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Showing results 51-61 of 65 for 'Proteins'

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    Spare Parts Might “Jump-Start” Protein Design

    The idea of proteins that can be designed on computers for specific functions has been a cutting-edge concept that has stubbornly remained “in the future.” New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science may bring that future a bit closer. By going back to nature’s drawing board – evolution – the scientists have created new proteins, based on “existing natural parts,” that carry out their intended function with flying colors. These findings were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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    Silk Micro-Cocoons Will Transport Proteins in Food, Drugs

    Scientists from Israel and abroad have designed microscopic silk capsules that can serve as a protective environment for the transport of fragile protein “cargo” for cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical applications — particularly the delivery of drugs within the body. The collaborative research, performed by an international team of academics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel; the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Sheffield in the UK; and the ETH in Switzerland, was reported in Nature Communications on July 19.

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    How Malaria Tricks the Immune System

    Global efforts to eradicate malaria are crucially dependent on scientists’ ability to outsmart the malaria parasite. And Plasmodium falciparum is notoriously clever: it is quick to develop resistance against medications and has such a complex life cycle that blocking it effectively with a vaccine has thus far proved elusive. In a new study reported in Nature Communications, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, together with collaborators in Ireland and Australia, have shown that P. falciparum is even more devious than previously thought: not only does it hide from the body’s immune defenses, it employs an active strategy to deceive the immune system.

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    Cells Talk and Help One Another via Tiny Tube Networks

    When the physician and scientist Emil Lou was an oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center about a decade ago, he was regularly troubled by the sight of something small but unidentifiable in his cancer-cell cultures. Looking through the microscope, he said, he “kept finding these long, thin translucent lines,” about 50 nanometers wide and 150 to 200 microns long, extending between cells in the culture. He called on the world-class cell biologists in his building to explain these observations, but nobody was sure what they were looking at. Finally, after delving into the literature, Lou realized that the lines matched what Hans-Hermann Gerdes’ group at the University of Heidelberg had described as “nanotubular highways” or “tunneling nanotubes” (TNTs) in a 2004 paper in Science.

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    Toward an “Ultra-Personalized” Therapy for Melanoma

    With new immunotherapy treatments for melanoma, recovery rates have risen dramatically – in some cases to around 50%. But they could be much higher. A new study led by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science showed, in lab dishes and animal studies, that a highly personalized approach could help the immune cells improve their ability to recognize the cancer and kill it. The results of this study were published in Cancer Discovery.

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    Looking in Cellular Trash Cans

    If we really want to know how our body’s cells work – or don’t work, in the case of disease – we might need to look beyond our genes and even beyond the proteins the genes are made of. We may need to start going through the cellular “trash.” The group of Dr. Yifat Merbl of the Weizmann Institute of Science developed a system to do just that, finding that “cellular dumpster-diving” contains information about the cell’s function that is not otherwise seen. The group applied their new approach to profiling the immune cells of patients with an autoimmune disorder, discovering clear evidence of a signature pattern that provides a new way of thinking about the underlying causes of the disease. Furthermore, in the future, this may lead to better diagnostic techniques.

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    The Importins of Anxiety

    According to some estimates, up to one in three people around the world may experience severe anxiety in their lifetime. In a study published in Cell Reports, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have revealed a previously unknown mechanism underlying anxiety. Targeting this biochemical pathway may help develop new therapies to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

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    Could This be the Fountain of Youth?

    A drug that helps the immune system clear away old cells could restore youthfulness, according to a new study. The research suggests it may be possible to reverse the ageing process and could potentially pave the way for anti-ageing treatments that actually work. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel investigated the way the immune system is involved in clearing away old, senescent (or, ageing) cells that are not completely dead but are irreparably damaged and barely functioning.