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,…

Fight or Flight: The Sympathetic Nervous System

When facing down a ferocious lion, an oncoming car or maybe just an impending deadline, our bodies trigger a physical stress response that prepares us to either fight or flee the scene. This "fight-or-flight" response is driven by the sympathetic nervous system, a normally harmonized network of brain structures, nerves…

‘Mindreading’ neurons simulate decisions of social partners

Scientists have identified special types of brain cells that may allow us to simulate the decision-making processes of others, thereby reconstructing their state of mind and predicting their intentions. Dysfunction in these ‘simulation neurons’ may help explain difficulties with social interactions in conditions such as autism and social anxiety. Researchers…

On the origin of B1 cells

A new MDC study may resolve a decades-old debate in immunology: A team led by Prof. Klaus Rajewsky reports in Science that distinct progenitor cells are not required for the development of B1 cells. Instead, the team’s experiments show that B1-typical B-cell receptor can reprogram B2 cells into B1 cells,…

A closed cage-like molecule that can be opened

Molecular cages offer the possibility to encapsulate ions or other molecules. If the cage structure has a ‘hatch’ that can be opened or closed in a controllable way, it can operate as a molecular gate. Now, Shigehisa Akine from Kanazawa University and coworkers have designed a new type of molecular…