What happens at the molecular level when plants defend against invading pathogens? Previously it was assumed that the processes were roughly the same in all plants. This is not true, as a team of biologists shows in a new study. The researchers investigated defense processes in the wild tobacco plant N. benthamiana and found that the processes work quite differently than previously thought.
Life depends on double-stranded DNA unwinding and separating into single strands that can be copied for cell division. Scientists have determined at atomic resolution the structure of machinery that drives the process.
Researchers have now found a new way to extract useful information out of sequenced DNA. By cataloging subtle evolutionary signatures shared between pairs of genes in bacteria, the team discovered hundreds of previously unknown protein interactions. This method is now being applied to the human genome to seek new insights into how our proteins interact.
Scientists have identified a new cellular mechanism that alters placental development, potentially causing serious complications during pregnancy. The mechanism is linked with the production of interferon, a molecule produced in response to infection, especially viral infection.
Scientists have known insects experience something like pain, but new research provides compelling evidence suggesting that insects also experience chronic pain that lasts long after an initial injury has healed.
Hidden underground networks of plant roots snake through the earth foraging for nutrients and water, similar to a worm searching for food. Yet, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern which parts of the soil roots explore remain largely unknown. Now, researchers have discovered a gene that determines whether roots grow deep or shallow in the soil.
Yersinia have spread fear and terror, especially in the past, but today they have still not been completely eradicated. The bacteria inject various enzymes, including YopO, into the macrophages of the immune system. There it is activated and prevents the defense cells from enclosing and digesting the plague bacteria. Using the latest methods, scientists have now deciphered how YopO changes its shape and thus contributes to confusing the immune system.