A risk locus for dementia, located in a noncoding region, turns on gene expression by recruiting the chromatin-organzing protein CTCF.
New coatings protect nanocrystals from the watery environment of the cell and pave the way for widespread use of the versatile fluorescent clusters in biology. These so-called quantum dots could replace traditional organic dyes for some types of imaging studies.
A spate of papers published this month offers two answers to the question of how nerve cells transmit cold sensations. Sometimes specialized sensors for menthol, the active ingredient in mint, do the job; other times neurons choreograph the movement of ions in response to cold in the absence of a specific receptor. Researchers suspect that the two mechanisms operate in concert, either in separate populations of cells or together in the same neurons.
Researchers thought they had identified the protein predominately responsible for detecting painful heat, but a new paper shows that neurons lacking that protein detect heat just fine, suggesting that a still-unmasked molecule might do most of the heat sensing.
New Scientist 17 Mar 2001
Science 5 Oct 2001
HOW do you find your way around when it’s pitch dark? You could try suckingon an electrode that transmits visual cues to your brain via your tongue. Its developers hope that some day the system could help blind people get about
After embarking on a basic study of gene regulation, a research team has instead uncovered a new gene that may be an important risk factor in cardiovascular diseases. The new gene, reported on page 169, encodes a previously unknown member of the apolipoprotein family of proteins, which influence blood lipid levels. The researchers have also shown that mutations in the gene lead to increased blood triglyceride levels in both mice and humans.