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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Watching For Mutations in the Coronavirus

    The coronavirus outbreak has been accompanied by a huge amount of sequencing data, as well it should be. Nextstrain.org is a great place to see this in action: region by region, the spread of the infection can be tracked, often with enough detail to say where the virus must have come in from and how… Read More
  • Biological News

    New Proteins In New Ways

    Well, biology is marching on, even outside the virology that’s on all of our minds. Have a look at this paper, which is looking at the very small proteins I last wrote about here. (Here’s a commentary on this new work as well). What we’re seeing is yet more strong evidence for such species being… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Congo Red

    Many roots of organic chemistry, and of medicinal chemistry in particular, often originate in what might seem like an unlikely place: the dyestuff industry of the late 19th century. I had already known this to some degree, but writing the historical vignettes in The Chemistry Book really brought it home to me. And if you… Read More
  • Biological News

    Opioid Signaling: Think Again

    Opioids are some of the most effective and most problematic drugs in the entire pharmacopeia. For severe, intractable pain we really have nothing to match them, despite decades of searching for alternatives. The history of research for new pain medications itself calls for pain medication, because it is a tapestry of expensive late-stage clinical f… Read More
  • Biological News

    Free-Floating Mitochondria

    Here’s a weird one for you – one of those papers that, if it holds up, will make us all wonder about just how much we really know about cell biology. It’s from the IRCM at Montpellier, along with another INSERM lab (Gustav Roussey) and a lab at the Jacques Monod Institute at the Univ. Read More
  • Biological News

    Unscrambled Eggs

    This is a rather eerie result. Two researchers at Stanford report that the often-used model system of Xenopus frog eggs have self-organizing properties. Extracts from homogenized eggs had already been known to be more functional than one might have predicted (the paper has a number of references to such studies), but this paper finds that… Read More
  • Biological News

    Bacteria Behind Yet Another Disease

    There are a lot of things in human medicine that make sense broadly, but not in detail. We understand why a thing could happen, but not exactly how it happens. A case in point in alcoholic liver disease. It makes perfect sense that longterm alcohol abuse would damage the liver – it’s the front line… Read More
  • Biological News

    Tight Junctions and Condensates

    All of us in the business talk about the blood-brain barrier, but. . .no, I’m not going to end this sentence with “. . .none of us do anything about it”, because how it should end is “very few of us really stop to think about what it is”. What makes this (and similar structures) Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Balancing Protons

    Catalytically active proteins come in many varieties, and you can classify them in many ways. When you look closely at their structures, one such scheme might be the “solid” ones versus the “delicately balanced” ones. In the first category would be things like carbonic anhydrase or acetylcholinesterase: they do their jobs mo… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Tiny Proteins

    Here’s another for the “things we just didn’t realize” file. This article is a nice look at “miniproteins” (also known as micropeptides), small but extremely important species that we’ve mostly missed out on due to both our equipment and our own biases in looking at the data. Other recent overviews are here… Read More
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