Human artificial chromosomes bypass centromere roadblocks

Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) could be useful tools for both understanding how mammalian chromosomes function and creating synthetic biological systems, but for the last 20 years, they have been limited by an inefficient artificial centromere. In the journal Cell on July 25th, researchers announce that they have made progress on…

New tool for understanding cells in health and disease: A first-of-its-kind data analysis platform is helping make sense of the overwhelming amounts of data generated by single-cell research

A first-of-its-kind data analysis platform is enabling researchers to select the best tool for interpreting the overwhelming amounts of data generated by single-cell research. Accurately making sense of this information will help to explain the vital and varied roles cells play in health and disease. The platform, CellBench, was published…

How egg cells choose their best powerhouses to pass on

Developing egg cells conduct tests to select the healthiest of their energy-making machines to be passed to the next generation. A new study in fruit flies, published online May 15 in Nature, shows how the testing is done. The work focuses on mitochondria, the cellular machines that turn the sugars,…

Scientists unlock new role for nervous system in regeneration: Researchers were able to explain, predict, and even manipulate regeneration of the flatworm body

Biologists at Tufts University have developed a computational model of planarian (flatworm) regeneration that explains how fragments of planaria determine which end should form a tail and which should form a head. The development begins to answer an important question in regeneration research — what are the signals that determine…

Parasitic worms cause cancer — and could help cure it

Billions worldwide are infected with tropical worms. Unsurprisingly, most of these people live in poor countries, kept poor by the effects of worm-related malnourishment. What may surprise many is that worms also cause the majority of cases of some cancers in these countries. Published in Frontiers in Medicine as a…

Discovery casts doubt on cell surface organization models

Like planets, the body’s cell surfaces look smooth from a distance but hilly closer up. An article published in Communications Biology describes implications, unknown to date, of the way data from cell surfaces are normally interpreted; i.e. as if they lacked topographic features. When Earth is studied from space, its…