Category Archives: Basic Research

CROWDACURE: Crowdfunding Platform For Rare Diseases

A new website is trying to do what kickstarter has done for hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world in terms of gaining support for idea stage ventures. Crowdacure is helping researchers raise funds for “hard to fund” medical research. The hard to fund medical areas include tropical diseases, rare diseases and even common yet ignored […]

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CRISPR as a Recorder of Molecular Activity

Researchers from Harvard University have succesfully proved that CRISPR can work as a recorder of molecular events. Synthetic DNA molecules introduced in bacteria over a defined timespan were integrated by the CRISPR/Cas system in DNA arrays in the exact same order of introduction. The results, published in the journal Science, pave the way for using CRISPR to […]

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Anti-CRISPR Proteins from Prophages Discovered in Proteobacterial Genomes

Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Otago have discovered five new proteins that block the bacterial CRISPR/Cas immune system. The anti-CRISPR proteins are encoded in genes belonging to bacteriophage sequences inserted in the bacterial genome. The new findings, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, enlarge the list of known anti-CRISPR systems. CRISPR/Cas is a bacterial immune […]

DNA Second Code

Nanothermomether Built with DNA

Illustration: istockphotos   Researchers from the University of Montreal have designed a DNA thermometer 20000 times smaller than a human hair. The scientists took advantage of DNA’s natural changes in compaction when subject to temperature variations. The DNA thermometer, which measures temperature at the nanoscale, serves as a proof of concept for building new nanodevices. […]

RNA

RNA at the Center of Epigenetics

Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center, and University of Chicago have discovered a new RNA modification that plays a central role in the regulation of gene expression. The methylation of Adenosine in position 1 occurs on thousands of different transcripts in eukaryotic cells and in 20% of human transcripts. The presence of the […]

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Decline of Basic Science Papers in Medical Journals

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have published a meta-research paper where they state the worrying decline in the number of basic research articles in peer-reviewed specialty medical journals in the last 20 years. The decrease is expected to affect physicians’ interest in and understanding of molecular mechanisms that explain diseases and allow finding treatments. Basic […]

single protein hologram structure

Electron Holography Microscope Obtains First Image of a Single Protein

  Researchers from the University of Zurich have obtained the first image ever of a single protein. The molecule was fixed on a graphene sheet and imaged with an electron holographic microscope. By emitting low-energy electrons, this technique acquired images without damaging the sample, and the thinness of graphene allowed electrons to pass through it and […]

Salinas

Gabriel Ortega: “How Do Halophiles Endure Extreme Salinity?”

The slow but unstoppable progress of evolution has enabled, step by step, mutation after mutation, the conquest of virtually all ecosystems on Earth. Even in those places where conditions are far from “standard”, where the presence of organisms seems unthinkable, life has found its way. These small conquerors are called extremophiles. Thus we find thermophilic organisms that […]