3D Images of Living Cell – New ways to image cells are always extremely useful tools, and this one is no different. Check it out over at Biosingularity.
What Are DprA and ComM’s Real Jobs? – Rosie chats about a pair of gene products whose functions aren’t known, but speculated to be involved with DNA uptake and repair. At RRResearch.
Cancer Immune Escape – Ian gives us a run down of some of the major aspects of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and evasion of them by cancer cells, in contrast to his past expositions on viral immune escape. At Mystery Rays from Outer Space.
Microbial Endocrinology: A Coming of Age – Moselio explores the relationships between bacteria and hormones, especially in the intestinal tract. At Small Things Considered.
RecA – And more telic nonsense from MikeGene. Question: How does he tell the existence of homologous recombination is purposeful? Answer: He says it just is (take notes kids, this is how not to interpret science). At The Design Matrix.
Relieving Tensin Relaxes Cells, Helps Migration – My own recent post, which I suppose I should’ve mentioned, focuses on a new report on tensin homologs and focal adhesion turnover.
From Adhesion to Migration: The Tensin Switch – Kim describes the same paper as I did, providing added perspective. At the Cell Migration Gateway.
p53 and RhoA Signalling: A Round About Way for Tumour Invasion – Kim explains how knocking out the tumour suppressor p53 causes cells to shift from an elongated to a rounded morphology, which is associated with increased motility and tumour invasiveness. Also at the Cell Migration Gateway.
And some science picks below the fold:
Scientists Discover The Dynamics Of Transcription In Living Mammalian Cells
Transcription — the transfer of DNA’s genetic information through the synthesis of complementary molecules of messenger RNA — forms the basis of all cellular activities. Yet little is known about the dynamics of the process — how efficient it is or how long it takes. Now, researchers have measured the stages of transcription in real time. Their unexpected findings have fundamentally changed the way transcription is understood.
Scientists have discovered a new enzyme involved in the degradation of proteins inside cells, a process that helps eliminate or recycle proteins that are no longer needed. The unexpected discovery overthrows the idea that protein degradation is initiated by only one enzyme. Also, the new enzyme is very highly expressed in the testis, which could provide a new understanding of male fertility.
Finding an immune system in the social amoeba (Dictyostelium discoideum) is not only surprising but it also may prove a clue as to what is necessary for an organism to become multicellular, according to a new article.
A team of biologists, physicists and doctors has revealed a cellular mechanism that controls the movement of cells in cancer metastasis. This finding may help predict the progression of metastasis, as well as the design of drugs to prevent it.
For the first time, scientists have been able to make precise measurements of the repetitive forces and strain energies exerted by cells on the move, information with broad significance to medical research.
Scientists were able to produce from human embryonic stem cells a highly pure, large quantity of functioning neurons that will allow them to create models of and study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, prefrontal dementia and schizophrenia.
Scientists have developed optical 3-D far-field microscopy — with nanoscale resolution, good signal-to-noise ratio and short exposure times using special photo-switchable fluorescence dyes.
The prevalence of heart failure continues to increase in the Western world, making it one of the biggest killers in this region. It is characterized by loss of the muscle cells of the heart (cardiomyocytes). Although this loss is generally considered to occur mostly through a process known as apoptotic cell death, a new study indicates that cell death by necrosis also has a role in the cardiomyocyte loss that accompanies heart failure in mice.
Researchers have shattered a long-held belief that no direct pathway exists between material outside of a cell and the cell nucleus. The cell is the smallest metabolically functional unit of life.