Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes serious respiratory disease in infants and older adults, but no vaccine is yet available. Researchers have now determined the molecular structures of human antibodies bound to an RSV surface protein, providing a promising route for designing a vaccine effective against a broad range of RSV strains. Read more »
Parrotfish chew on coral, producing hundreds of pounds of sand each year. Mapping the microstructure of parrotfish teeth, scientists found bundles of crystals interwoven like chain mail. The results provide a blueprint for creating ultra-durable materials for mechanical components that undergo repetitive contact, movement, and abrasion. Read more »
An antibody was modified to activate a specific pathway of the immune system, demonstrating its value in killing tumor cells. The work provides a platform for disentangling different immune-system pathways and could lead to the design of improved immunotherapies.
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Genentech has been working in collaboration with the ALS for years with the goal of identifying a better cholesterol treatment mechanism that targets a cholesterol-regulating protein in the body known as PCSK9. Recent advances in understanding PCSK9’s structure have put them closer to that goal.
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A parrotfish’s hardy teeth allow it to chomp on coral all day long, ultimately grinding it up through digestion into fine sand. Researchers wanting to see how the fine crystal structure of parrotfish teeth contribute to their incredible strength were able to visualize the orientation of individual crystals, which showed their intricately woven structure. Read more »
Scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available. The research could lead to innovations in linking proteins to other materials for bioelectronic devices such as sensors that can diagnose disease or detect contaminants. Read more »
A recently awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant will help integrate existing structural biology resources at the ALS to better serve users. The funds will help establish a centralized collaborative mechanism, called ALS-ENABLE, that will guide users through the most appropriate routes for answering their biological questions. Read more »
The bacterium, H. modesticaldum, is thought to have a photosynthetic reaction center resembling the earliest common ancestor of all photosynthesis complexes. Its molecular structure has now been solved, providing insight into the evolution of photosynthesis and how nature optimized light-driven energy collection. Read more »
CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins have revolutionized gene editing by vastly simplifying the insertion of short snippets of new (“donor”) DNA into very specific locations of target DNA. Now, researchers have discovered how the Cas proteins are able to recognize the target locations with such great specificity.
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Genetic analyses and infrared studies have found that archaea, a type of microbe commonly found in extreme environments, are also found on human skin. The results suggest that an increase in archaea is linked to reduced skin moisture and that they are most abundant in subjects younger than 12 and older than 60. Read more »