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Universidad de Salamanca Facultad de Biología Biblioteca

Bionoticias

Abril (1ª) de 2014


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BioNoticias. Resumen de prensa semanal Elaborado por la Biblioteca de Biología. Universidad de Salamanca Para leer el texto completo de los artículos pulse en el título Para agrandar el texto pulse cualquier otra parte de la página Puede enviarnos sus noticias a bibbiol@usal.es Suscribirse a Bionotias + BioEmpleo: dirección de correo electrónico y su nombre a bibbiol@usal.es Boletines anteriores en http://issuu.com/bibliotecabiologia


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.Avisos

de la Facultad


Pr贸ximo Seminario INCYL: Viernes 4 de abril a las 12.00


.Biología


Muere en un zoo de EE UU uno de los últimos rinocerontes de Sumatra Uno de los últimos ejemplares de rinoceronte de Sumatra ha fallecido el domingo 30 de marzo en el parque zoológico de Cincinnati (EE UU), rodeado por sus cuidadores y el personal veterinario que han tratado de salvar su vida durante los últimos meses. Suci, como se conocía a este ejemplar, falleció de hemocromatosis al igual que su madre. Los árboles que vivieron la catástrofe de Santorini hace más de tres milenios pueden aclarar un enigma Una serie de estudios realizados desde la década de 1980 han indicado que el volcán de la isla griega de Santorini pudo hacer erupción no en el siglo XVI a. C. como se pensaba, sino en el siglo anterior al mencionado. De haberse confirmado esta datación, se habría tenido que reescribir la... ¿La mayor extinción masiva en la Tierra fue causada por microbios? Unas arqueas productoras de metano pudieron ser las responsables de la mayor extinción masiva de la historia de la Tierra.Los restos fósiles muestran que en algún momento de hace unos 252 millones de años, cerca del 90 por ciento de todas las especies de la Tierra resultaron aniquiladas. Ésta es,...


Los bosques con diversidad de especies son más rentables Investigadores del Grupo de Ecología y Restauración Forestal de la Universidad de Alcalá han dirigido un estudio que demuestra que la diversidad biológica incrementa el potencial de almacenamiento de carbono y la productividad de los bosques españoles. La naturaleza del subsuelo está detrás de la acidez del Río Tinto El origen de las aguas ácidas del Río Tinto se debe a la interacción de acuíferos subterráneos con diversas unidades geológicas con sulfuros metálicos, y apenas a la minería tradicional de la zona. Así lo recoge el estudio que investigadores del Centro de Astrobiología publican esta semana en la revista Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Las rayas de las cebras repelen a las moscas Un estudio ha demostrado que las rayas de muchos équidos, como las cebras, han evolucionado para evitar la picadura de las moscas. Investigadores de la Universidad de California (EE UU) han llegado a esta conclusión tras descartar otras cuatro hipótesis que trataban de El número de capturas y el tamaño de los peces disminuyen Una investigación del Instituto de Ciencias del Mar señala que se ha reducido el volumen de capturas y el tamaño de los peces en los últimos 60 años en zonas del Golfo de Cádiz y el Mediterráneo. Esta situación se explica por la sobreexplotación de los recursos marinos debida al aumento irregular de la potencia de las embarcaciones dedicadas a la La temporada de deshielo en el Ártico se alarga cinco días cada década La duración de la temporada de fusión de hielo marino del Ártico crece cinco días por década, según la NASA y el NSIDC. Además, el inicio cada vez más temprano de este deshielo propicia que el océano absorba suficiente radiación solar adicional como para que en algunos lugares se derritan hasta 1,20 metros de espesor de la capa de hielo ártico. ¿Cómo puede una hormona tradicionalmente masculina volver más fértiles a las mujeres? La testosterona ha sido vista popularmente como la hormona de los machos, la esencia misma de la virilidad. Por supuesto, el papel de la testosterona es mucho más complejo y variado que eso, pero además se ha venido constatando que es capaz de promover la fertilidad en la mujer. Han circulado...


Estudian el viaje de las imágenes en movimiento hacia el cerebro “Toda la información visual entra por el ojo, va a la retina, ésta convierte esa imagen en impulsos eléctricos que viajan por el nervio óptico hasta el tálamo y de ahí se proyecta a la corteza visual”, un proceso que parece fácil de describir pero que supone una serie de Reclaman la sustitución de la munición de plomo por la de acero en el tiro deportivo Según un estudio de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona y de la Universidad de Guelph (Canadá), cada deportista de las especialidades olímpicas de tiro utiliza un millar de cartuchos por semana y dispersa alrededor de 1,3 toneladas anuales de plomo en el entorno, con efectos nocivos para la fauna y la agricultura. En el artículo, publicado en la Las temperaturas de los hemisferios norte y sur han diferido de forma notable en los últimos 1.000 años Un estudio internacional, en el que ha participado la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ha demostrado que a lo largo de los últimos 1.000 años las diferencias entre las temperaturas del hemisferio norte y el hemisferio sur han sido mayores de lo que se creía. El uso de nuevos datos ha permitido demostrar que las simulaciones de los modelos climáticos sobrestiman el acoplamiento de las variaciones El cambio climático afecta ya a todos los continentes y aumenta el riesgo de conflictos armados El Grupo Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático de la ONU ha publicado hoy la segunda entrega de su quinto informe en el que se afirma que los efectos del cambio climático ya se están produciendo en todos los continentes y en los océanos. “El mundo, en muchos casos, está poco preparado para los riesgos del cambio climático”, aseguran en un comunicado. La especie de la almeja fina está compuesta por tres razas diferentes Un estudio genético elaborado por el Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas ha desvelado que las poblaciones de almeja fina (Ruditapes decussatus) se dividen en tres razas diferentes, repartidas respectivamente por la costa del Atlántico europea, la costa del Mediterráneo Occidental y de Túnez y las costas de los mares Adriático y Egeo.


En parte animal y en parte vegetal, la asombrosa naturaleza genética de la anémona de mar Las anémonas de mar muestran un paisaje genómico sorprendentemente similar al genoma humano, pero también ostentan mecanismos reguladores parecidos a los de las plantas. Así se ha comprobado en un análisis genético minucioso.El equipo de Ulrich Technau, biólogo evolutivo y del desarrollo en la... Reconstruyen la evolución de la radiación solar ultravioleta en España La radiación ultravioleta (UV) forma parte de los rayos solares y puede originar diversos efectos adversos sobre la salud humana. Es el principal factor de riesgo para la mayor parte de los cánceres de piel y además puede causar otros daños en la propia piel, en los ojos o en el sistema inmunitario. Extraños animales gigantes de 520 millones de años atrás se alimentaban como la ballena azul A principios del Periodo Cámbrico, unos enormes animales marinos usaban extraños apéndices faciales para filtrar comida flotante en el agua, según se ha deducido en un análisis de fósiles descubiertos en el norte de Groenlandia.El nuevo estudio, dirigido desde la Universidad de Bristol, en el... Hallan una proteína que aumenta la cosecha de plantas de tomate Investigadores argentinos y brasileros descubrieron una proteína que permite duplicar el índice de cosecha en plantas de tomate en condiciones de laboratorio mediante la producción de frutos más pesados y en mayor cantidad.Se trata del producto de un gen que regula el envío de azúcares desde las...


Sintetizado por primera vez un cromosoma eucariota “de diseño” Desde que en 2010 el empresario científico Craig Venter anunciara que había logrado crear una bacteria artificial, las técnicas de síntesis de ADN han mejorado rápidamente. Con estos conocimientos, los científicos eran capaces de armar sencillos genomas procariotas, por ejemplo, en bacterias;... Más peces macho 'feminizados' por la contaminación en la costa vasca Científicos de la Universidad del País Vasco descubren indicios de 'feminización' de peces macho en los estuarios de Gernika, Arriluze, Santurtzi, Plentzia, Ondarroa, Deba y Pasaia. Los primeros casos (20072008) se detectaron en Urdaibai, y los últimos datos confirman que también se están dando en otros estuarios. Los contaminantes que actúan como estrógenos son los causantes de dicho fenómeno. Scientists solve the riddle of zebras' stripes: Those pesky bugs Why zebras have black and white stripes is a question that has intrigued scientists and spectators for centuries. Scientists now examined this riddle systematically. Monkey caloric restriction study shows big benefit; contradicts earlier study The latest results from a 25-year study of diet and aging in monkeys shows a significant reduction in mortality and in age-associated diseases among those with calorie-restricted diets. The study, begun in 1989, is one of two ongoing, long-term U.S. efforts to examine the effects of a reduced-calorie diet on nonhuman primates. Attention changes in the course of a dog's life mirror those of humans Dogs are known to be 'Man's best friend'. No other pet has adjusted to human lifestyles as well as this four-legged animal. Scientists have been the first to investigate the evolution of dogs' attentiveness in the course of their lives and to what extent they resemble humans in this regard. The outcome: dogs' attentional and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories are very similar to those


Más diferencias anatómicas de lo creído entre reina y obreras en las hormigas Se ha descubierto que en las hormigas la especialización de las obreras y la reina va más allá del tamaño corporal y de la presencia o ausencia de alas. El equipo de Roberto A. Keller y Patrícia Beldade del Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia en Portugal, y Christian Peeters de la Universidad Pierre... 'Best practices' nutrition measurement for researchers Scientists have developed what amounts to a best practices guide to the most accurate way of measuring fruit fly food consumption. "While our study isn't the final technical reference on measuring fly food consumption, it will help guide researchers to think more carefully about nutrition and nutrient intake in their own studies," said the study's leader. Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests Levels of a key hormone in the blood may be important for the survival prospects of newborn animals, a study of wild deer suggests. First-born male deer that have relatively high levels of the male hormone testosterone are less likely to survive their first year compared with their peers, the research shows. Ancient African cattle first domesticated in Middle East, study reveals The genetic history of 134 cattle breeds from around the world has been completed by a group of researchers. In the process of completing this history, they found that ancient domesticated African cattle originated in the 'Fertile Crescent,' a region that covered modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Israel. Asombrosa demostración de inteligencia de causa y efecto en cuervos Ya se sabe que los cuervos son muy inteligentes, pero en unos nuevos experimentos se ha demostrado que las habilidades intelectuales de cuervos de Nueva Caledonia (de la especie Corvus moneduloides) en la comprensión de causa y efecto para un fenómeno físico exceden el límite que se les atribuía...


.Biomedicina


Dos nuevos mapas amplían el atlas del funcionamiento del cerebro La revista Nature presenta esta semana dos investigaciones que aportan avances en el conocimiento del cerebro humano. Mientras que la primera describe el cableado de las conexiones nerviosas a resolución media del ratón, la segunda revela detalles y diferencias sobre los genes implicados en el desarrollo del cerebro prenatal de humanos y roedores. El ébola sigue avanzando en Guinea Desde enero, el virus del ébola ha provocado 80 muertes en Guinea. La Organización Mundial de la Salud ha enviado más de 3,5 toneladas de material de protección a Conakry, su capital, para que sea distribuido en los centros de salud que se ocupan del brote. Organizaciones como Médicos Sin Fronteras afirman que se trata de un episodio "sin precedentes". ‘Nature’ retira dos artículos sobre células madre por sospecha de fraude El pasado enero la revista Nature publicaba dos artículos sobre un nuevo tipo de células madre obtenidas mediante estrés, las STAP, que parecían candidatas a convertirse en uno de los grandes hallazgos científicos del año. Ahora, ante la falta de validación de resultados, se ha recomendado retirar las publicaciones y repetir los estudios. Un nuevo implante ayuda al cerebro a autorregenerarse Un grupo de científicos ha desarrollado una nueva estrategia en medicina regenerativa para promover la recuperación de las lesiones cerebrales. El hallazgo, publicado en la revista Biomaterials, es un implante que estimula la regeneración del tejido cerebral, especialmente en casos de daño pre y postnatal. Investigadores españoles prueban la eficacia de un nuevo fármaco contra el sida Un estudio liderado por investigadores españoles ha demostrado la alta eficacia de un nuevo medicamento contra el virus del sida de una sola toma al día. El fármaco, que ya está aprobado en Europa y EE UU, tiene como principio activo el dolutegravir, que actúa bloqueando la replicación del VIH al evitar la integración del ADN viral en el material genético de las células inmunitarias y pertenece a


Los bebés prefieren escuchar las sílabas más usadas por los adultos Un estudio publicado hoy en la revista PNAS revela que el cerebro de los neonatos reconoce las sílabas más comunes del idioma. Los recién nacidos perciben mejor las construcciones sonoras universales que las extrañas, lo que sugiere que los seres humanos comparten patrones lingüísticos desde su nacimiento. Identifican hasta 21 emociones en las expresiones faciales humanas Investigadores de la Universidad de Ohio (EE UU) han logrado identificar hasta 21 emociones en las expresiones faciales. Los científicos han partido de las seis expresiones básicas incluyendo felicidad, sorpresa, ira, tristeza, miedo y asco para crear otras 15 expresiones compuestas como ‘felizmente sorprendido’ o ‘tristemente enfadado’. Cada una de ellas, utiliza una combinación única de músculos Una mujer logra ser madre tras implantarle una válvula aórtica durante el embarazo Una mujer con una prótesis biológica que hacía las funciones de válvula aórtica –a causa de una cardiopatía congénita grave– fue sometida a su remplazo a las 20 semanas de gestación. Debido al desgaste físico del embarazo esta válvula falló, lo que le causó un deterioro de la función del corazón que ponía en riesgo su vida y la del feto.


Las variantes de tres genes disminuyen hasta ocho veces el riesgo de alzhéimer Un artículo publicado en la revista Alzheimer's disease and related disorders constata el hallazgo de tres genes de la reelina, una proteína implicada en la neuroplasticidad neuronal, con seis variantes que pueden aumentar hasta tres veces, o disminuir hasta ocho, el riesgo de presentar alzhéimer o deterioro cognitivo leve. Sus nombres son RELN, PLK2, CAMK2A.

Un nuevo implante ayuda al cerebro a autoregenerarse Un grupo de científicos ha desarrollado una nueva estrategia en medicina regenerativa para promover la recuperación de las lesiones cerebrales. El hallazgo, publicado en la revista Biomaterials, es un implante que estimula la regeneración del tejido cerebral, especialmente en casos de daño pre y postnatal. ¿Cómo influye una lesión en el ánimo y la ansiedad de los futbolistas? Investigadores de la Universidad de Murcia han analizado la incidencia de lesiones sobre los posibles cambios en el estado de ánimo de los futbolistas. El estudio confirma que después de haber sufrido el daño, manifiestan niveles superiores de depresión y ansiedad. Descubierto un nuevo gen responsable del melanoma hereditario Un mecanismo molecular descrito por investigadores españoles en el desarrollo de la leucemia linfática crónica es responsable del desarrollo de formas hereditarias de melanoma. El trabajo, con participación de científicos de la Universidad de Oviedo, refuerza la idea de que tumores de distintos tipos pueden tratarse con los mismos fármacos si comparten las mismas mutaciones.


Descubren un regulador clave del cáncer de colon Un grupo internacional de investigadores ha identificado por primera vez en ratones que la proteína p38 es necesaria para la supervivencia y proliferación de las células tumorales de colon. Los expertos han demostrado en el mismo estudio que un inhibidor de dicha proteína reduce el tamaño de los tumores en ratones.

El alzhéimer podría estar relacionado con infecciones por hongos Un equipo de investigadores que ya había demostrado la existencia de infecciones fúngicas en pacientes con enfermedades neurológicas aporta ahora evidencias que confirman la presencia de este tipo de infecciones en pacientes con enfermedad de Alzheimer.


.BiotecnologĂ­a


Common molecular defect offers treatment hope for group of rare disorders Researchers studying tiny, antennae-like structures called cilia have found a potential way to ease some of the physical damage of numerous genetic disorders that result when these essential cellular components are defective. Different genetic defects cause dysfunction of the cilia, which often act as sensory organs that receive signals from other cells. Individually, disorders involving cilia are Human 'hairless' gene identified: One form of baldness explained It's not a hair-brained idea: A new research report explains why people with a rare balding condition called 'atrichia with papular lesions' lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing this hair loss. "Identification of hairless as a histone demethylase may shed new insights into its mechanism of action in regulating skin and hair disorders," said the lead author.

Better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.


Switching brain cells with less light Networked nerve cells are the control center of organisms. In a nematode, 300 nerve cells are sufficient to initiate complex behavior. To understand the properties of the networks, researchers switch cells on and off with light and observe the resulting behavior of the organism. Scientists now present a protein that facilitates the control of nerve cells Number of novel genetic defects that cause esophageal cancer discovered by scientists The genomic landscape of esophageal squamous carcinoma has been revealed by a team of international scientists. In this study, the researchers comprehensively investigated a large variety of genetic lesions which arose from oesophageal squamous carcinoma. The results showed enrichment of genetic abnormalities that affect several important cellular process and pathways in human cells, which promote Erasing a genetic mutation by snipping mutated DNA Liver disorder in mice has been reversed by correcting a mutated gene. The findings offer the first evidence that this gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. CRISPR, which offers an easy way to snip out mutated DNA and replace it with the correct sequence, holds potential for treating many Genetic mutations warn of skin cancer risk: New high-risk cancer causing mutation identified for melanoma development Mutations in a specific gene are responsible for a hereditary form of melanoma, researchers have discovered. Known genetic mutations account for approximately 40 per cent of all occurrences of inherited forms of melanoma. The team set out to identify the hereditary mutations that account for the other ~60 per cent by sequencing part of One size does not fit all: Dietary guidelines for choline may be insufficient What is now considered to be the 'right' amount of the essential nutrient, choline, might actually be 'wrong,' depending on who you are. That's because scientists have found that the "right" amount of choline needed by an individual is influenced by a wide range of factors, including gender, life stage, race and ethnicity of the individual. This means that using the current one-size-fits


Protein followed by exercise is recipe for calorie-burning success in some women New research shows that for some women, a high-protein meal followed by 30 minutes of moderate exercise is an effective way of burning calories, especially when compared to exercising on an empty stomach. The goal of the study was to determine the interaction between the thermic effect of food and exercise on the body’s total energy expenditure, as measured in calories. Thermic effect is the amoun

Cómo los potyvirus infectan las plantas sin matarlas A lo largo de su evolución, los virus ARN han incorporado una serie de mecanismos para solventar las limitaciones de tener un genoma pequeño y relativamente sencillo. Deben asegurar que dentro de la célula hospedadora esté disponible tanto en el espacio como en el tiempo todo aquello necesario para su replicación, ensamblaje y amplificación. En este tipo de virus, una de las estrategias más comun


Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory Living skeletal muscle that contracts powerfully and rapidly, integrates quickly into mice, and for the first time, demonstrates the ability to heal itself both inside the laboratory and inside an animal has been grown in the lab by biomedical engineers. "The muscle we have made represents an important advance for the field," an author said. "It's the first time engineered muscle ha Genetic cause of heart valve defects revealed Heart valve defects are a common cause of death in newborns. Scientists have discovered "Creld1" is a key gene for the development of heart valves in mice. The researchers were able to show that a similar Creld1 gene found in humans functions via the same signaling pathway as in the mouse. This discovery is an important step forward in the molecular understanding of the pathogenesis of h Major breakthrough in stem cell manufacturing technology A new substance that could simplify the manufacture of cell therapy in the pioneering world of regenerative medicine has been developed. Cell therapy is an exciting and rapidly developing area of medicine in which stem cells have the potential to repair human tissue and maintain organ function in chronic disease and age-related illnesses. But a major problem with translating current successful res Hormones in action: It's all about the right partner Thousands of regulatory regions on the genomic DNA determine which part of a cell’s genetic information is expressed and which is silent. Researchers analyzed such control-regions and the changes in activity that follow treatment with a hormone. They showed that -- depending on the cell type -- a single hormone can influence different regions. Carbohydrate digestion and obesity strongly linked New research indicates that obesity in the general population may be genetically linked to how our bodies digest carbohydrates. People usually have two copies of the gene AMY1, but in some regions of our DNA there can be variability in the number of copies a person carries, which is known as copy number variation. The number of copies of AMY1 can be highly variable between people, and it is believ


Largest developmental proteomic data set for any animal developed Now that the human genome is sequenced, researchers are focusing on the study of the proteome, which is the protein content of an organism, tissue or cell. They have successfully tracked the changing patterns of protein expression during early development of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frog, embryos. The largest data set on developmental proteomics for any organism has been developed by scie First functional 'designer' chromosome in yeast synthesized by scientists The first functional chromosome in yeast has been synthesized by an international research group, an important step in the emerging field of synthetic biology, designing microorganisms to produce novel medicines, raw materials for food, and biofuels. "Our research moves the needle in synthetic biology from theory to reality," remarked a pioneer in synthetic biology, who was a part of the Key regulator of colon cancer discovered P38 is required for the survival and proliferation of colon cancer cells, thus favoring tumor growth, researchers have discovered. The study demonstrates that, on the one hand, p38 is important for the optimal maintenance of the epithelial barrier that protects the intestine against toxic agents, thus contributing to decreased tumor development. Intriguingly, on the other hand, once a tumor has fo How size splits cells using protein to measure Contrary to previous findings suggesting a protein measures cell length, a different protein is found to measure the cell's surface area. One of the scientists who revealed how plants "do maths" can now reveal how cells take measurements of size. Size is important to cells as it determines when they divide. The study's results reveal that cells measure their surface area using a particul Una pequeña proteína que regula el estrés hídrico Las células eucariotas cuentan con el llamado sistema ubiquitinoproteosómico para degradar sus proteínas. Pero no es solo un sistema de deshecho, si no que al actuar de forma selectiva sobre algunas de ellas, es un mecanismo de control de la homesotasis de las proteínas, algo esencial en procesos vitales de las plantas como puedan ser la embriogénesis o la floración. que la pequeña proteína DDA


Increasing longevity of seeds with genetic engineering A new way of improving the longevity of plant seeds using genetic engineering has been discovered. The key is the overexpression of the ATHB25 gene. This gene encodes a protein that regulates gene expression, producing a new mutant that gives the seed new properties. Researchers have proven that this mutant has more gibberellin -the hormone that promotes plant growth-, which means the seed coat is

New device simulating human gut will save money, reduce testing on animals A breakthrough in drug testing could lead to cheaper, more effective medicines. A device has been created that accurately simulates the gastro-intestinal tract and how it absorbs medication. This means that the cost of clinical trials, as well as the use of animals in testing, could be greatly reduced, with savings passed on to customers. Acrobatic motor protein could pave way for new cancer therapies For the first time, researchers have shown how a protein motor, Kif15, uses acrobatic flexibility to navigate within the mitotic spindle. Understanding how it works could prove vital for the development of targeted cancer therapies. The study describes the behavior of Kif15 for the first time and provides a breakthrough step towards understanding the role it plays in cell division.


New approach to leukemia testing may better define prognosis, treatment Nearly half of patients with the most common form of adult leukemia are said to have normal chromosomes but appear instead to have a distinct pattern of genetic abnormalities that could better define their prognosis and treatment, researchers report. In new work using microarray technology that probes millions of genes within chromosomes, researchers found the unique pattern in the leukemia cells New maps for navigating genome unveiled by scientists The clearest picture yet of how our genetic material is regulated in order to make the human body work has been built by an international team of scientists. They have mapped how a network of switches, built into our DNA, controls where and when our genes are turned on and off. The three year project has involved more than 250 scientists in more than 20 countries and regions. Technique measures quantity, risks of engineered nanomaterials delivered to cells Scientists have discovered a way to measure the effective density of engineered nanoparticles in physiological fluids, making it possible to determine the amount of nanomaterials that come into contact with cells and tissue in culture. Protein helps control common viral infection A protein that regulates the body’s immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common pathogen that causes lifelong infections and can lead to devastating illness in newborns and those with weakened immune systems, infectious disease specialists have found. Unravelling nerve-cell death in rare children's disease Mutations in a protein that plays a role in the body’s DNA repair system has been discovered by researchers, similar to what’s observed in the rare children’s disease ataxia-telangiectasia. The discovery provides an approach to identifying therapies that will resuscitate the broken DNA repair mechanism.


New Parkinson's disease chemical messenger discovered A new chemical messenger that is critical in protecting the brain against Parkinson's disease has been identified by scientists. The research team had previously discovered that mutations in two genes -- called PINK1 and Parkin -- lead to Parkinson's. Now they have made a completely unexpected discovery about the way the two genes interact, which they say could open up exciting new avenues for res New technique brings us closer to HIV, Hepatitis C vaccines Plans for a new type of DNA vaccine to protect against the deadly HIV and Hepatitis C viruses have taken an important step forward, with researchers applying for a patent based on groundbreaking new research. The work has focused on utilizing the so-called "accessory" or "messenger" cells in the immune system, called dendritic cells, to activate an immune response. These are a Innovative technique provides inexpensive, rapid, detailed analysis of proteins The power of MSIA platform, with a vision towards clinical adoption has been demonstrated by scientists. The research reports a highthroughput method for quantifying and characterizing insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF1, at a rate of >1,000 human samples a day. "From our knowledge, this is really the first viable option for routine analysis in a clinical laboratory that meets cost and tim Oncologists differ widely on offering cancer gene testing, study finds Not all doctors are ready to embrace tests that look for hundreds of DNA changes in patients’ tumor samples, while others plan to offer this type of cancer gene testing to most of their patients, a study study has found. The wide variation in attitudes was in part determined by Peaches inhibit breast cancer metastasis in mice Treatments with peach extract inhibit breast cancer metastasis in mice, new research demonstrates. Scientists say that the mixture of phenolic compounds present in the peach extract are responsible for the inhibition of metastasis, according to the study. This work builds upon previous work released a few years ago, which showed that peach and plum polyphenols selectively killed aggressive breast


First genome methylation mapping in fruit fly The first mapping of genome methylation in the fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster has been released by a team of scientists. This paper represents a major advance in the study of DNA methylation in insects. No previous study has succeeded in pinpointing the location of DNA methylation in the fly genome. DNA provides information on origins of yeast, helps evolutionaly biologists A problem in evolutionary biology has been turned into a new tool to better understand phylogeny in closely related species. Resequencing ribosomal DNA in closely related yeast species has given them new information about the origins of modern yeast strains and a useful tool for evolutionary biologists. One gene, many tissues: A huge international study on genome expression Genes are the “code� for building the biological elements that form an organism. The DNA that makes up genes contains the instructions to synthesize proteins, but it’s wrong to think that, for a given gene, these instructions are always the same for all parts of the organisms. In actual fact, the gene varies depending on the tissue where it is located (cerebral cortex, cerebellum, olfactory epithe Function of cancer-causing gene explored by researchers Developmental biologists are discovering new roles for a specific gene known as Max's Giant Associated protein, or MGA. A little studied protein, MGA appears to control a number of developmental processes, and also may be connected to cancer development. Certain genetic variants may put bladder cancer patients at increased risk of recurrence In the Western world, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common in women, with many patients experiencing recurrence after treatment. A new study indicates that inheriting certain DNA sequences can affect a patient's prognosis. The findings may help physicians identify sub-groups of bladder cancer patients who should receive intensive treatment and monitorin


Mathematical route to fighting viruses taken by scientists Mathematicians have joined forces with experimentalists to take an important step in discovering how viruses make new copies of themselves during an infection. The researchers have constructed a mathematical model that provides important new insights about the molecular mechanisms behind virus assembly which helps to explain the efficiency of their operation. Cancer researchers find key protein link A new understanding of proteins at the nexus of a cell's decision to survive or die has implications for researchers who study cancer and age-related diseases. Experiments and computer analysis of two key proteins revealed a previously unknown binding interface that could be addressed by medication. To grow or not to grow: A step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration The reason why some animals can regenerate tissues after severe organ loss or amputation while others, such as humans, cannot renew some structures has always intrigued scientists. In a study, a research group provided new clues to solve this central question by investigating regeneration in an adult vertebrate model: the zebrafish. 'Mini heart' invented to help return venous blood A new organ has been invented to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient's own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection. Potential target for treating mitochondrial disorders Mitochondria are essential for proper cellular functions. Mitochondrial defects are often observed in a variety of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, and are the hallmarks of a number of untreatable genetic mitochondrial disorders whose manifestations range from muscle weakness to organ failure. Scientists have identified a protein whose inhibition could hold


New function for important player in immune response uncovered A new function of AID, a crucial enzyme for the immune response has been uncovered by researchers. The discovery helps explain a rare genetic disorder that causes an immunodeficiency syndrome. AID initiates a mechanism whereby a break occurs in the DNA, within the antibody genes, and a segment is removed. The free ends on either side of the removed fragment must be rejoined to repair the DNA stran

Dying cells in fruit fly alert neighboring cells to protect themselves: As a result, neighbors become harder to kill Cells usually self-destruct when irreparable glitches occur in their DNA. Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, helps insure that cells with damaged DNA do not grow and replicate to produce more mutated cells. Apoptosis thereby helps protect and insure the survival of the organism. Scientists now report that a dying Drosophila melanogaster larvae cell alerts neighboring cells that they are in dange Natural plant compounds may assist chemotherapy Plant compounds present in carrots and parsley may one day support more effective delivery of chemotherapy treatments, new research has found. Specific plant compounds are able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body, and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.


Caffeinated fruit flies help identify potential genes affecting insecticide resistance To understand genetic mechanisms underlying insecticide resistance, scientists employed fruit flies and caffeine, a stimulant surrogate for xenobiotics in lab studies on resistance. Crop pests are capable of outwitting the chemical compounds known as xenobiotics that are devised to kill them. This development of resistance to insecticides is a serious problem because it threatens crop production a Inherited muscle diseases: 'Sunday driver' gene headed the wrong way Skeletal muscle cells with unevenly spaced nuclei, or nuclei in the wrong location, are telltale signs of inherited muscle diseases. Scientists now report on findings from research to determine what goes wrong during myogenesis, the formation and maintenance of muscle tissue, to produce these inherited muscle diseases.

Some breast cancer tumors hijack patient epigenetic machinery to evade drug therapy A breast cancer therapy that blocks estrogen synthesis to activate cancer-killing genes sometimes loses its effectiveness because the cancer takes over epigenetic mechanisms, including permanent DNA modifications in the patient's tumor, once again allowing tumor growth, according to an international team of scientists.


Nuevo papel de las p38 MAP quinasas en la artritis reumatoide La artritis reumatoide es una enfermedad autoinmune que aunque afecta principalmente a las articulaciones, causa también inflamación crónica en multitud de tejidos y órganos. Se calcula que afecta al 1% de la población, con síntomas desde la hiperplasia sinovial hasta la destrucción de las articulaciones. Todos estos síntomas son consecuencia de una liberación continua y desregulada de citoquinas Bamboo-loving giant pandas also have a sweet tooth Despite the popular conception of giant pandas as continually chomping on bamboo, new research reveals that this highly endangered species also has a sweet tooth. Behavioral and molecular genetic studies demonstrate that the panda possesses functional sweet taste receptors and shows a strong preference for natural sweeteners. Tumor suppressor gene linked to stem cells, cancer biologists report Just as archeologists try to decipher ancient tablets to discern their meaning, cancer biologists are working to decode the purpose of an ancient gene considered one of the most important in cancer research. The p53 gene appears to be involved in signaling other cells instrumental in stopping tumor development. But the p53 gene predates cancer, so scientists are, for now, uncertain what its origin Understanding plant-soil interaction could lead to new ways to combat weeds Using high-powered DNA-based tools, a recent study identified soil microbes that negatively affect ragweed and provided a new understanding of the complex relationships going on beneath the soil surface between plants and microorganisms. The study allowed researchers to observe how three generations of ragweed and sunflower interacted with the microbial community in the soil. The plants interact Protein called YAP gives blood vessels strength, shape A protein known to promote cancer appears to give the blood vessels strength and shape, researchers report. When yes-associated protein, or YAP, is deleted from vascular smooth muscle cells during development, the protein makes thin-walled blood vessels that over-dilate in response to the usual pressure of blood flow.


.Neurociencia


Most comprehensive wiring diagram of the mammalian brain to date Researchers have published the first comprehensive, large-scale data set on how the brain of a mammal is wired, providing a groundbreaking data resource and fresh insights into how the nervous system processes information. Their landmark paper describes the publicly available Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas and demonstrates the exciting knowledge that can be gleaned from this valuable resourc A critical window into the developing human brain profiled in Nature Researchers have generated a high-resolution blueprint for how to build a human brain, with a detailed map of where different genes are turned on and off during mid-pregnancy at unprecedented anatomical resolution. This is the first major report using data from the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain. Infants are sensitive to pleasant touch Infants show unique physiological and behavioral responses to pleasant touch, which may help to cement the bonds between child and parent and promote early social and physiological development, according to research. According to the researchers, the findings "support the notion that pleasant touch plays a vital role in human social interactions by demonstrating that the sensitivity to pleasa Integrating meditation with science Mindfulness meditation produces personal experiences that are not readily interpretable by scientists who want to study its psychiatric benefits in the brain. Researchers have now been able to integrate mindfulness experience with hard neuroscience data to advance more rigorous study. Pigeons share our ability to place everyday things in categories Pinecone or pine nut? Friend or foe? Distinguishing between the two requires that we pay special attention to the telltale characteristics of each. And as it turns out, us humans aren’t the only ones up to the task. According to researchers, pigeons share our ability to place everyday things in categories. And, like people, they can home in on visual information that is new or important and dismis


New test makes Parkinson's-like disorder of middle age detectable in young adulthood The very earliest signs of a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder, in which physical symptoms are not apparent until the fifth decade of life, are detectable in individuals as young as 30 years old using a new, sophisticated type of neuroimaging, researchers have found. People with the condition -- fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) - experience tremors, poor balance, cognitiv Weaker gut instinct makes teens open to risky behavior Making snap decisions usually means following your initial reaction -going with your gut. But some adolescents are more likely to heed outside influences, leaving them vulnerable to risky behaviors. A new study is part of a larger investigation of how teens make decisions based on body sensations and could help design prevention and treatment that hones in on risky decision-making. Biological evidence of positive and negative people in the world The ability to stay positive when times get tough -- and, conversely, of being negative -- may be hardwired in the brain, finds new research. The study focused on women because they are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety related problems and previously reported sex differences in brain structure and function could have obscured the results. Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders A study using the mutant fruitfly sleepless confirmed that the enzyme GABA transaminase, a target of some epilepsy drugs, contributes to sleep loss. The findings shed light on mechanisms that may be shared between sleep disruption and some neurological disorders. A better understanding of this connection could enable treatments that target both types of symptoms and perhaps provide better therapeu Better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.


Universal syllables: Some innate preferences shape the sound of words from birth Languages are learned, it’s true, but are there also innate bases in the structure of language that precede experience? Linguists have noticed that, despite the huge variability of human languages, there are some preferences in the sound of words that can be found across languages. So they wonder whether this reflects the existence of a universal, innate biological basis of language. A new study Heart health as young adult linked to mental function in mid-life Having blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels slightly higher than the recommended guidelines in early adulthood is associated with lower cognitive function in mid-life. "Our study is hopeful, because it tells us we could maybe make a dent in the risks of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by emphasizing the importance of controlling risk factors among younger people," r Addicts Who Live in the Moment May Get Most Benefit From Certain Kinds of Treatment A simple cognitive test may be able to predict how well an individual struggling with addiction will respond to certain treatments, according to a study led by an addiction expert. The human instinct to choose instant gratification, such as a drug high, over a later benefit, such as good health -- known as future or delay discounting -- is strong in people with drug dependencies. An important comp


Computer maps 21 distinct emotional expressions -- even 'happily disgusted' Researchers have found a way for computers to recognize 21 distinct facial expressions -- even expressions for complex or seemingly contradictory emotions such as “happily disgusted” or “sadly angry.” The study more than triples the number of documented facial expressions that researchers can now use for cognitive analysis. Experimental cancer drug reverses schizophrenia in adolescent mice An experimental anticancer compound appears to have reversed behaviors associated with schizophrenia and restored some lost brain cell function in adolescent mice with a rodent version of the devastating mental illness. The drug is one of a class of compounds known as PAK inhibitors, which have been shown in animal experiments to confer some protection from brain damage due to Fragile X syndrome, Two new genes linked to intellectual disability discovered Two new genes linked to intellectual disability have been discovered, according to two research studies. About one per cent of children worldwide are affected by non-syndromic (i.e., the absence of any other clinical features) intellectual disability, a condition characterized by an impaired capacity to learn and process new or complex information, leading to decreased cognitive functioning and so New pathway revealed through sodium pump In addition to its role as a sodium and potassium ion transporter, the ubiquitous sodium pump displays “hybrid” function by simultaneously importing protons into the cell. Proton inflow might play a role in certain pathologies, including heart attack and stroke. Anesthetic technique important to prevent damage to brain A commonly used anesthetic technique to reduce the blood pressure of patients undergoing surgery could increase the risk of starving the brain of oxygen. Reducing blood pressure is important in a wide range of surgeries -- such as sinus, shoulder, back and brain operations -- and is especially useful for improving visibility for surgeons, by helping to remove excess blood from the site being opera


New approach to Huntington's disease? Tweaking a specific cell type’s ability to absorb potassium in the brain improved walking and prolonged survival in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease, reports a study. The discovery could point to new drug targets for treating the devastating disease, which strikes one in every 20,000 Americans. Circadian clock like an orchestra with many conductors You've switched to the night shift and your weight skyrockets, or you wake at 7 a.m. on weekdays but sleep until noon on weekends -- a social jet lag can fog your Saturday and Sunday. Life runs on rhythms driven by circadian clocks, and disruption of these cycles is associated with serious physical and emotional problems. Why we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt abruptly changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in 'The Order of the Phoenix,' or how in 'Pretty Woman,' Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake? Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle changes in movies and in the real world. Key player in motor neuron death in Lou Gehrig's disease identified Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is marked by a cascade of cellular and inflammatory events that weakens and kills vital motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The process is complex, involving cells that ordinarily protect the neurons from harm. Now, a new study points to a potential culprit in this good-cell-gone-bad scenario, a key step toward the ultimate Cell-saving drugs could reduce brain damage after stroke Long-term brain damage caused by stroke could be reduced by saving cells called pericytes that control blood flow in capillaries, reports a new study. The results show not only that pericytes are the main regulator of blood flow to the brain, but also that they tighten and die around capillaries after stroke. This significantly impairs blood flow in the long term, causing lasting damage to brain c


Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits, aggressive behavior Learning and memory relies on the proper processing of signals that stimulate neuronal cells within the brain. Researchers have uncovered an important role for the protein coronin 1 in cognition and behavior. They found that a lack of coronin 1 in mouse and in humans is associated with poor memory, defective learning and aggressive behavior. Information processing demonstrated using a light-based chip inspired by our brain Researchers report on a novel paradigm to do optical information processing on a chip, using techniques inspired by the way our brain works. Neural networks have been employed in the past to solve pattern recognition problems like speech recognition or image recognition, but so far, these bio-inspired techniques have been implemented mostly in software on a traditional computer. What researchers h Unravelling nerve-cell death in rare children's disease Mutations in a protein that plays a role in the body’s DNA repair system has been discovered by researchers, similar to what’s observed in the rare children’s disease ataxia-telangiectasia. The discovery provides an approach to identifying therapies that will resuscitate the broken DNA repair mechanism.


Brain scans link concern for justice with reason, not emotion People who care about justice are swayed more by reason than emotion, according to new brain scan research. Psychologists have found that some individuals react more strongly than others to situations that invoke a sense of justice -- for example, seeing a person being treated unfairly, or with mercy. The new study used brain scans to analyze the thought processes of people with high “justice sens New Parkinson's disease chemical messenger discovered A new chemical messenger that is critical in protecting the brain against Parkinson's disease has been identified by scientists. The research team had previously discovered that mutations in two genes -- called PINK1 and Parkin -- lead to Parkinson's. Now they have made a completely unexpected discovery about the way the two genes interact, which they EEG study shows how brain infers structure, rules when learning A new study documents the brain activity underlying our strong tendency to infer a structure of context and rules when learning new tasks (even when a structure isn't valid). The findings, which revealed individual differences, shows how we try to apply task knowledge to similar situations and could inform future research on learning Gulf war illness not in veterans' heads but in their mitochondria Veterans of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War who suffer from “Gulf War illness” have impaired function of mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of cells, researchers have demonstrated for the first time. The findings could help lead to new treatments benefitting affected individuals -- and to new ways of protecting servicepersons (and civilians) from similar problems in the future. Obesity, diabetes pre-programmed in womb? Fetal response to glucose associated with mother's insulin sensitivity Direct evidence has been shown that fetal brain response to a dose of sugar given orally to its mother is associated with the mother's insulin sensitivity. This may indicate that the risk of subsequent obesity and diabetes may be pre-programmed in the womb. The authors conclude: "Lower maternal insulin sensitivity is associated with slower fetal brain responses. These findings provide the fir


Adult cancer drugs show promise against an aggressive childhood brain tumor The quest to improve survival of children with a high-risk brain tumor has investigators to two drugs already used to treat adults with breast, pancreatic, lung and other cancers. Researchers demonstrated that the drugs pemetrexed and gemcitabine killed cells from mouse and human brain tumors, called group 3 medulloblastoma, growing in the laboratory. Medulloblastoma is diagnosed in about 400 chil Chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood, neurobiologists find In experiments to assess the impacts of social stress upon adolescent mice, both at the time they are experienced and during adulthood, a laboratory team conducted many different kinds of stress tests and means of measuring their impacts. The research indicates that a 'hostile environment in adolescence disturbs psychoemotional state and social behaviors of animals in adult life,' the team says. Immunotherapy approach to Alzheimer's studied in fly models The results of using fly models to investigate passive immunotherapy to block amyloid-²42 peptides of amyloid plaques that damage the brain cells of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are now presented by researchers. The scientists are investigating passive immunotherapy, one of the most promising approaches to blocking the amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptide, the main component of the amyloid plaques


In mapping feat, scientists pinpoint neurons where select memories grow Memories are difficult to produce, often fragile, and dependent on any number of factors -- including changes to various types of nerves. In the common fruit fly -- a scientific doppelganger used to study human memory formation—these changes take place in multiple parts of the insect brain. Scientists have now been able to pinpoint a handful of neurons where certain types of memory formation occur Brain degeneration in Huntington's disease caused by amino acid deficiency Working with genetically engineered mice, neuroscientists report they have identified what they believe is the cause of the vast disintegration of a part of the brain called the corpus striatum in rodents and people with Huntington’s disease: loss of the ability to make the amino acid cysteine. They also found that disease progression slowed in mice that were fed a diet rich in cysteine, which is Fundamentals of facial recognition: Specialized brain mechanisms for recognizing faces? Scientists showed that participants suffering from face blindness performed as well as the average person in training measuring their ability to learn a set of computer-generated objects called greebles. The findings undermine the leading alternative to the idea that prosopagnosia is the result of damage to brain mechanisms specifically devoted to processing faces, and thus indicate that people re Autism begins in pregnancy, according to study: Cortical layers disrupted during brain development in autism Researchers have published a study that gives clear and direct new evidence that autism begins during pregnancy. The researchers analyzed 25 genes in post-mortem brain tissue of children with and without autism. These included genes that serve as biomarkers for brain cell types in different layers of the cortex, genes implicated in autism and several control genes.


.CĂŠlulas madre


Cell-surface receptor offers promising breakthrough for pancreatic cancer patients Findings of a new study provide a direct proof for a new therapy and provide hope for the people with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer rates in the U.S. have been rising over the past decade, and the disease takes a very heavy toll. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the last year alone about 45,220 people were diagnosed with pancreatic Better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. New human trial shows stem cells are effective for failing hearts: Bone marrow-derived stem cells injected directly into heart muscle Patients with severe ischemic heart disease and heart failure can benefit from a new treatment in which stem cells found in bone marrow are injected directly into the heart muscle, according to new research. The study is the largest placebo-controlled double-blind randomized trial to treat patients with chronic ischemic heart failure by injecting a type of Major breakthrough in stem cell manufacturing technology A new substance that could simplify the manufacture of cell therapy in the pioneering world of regenerative medicine has been developed. Cell therapy is an exciting and rapidly developing area of medicine in which stem cells have the potential to repair human tissue and maintain organ function in chronic disease and age-related illnesses. But a major problem with translating current successful res Preserving fertility in boys with cancer: New study shows promise Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to preserve fertility in young boys who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. The new research addresses the safety of an option scientists are developing for boys who aren’t sexually mature and cannot bank sperm. The goal is to freeze a sample of the boys’ testicular tissue so that when they reach adulthood, spermatogonial stem


'Mini heart' invented to help return venous blood A new organ has been invented to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient's own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection. Tumor suppressor gene linked to stem cells, cancer biologists report Just as archeologists try to decipher ancient tablets to discern their meaning, cancer biologists are working to decode the purpose of an ancient gene considered one of the most important in cancer research. The p53 gene appears to be involved in signaling other cells instrumental in stopping tumor development. But the p53 gene predates cancer, so scientists are, for now, uncertain what its origin Comprehensive 'roadmap' of blood cells revealed by researchers An unprecedented look at five unique blood cells in the human body has been published in a new article, pinpointing the location of key genetic regulators in these cells and providing a new tool that may help scientists to identify how blood cells form and shed light on the etiology of blood diseases.


Biblioteca. Facultad de BiologĂ­a Universidad de Salamanca. Campus Miguel de Unamuno c/Donantes de Sangre s/n 37007 Salamanca angelpoveda@usal.es

http://campus.usal.es/~bibliotecabiologia/

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Revista de noticias sobre Biología, Biotecnología, Medioambiente, Neurociencias, etc.

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