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Cells Induce Inflammation Upon Detection of Cytoplasmic DNA

The presence of free DNA in the cytoplasm activates two distinct defense measures. The first is an antiviral immune response, mediated by induction of the synthesis and secretion of immunostimulatory messenger molecules called interferons. The second is a classical inflammatory reaction, which elicits symptoms such as fever, and localized swelling

A Tubular Structure to Stop Cell Growth

Some of the treasures of Easter Island are invisible. In the 1960s, researchers discovered a bacterium that produces a compound with potent anti-fungal properties. They called it rapamycin, from the island's native name Rapa Nui. Although evolutionarily distant, fungi and mammals share much of the basic biochemistry that drives cellular

Genes are Controlled by Nano Footballs Scientists Discover

By placing tiny glowing probes on transcription factors -- special chemicals inside cells which control whether a gene is switched 'on' or 'off' -- researchers gained a remarkable new insight into the way in which genes are controlled. Crucially, they discovered that transcription factors operate not as single molecules as was

‘Missing Link’ Explains How Viruses Trigger Immunity

The research team demonstrated a protein called SIDT2 was crucial for cells to detect viral components in their environment, and initiate an immune response to reduce the virus' spread. As well as being an important part of the intricate 'arms race' between viruses and our immune system, the finding could inform

Protein that Extends Life of Yeast Cells

For about one hundred years it has been known that nutrient restriction and moderate stress can significantly prolong life. The researchers led by Prof. Mihaela Zavolan and Prof. Anne Spang, both at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, have discovered how the transcription factor Gcn4, a protein that regulates

Immature Cells Grow up to be Red Blood Cells

In order to make as much room as possible for the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin, pretty much everything else inside these precursor red blood cells -- nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes and more -- gets purged. Jam-packing red blood cells with hemoglobin is essential. Doing so ensures that all the body's tissues and

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