Developmental biology
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Developmental biology
Some interesting developmental biology research
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Single-celled plankton evolves tiny, human-like eye

Single-celled plankton evolves tiny, human-like eye | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
The eye is so complex that researchers originally thought it had come from an animal that the plankton had eaten
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Long-standing mystery in membrane traffic finally solved

Long-standing mystery in membrane traffic finally solved | Developmental biology | Scoop.it

SNARE proteins are known as the minimal machinery for membrane fusion. To induce membrane fusion, the proteins combine to form a SNARE complex in a four helical bundle, and NSF and α-SNAP disassemble the SNARE complex for reuse. In particular, NSF can bind an energy source molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the ATP-bound NSF develops internal tension via cleavage of ATP. This process is used to exert great force on SNARE complexes, eventually pulling them apart. However, although about 30 years have passed since the Nobel Prize winners' discovery, how NSF/α-SNAP disassembled the SNARE complex remained a mystery to scientists due to a lack in methodology.


In a recent issue of Science, published on March 27, 2015, a research team, led by Tae-Young Yoon of the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Reinhard Jahn of the Department of Neurobiology of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, reports that NSF/α-SNAP disassemble a single SNARE complex using various single-molecule biophysical methods that allow them to monitor and manipulate individual protein complexes. "We have learned that NSF releases energy in a burst within 20 milliseconds to "tear" the SNARE complex apart in a one-step global unfolding reaction, which is immediately followed by the release of SNARE proteins," said Yoon.


Previously, it was believed that NSF disassembled a SNARE complex by unwinding it in a processive manner. Also, largely unexplained was how many cycles of ATP hydrolysis were required and how these cycles were connected to the disassembly of the SNARE complex.


Yoon added, "From our research, we found that NSF requires hydrolysis of ATPs that were already bound before it attached to the SNAREs--which means that only one round of an ATP turnover is sufficient for SNARE complex disassembly. Moreover, this is possible because NSF pulls a SNARE complex apart by building up the energy from individual ATPs and releasing it at once, yielding a "spring-loaded" mechanism."


NSF is a member of the ATPases associated with various cellular activities family (AAA+ ATPase), which is essential for many cellular functions such as DNA replication and protein degradation, membrane fusion, microtubule severing, peroxisome biogenesis, signal transduction, and the regulation of gene expression. This research has added valuable new insights and hints for studying AAA+ ATPase proteins, which are crucial for various living beings.

 

Reference: "Spring-loaded unraveling of a single SNARE complex by NSF in one round of ATP turnover." (DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5267)

 

Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqTSYHtyHWE&feature=youtu.be


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Risto Suoknuuti's curator insight, March 29, 2015 6:28 PM

Back to the roots.

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Physicists' model proposes evolutionary role for cancer

Physicists' model proposes evolutionary role for cancer | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Stressed cells could become cancerous as a 'safe mode', pointing to oxygen and immunotherapy are the best ways to beat the disease.
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Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome

Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
After 40 years of wondering why, scientists have discovered that duplicate genes confer 'mutational robustness' in individuals, which allows them to adapt to novel, potentially dangerous environments.
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DARPA Is Developing Tiny Implants That Trigger Self-Healing | IFLScience

DARPA Is Developing Tiny Implants That Trigger Self-Healing | IFLScience | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Throughout the last 100 years, the world has witnessed incredible advances in medicine that have dramatically improved the lives of the sick. But while there may be more drugs on the market than you could possibly fathom, many diseases can’t be treated by popping pills. That’s why DARPA is working towards a futuristic medical implant that not only continuously monitors the condition of your organs, but also helps your body heal itself when problems arise.
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Next-generation stem cells cleared for human trial

Next-generation stem cells cleared for human trial | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Japanese team will use 'iPS' cells to treat patient with degenerative eye disease.
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Key mechanism that drives movement in living cells discovered

Key mechanism that drives movement in living cells discovered | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Living cell migration is regulated by the engagement of a force transmitter composed of vinculin and talin, two types of cytoskeletal protein, researchers have discovered. They showed that force-dependent vinculin binding to talin plays a critical role in mechanically connecting the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular substrate to contribute towards cell migration.
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An archaeal origin of eukaryotes supports only two primary domains of life

An archaeal origin of eukaryotes supports only two primary domains of life | Developmental biology | Scoop.it

The discovery of the Archaea and the proposal of the three-domains ‘universal’ tree, based on ribosomal RNA and core genes mainly involved in protein translation, catalysed new ideas for cellular evolution and eukaryotic origins. However, accumulating evidence suggests that the three-domains tree may be incorrect: evolutionary trees made using newer methods place eukaryotic core genes within the Archaea, supporting hypotheses in which an archaeon participated in eukaryotic origins by founding the host lineage for the mitochondrial endosymbiont. These results provide support for only two primary domains of life—Archaea and Bacteria—because eukaryotes arose through partnership between them.

 

An archaeal origin of eukaryotes supports only two primary domains of life
Tom A. Williams, Peter G. Foster, Cymon J. Cox & T. Martin Embley

Nature 504, 231–236 (12 December 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12779


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How Cells Know Where They Are

Development, regeneration, and even day-to-day physiology require plant and animal cells to make decisions based on their locations. The principles by which cells may do this are deceptively straightforward. But when reliability needs to be high—as often occurs during development—successful strategies tend to be anything but simple. Increasingly, the challenge facing biologists is to relate the diverse diffusible molecules, control circuits, and gene regulatory networks that help cells know where they are to the varied, sometimes stringent, constraints imposed by the need for real-world precision and accuracy.

 

How Cells Know Where They Are
Arthur D. Lander

Science 22 February 2013:
Vol. 339 no. 6122 pp. 923-927
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1224186


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Evolving new organisms via symbiosis

Evolving new organisms via symbiosis | Developmental biology | Scoop.it

Symbiotic partnerships are a major source of evolutionary innovation. They have driven rapid diversification of organisms, allowed hosts to harness new forms of energy, and radically modified Earth's nutrient cycles. The application of next-generation sequencing and advanced microscopic techniques has revealed not only the ubiquity of symbiotic partnerships, but the extent to which partnerships can become physically, genomically, and metabolically integrated (1). When and why does this integration of once free-living organisms happen?

 

Evolving new organisms via symbiosis
E. Toby Kiers, Stuart A. West

Science 24 April 2015:
Vol. 348 no. 6233 pp. 392-394
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa9605


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'Google Maps' for the body: A biomedical revolution down to a single cell

'Google Maps' for the body: A biomedical revolution down to a single cell | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Scientists are using previously top-secret technology to zoom through the human body down to the level of a single cell. Scientists are also using cutting-edge microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics and muscle.

 

UNSW biomedical engineer Melissa Knothe Tate is using previously top-secret semiconductor technology to zoom through organs of the human body, down to the level of a single cell.


A world-first UNSW collaboration that uses previously top-secret technology to zoom through the human body down to the level of a single cell could be a game-changer for medicine, an international research conference in the United States has been told.


The imaging technology, developed by high-tech German optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss, was originally developed to scan silicon wafers for defects.


UNSW Professor Melissa Knothe Tate, the Paul Trainor Chair of Biomedical Engineering, is leading the project, which is using semiconductor technology to explore osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.


Using Google algorithms, Professor Knothe Tate -- an engineer and expert in cell biology and regenerative medicine -- is able to zoom in and out from the scale of the whole joint down to the cellular level "just as you would with Google Maps," reducing to "a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete."


Her team is also using cutting-edge microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics and muscle. "For the first time we have the ability to go from the whole body down to how the cells are getting their nutrition and how this is all connected," said Professor Knothe Tate. "This could open the door to as yet unknown new therapies and preventions."


Professor Knothe Tate is the first to use the system in humans. She has forged a pioneering partnership with the US-based Cleveland Clinic, Brown and Stanford Universities, as well as Zeiss and Google to help crunch terabytes of data gathered from human hip studies. Similar research is underway at Harvard University and Heidelberg in Germany to map neural pathways and connections in the brains of mice.


The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales.


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CineversityTV's curator insight, March 30, 2015 8:53 PM

What happens with the metadata? In the public domain? Or in the greed hands of the elite.

Courtney Jones's curator insight, April 2, 2015 4:49 AM

,New advances in biomedical technology

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Bone paste could provide treatment for ostoeporosis - Telegraph

Bone paste could provide treatment for ostoeporosis - Telegraph | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Scientists are developing a paste made up of stem cells encased in hollow spheres bone mineral which they hope will help regenerate thinning bones using a simple injection
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Banking on iPSCs | The Scientist Magazine®

Banking on iPSCs | The Scientist Magazine® | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
A flurry of induced pluripotent stem cell banks are coming online, but they face significant business challenges.
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Japanese woman is first recipient of next-generation stem cells

Japanese woman is first recipient of next-generation stem cells | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Surgeons implanted retinal tissue created after reverting the patient's own cells to 'pluripotent' state.
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Scientists have created a computer program to track every cell in a developing embryo (Science Alert)

Scientists have created a computer program to track every cell in a developing embryo (Science Alert) | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
The 3D computer model traces the movement of every cell in a developing embryo.
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X-ray tomography of living frog embryo

X-ray tomography of living frog embryo | Developmental biology | Scoop.it
Classical X-ray radiographs provide information about internal, absorptive structures of organisms such as bones. Alternatively, X-rays can also image soft tissues throughout early embryonic development of vertebrates.
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