Posts Tagged: Integrated Arts and Sciences

Researchers identify new type of depression

Researchers identify new type of depression

Protein linked with depression shows promise as new drug target     Depression is a mental disorder that affects over 300 million people around the world. While treatments exist, many of them are based on one hypothesis of how depression arises. Patients that do not fit this mold may not be getting benefits. A study led by Hiroshima University (HU), which was published online this May in Neuroscience, shed light on how one protein called RGS8 plays a role in depression behaviors. Scientists think depression occurs because of the monoamine hypothesis, so named for the type of two chemicals that depressed people lack: serotonin and norepinephrine (NE). Ninety percent of antidepressant… Read more

Bubble volcano

Bubble volcano

Shaking, popping by earthquakes may cause eruptions A new study on the connection between earthquakes and volcanoes took its inspiration from old engineering basics.  Future applications of these results may enable better predictions of the likelihood of a volcanic eruption for communities affected by an earthquake. If you swirl wine in a glass too strongly, the wine crashes against the sides and spills over the top.  The same swirling and crashing, technically termed “sloshing,” happens when transporting liquids on trucks or ships.  Large liquid containers must be specially designed to avoid damage as the vehicle shakes and the liquid sloshes.  Strong earthquakes can even damage large petroleum tanks. When earthquakes… Read more

The ups and downs of transportation within cells

The ups and downs of transportation within cells

New role for Rab6 How do cells avoid growing topsy-turvy?  Growing so your top, front, bottom and back all wind up on the correct side requires a good sense of direction at the cellular level.  A Hiroshima University research group has identified a familiar gene with an unexpected role in directing proteins around the cell. “I really want to figure out how proteins know where to go inside the cell.  The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers who laid the groundwork for understanding transportation within cells, but the process of how different proteins are sorted to go to different locations is still unknown,” said Akiko… Read more

The tortoise and the hare of spinal neural circuits

The tortoise and the hare of spinal neural circuits

After an injury, practicing movements at different speeds improves certain nerve functions Changes in one circuit of nerves, but not another, in the spinal cord depend on how quickly muscles must move to complete a task, according to results from the Human Motor Control Laboratory of Professor Kozo Funase, PhD, at Hiroshima University.  The results could influence physical therapy routines for patients struggling to control their bodies after a stroke or spine injury. Multiple different types of circuits of nerves control the communication between motor and sensory nerves in the spine.  One, called presynaptic inhibition, works like a gate to control incoming sensory information and prevents muscle spasms.  Another, called… Read more

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force

  Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Liquid Bi shows a peculiar dispersion of the acoustic mode, which is related to the Peierls distortion in the crystalline state. These results will provide valuable inspiration to researchers developing new materials in the nanotechnology field. Studies of the atomic dynamics in liquid Bi have been revisited more recently. The previous inelastic neutron scattering (INS) results for liquid Bi showed inconsistency for the inelastic excitation of the acoustic mode. These results were also different from the ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) prediction that indicated that the peculiar atomic dynamics arose from an anisotropic interatomic force… Read more

Noncoding RNA CCDC26 regulates KIT expression

Noncoding RNA CCDC26 regulates KIT expression

  A long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), which might give an impact on tyrosine kinase-targeted leukemia therapy, was found to be expressed in a leukemia cell line. The function of the lncRNA CCDC26 is not fully understood; however, researchers at Hiroshima University revealed the mechanisms by which CCDC26 controls the receptor tyrosine kinase KIT expression. The results provide new insights into leukemia recurrence and may help to develop new leukemia therapies. Recent transcriptomic studies have revealed the existence of numerous RNAs that are relatively long but not translated into proteins. Some of such lncRNAs are suggested to regulate the expression of other genes. Mutations or imbalances in the noncoding RNA repertoire… Read more

How is the membrane protein folded?

How is the membrane protein folded?

From molecular biology toward new medical care A key factor in the biosynthesis and stable expression of multi-pass transmembrane proteins was discovered, and its loss is thought to cause retinal degeneration. The factor works especially for multi-pass membrane proteins, in the integration of polypeptides into the membrane and/or protein folding. Understanding the mechanisms underlying protein folding and trafficking may contribute to the large-scale, therapy-based production of target proteins. In 2013, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Randy W. Schekman, James E. Rothman, and Thomas C. Südhof for their discovery of how cells deliver thousands of membrane proteins to the right place at the right time. It… Read more