Helpers for energy acquisition from plants

Research into plant cells is far from complete. Scientists under the biochemist Professor Peter Dörmann at Universität Bonn have now succeeded in describing the function of chloroplasts in more detail. These are plant and algal cell structures that are responsible for photosynthesis. The results have now been published in the scientific journal „Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA“ (PNAS). Strictly embargoed until Monday September 5 21:00 CEST! (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Microscopy: Nine at one blow

Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg’s Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Cell structure discovery advances understanding of cancer development

A cell structure has been discovered that could help scientists understand why some cancers develop. For the first time, a structure called ‚the mesh‘ has been identified which helps to hold together cells. This discovery changes our understanding of the cell’s internal scaffolding. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Beyond genes: Are centrioles carriers of biological information?

Scientists have discover that certain cell structures, the centrioles, could act as information carriers throughout cell generations. The discovery raises the possibility that transmission of biological information could involve more than just genes. Centrioles may actually be carriers of information, which holds profound implications for biology and disease treatment. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Mitochondria and the evolutionary roots of cancer

Cancer is a group of almost 200 diseases that involve variety of changes in cell structure, morphology, and physiology. Cancer phenotype is underlying several alterations in cellular dynamics with three most critical features, which includes self-sufficiency in growth signals and insensitivity to inhibitory signals, evasion of programmed cell death and limitless replicative potential with a potential for the invasion of other organs. Cancer disease is widespread among metazoans. Some properties of cancer cells such as uncontrolled cell proliferation, lack of apoptosis, hypoxia, fermentative metabolism and free cell motility, i.e. metastasis, resemble a prokaryotic lifestyle, which leads to the assumption of a reversal like evolution from eucariotic back to proteobacterial state. This phenotype matches the phenotype of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) that resulted from the endosymbiosis between archaebacteria and α-proteobacteria, which later became the mitochondria.

 Davila AF and Zamorano P (2013) Mitochondria and the evolutionary roots of cancer. Phys. Biol. 10 (2013) 026008, doi:10.1088/1478-3975/10/2/026008