Handshakes between glycans are one way cells recognize each other.
Sugar molecules called glycans cover the surface of all cells, acting as ID cards that broadcast what they are to the rest of the body.
Programmed cell death such as apoptosis is a common stage of cellular life.
Nanoclustering/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
Your cells die to keep you alive. Cell death does everything from fighting cancer cells and pathogens to forming your fingers and toes.
This image of actin filaments in a cell was taken using a type of superresolution microscopy.
Xiaowei Zhuang, HHMI, Harvard University, and Nature Publishing Group/NIH via Flickr
Superresolution microscopy allowed researchers to view cells at the molecular level. Improvements on the technique can help study the building blocks of complex cell processes over time.
Cell cultures are often grown in petri dishes.
Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
Cell cultures are common tools in biology and drug development. Bringing them up to scale to meet the meat needs of societies will require further development.
Cells move their genetic material from one place to another in the form of RNA.
Christoph Burgstedt/Science Photo Library via Getty Images
Making sure RNA molecules are in the right place at the right time in a cell is critical to development and normal function. Researchers are figuring out exactly how they get to where they need to go.
Illustration of an autophagosome (light blue double-membrane to the right) engulfing cellular material.
David S. Goodsell and Daniel Klionsky/RCSB PDB-101
Cells degrade and recycle damaged parts of themselves through a process called autophagy. When this “self-devouring” goes awry, it may promote cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
This image shows pancreatic cancer cells (blue) growing, encased within membranes (red).
Min Yu/Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC via NIH/Flickr
Many tumors have cancer stem cells that help them grow and evade treatments. Differentiation therapy forces these cells to mature, stopping growth with less toxicity than traditional treatments.
Cryo-electron tomography shows what molecules look like in high-resolution – in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Many microscopy techniques have won Nobel Prizes over the years. Advancements like cryo-ET that allow scientists to see the individual atoms of cells can reveal their biological functions.
Preclinical research — the kind that takes place before testing on humans — often guides decisions about which potential treatments should continue to clinical trials. But attempts to replicate 50 studies found the odds of getting the same results were only about 50-50.
Preclinical studies are an important part of biomedical research, often guiding future trials in humans. Failure to replicate research results suggests a need to increase the quality of studies.
Why is it harder to build muscle as you age?
DjelicS/iStock via Getty Images
As people age, the chemical signaling pathways in muscles become less potent, and it gets harder to build muscle and maintain strength. But the health benefits of strength training only increase with age.
Autophagy may be Nobel-winning research, but so far there’s no evidence that boosting how your cells recycle nutrients makes you live longer or lose weight.
Ubiquitin tags in cells serve different functions depending on stress conditions.
Insight on how a unique protein plays a role in cellular stress responses may provide more clues on how to treat diseases like ALS and Alzheimer’s.
Meat of the future might be quite different from meat of the past.
Stanley Kubrick, photographer, LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ6-2352.
It’s relatively easy to grow a bunch of animal cells to turn into a burger. But to grow a steak made of cultured meat is a trickier task. Bioengineers must create organized, three-dimensional tissues.
Thomas Durcan’s lab is using pluripotent stem cells to grow human brain neurons in a dish, in search of a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Thomas Durcan’s lab is growing 3D mini-brains in the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Over the next year he is giving all his lab’s protocols, methods and results away.
A collage of biological data visualisations.
Image from C. Stolte, B.F. Baldi, S.I. O'Donoghue, C. Hammang, D.K.G. Ma, and G.T. Johnson
The daunting complexity of biological data requires tailored visualisation tools to reveal buried insights.
There are some great uses.
Maths is often a quiet contributor to problems in subjects like biology.
Simulating the human brain is proving tricky. But could mathematics based on symmetries help?
Scientists uncover hidden mathematical structures controlling how living cells operate. If this could be used by computers of the future, we may one day be able to understand the brain.
Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning may still damage the skin cells.
Around 30 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma every day and more than 1,200 die from the disease each year. While small amounts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation are required for the production of vitamin…
Humans and coral share the same biomechanical pathway responsible for activating cellular self-destruction. Destruction of…
Powerhouse and secret communicator.
For more than a billion years, plants have had an internal dialogue, and we are just beginning to learn the words. The unusual dialogue occurs between two compartments within plant cells – the nucleus…