Announcements

Biomarkers could predict Alzheimer's before it starts

A simple blood test has the potential to predict whether a healthy person will develop symptoms of dementia within two or three years. If larger studies uphold the results, the test could fill a major gap in strategies to combat brain degeneration, which is thought to show symptoms only at a stage when it too late to treat effectively. The test was identified in a preliminary study involving 525 people aged over 70.

Whole-genome screening identifies proteins localized to distinct nuclear bodies

The nucleus is a unique organelle that contains essential genetic materials in chromosome territories. The interchromatin space is composed of nuclear subcompartments, which are defined by several distinctive nuclear bodies believed to be factories of DNA or RNA processing and sites of transcriptional and/or posttranscriptional regulation. In this paper, we performed a genome-wide microscopy-based screening for proteins that form nuclear foci and characterized their localizations using markers of known nuclear bodies.

Cell cycle speed is key to making aging cells young again

Researchers identified a major obstacle to converting cells back to their youthful state -- the speed of the cell cycle, or the time required for a cell to divide. When the cell cycle accelerates to a certain speed, the barriers that keep a cell's fate on one path diminish. In such a state, cells are easily persuaded to change their identity and become pluripotent, or capable of becoming multiple cell types.

The CRAPome: a contaminant repository for affinity purification–mass spectrometry data

Affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (AP-MS) is a widely used approach for the identification of protein-protein interactions. However, for any given protein of interest, determining which of the identified polypeptides represent bona fide interactors versus those that are background contaminants (for example, proteins that interact with the solid-phase support, affinity reagent or epitope tag) is a challenging task.

The Chromatin Scaffold Protein SAFB1 Renders Chromatin Permissive for DNA Damage Signaling

Although the general relevance of chromatin modifications for genotoxic stress signaling, cell-cycle checkpoint activation, and DNA repair is well established, how these modifications reach initial thresholds in order to trigger robust responses remains largely unexplored. Here, we identify the chromatin-associated scaffold attachment factor SAFB1 as a component of the DNA damage response and show that SAFB1 cooperates with histone acetylation to allow for efficient γH2AX spreading and genotoxic stress signaling.

Genome-wide recessive genetic screening in mammalian cells with a lentiviral CRISPR-guide RNA library

dentification of genes influencing a phenotype of interest is frequently achieved through genetic screening by RNA interference (RNAi) or knockouts. However, RNAi may only achieve partial depletion of gene activity, and knockout-based screens are difficult in diploid mammalian cells. Here we took advantage of the efficiency and high throughput of genome editing based on type II, clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems to introduce genome-wide targeted mutations in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

Cancer researchers discover pre-leukemic stem cell at root of AML, relapse

Cancer researchers have discovered a pre-leukemic stem cell that may be the first step in initiating disease and also the culprit that evades therapy and triggers relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

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