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Trending Papers in molecular biology

Inactivating one protein induces ADHD-like behaviors in mice by changing gene expression programs
From Paper: ADHD-like behaviors caused by inactivation of a transcription factor controlling the balance of inhibitory and excitatory neuron development in the mouse anterior brainstem
Published: Oct 2020
  • A defect in a single transcription factor that regulates the balanced differentiation of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in the developing anterior brainstem, leads to several endophenotypes of ADHD
  • Amphetamine-induced dopamine release and amphetamine-induced place preference were normal in Tal1cko mice. Increased dopamine signaling failed to stimulate the locomotor activity of the Tal1cko mice, but instead alleviated their hyperactivity
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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A new technique allows researchers to observe real-time transcriptomics in a single cell
From Paper: CellRank for directed single-cell fate mapping
Published: Oct 2020
  • CellRank is able to predict a novel dedifferentiation trajectory during regeneration after lung injury, which we follow up experimentally by confirming the existence of previously unknown intermediate cell states.
  • The results show that CellRank automatically detects initial, intermediate and terminal populations, predicts fate potentials, and visualizes continuous gene expression trends along individual lineages in Pancreas cell development
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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A new technique allows scientists to determine the age of an RNA transcript
From Paper: RNA timestamps identify the age of single molecules in RNA sequencing
Published: Oct 2020
  • The results demonstrate that the system can infer the presence and timing of multiple past transcriptional events
  • This paper present RNA timestamps, a method for inferring the age of individual RNAs in RNA-seq data by exploiting RNA editing
Submitted by Garrett Young
Damaged muscle fibers produce signaling molecules that initiate muscle regeneration
From Paper: Damaged Myofiber-Derived Metabolic Enzymes Act as Activators of Muscle Satellite Cells
Published: Sep 2020
  • The results revealed that quiescent satellite cells associated with myofibers could be activated by factors leaked from damaged myofibers that promote activation and proliferation in coordination with mitogens during muscle regeneration
  • To determine whether activated satellite cells are reversible to the quiescent-like state without cell division, individual muscle fibers were freshly isolated cultured with or without damaged myofibers for 48 hours
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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A new microscopy sample medium that mimics water allows for the real-time imaging of living systems
From Paper: A polymer gel index-matched to water enables diverse applications in fluorescence microscopy
Published: Oct 2020
  • The compound, BIO-133, is a gel polymer with a light refraction index identical to water. This property gives the microscope better resolution compared to other mediums that allow for microfluidic imaging
  • BIO-133 enabled the immobilization of 1) Drosophila tissue, allowing the authors to track membrane puncta in pioneer neurons, and 2) C. elegans, which allowed the authors to image and inspect fine neural structure and to track pan-neuronal calcium activity over hundreds of volumes
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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Metformin decreases signs of aging in fat cells
From Paper: Metformin alleviates aging-associated cellular senescence of human adipose stem cells and derived adipocytes
Mantecon, Matthieu, et al
Published: Oct 2020
  • When aged-donor ASCs were treated with metformin, senescence, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction returned to the levels observed in young-donor ASCs
  • Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction occurred earlier in adipocytes derived from aged-donor than from young-donor ASCs, leading to insulin resistance and impaired adipogenesis
Submitted by Age Old
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Researchers find a new biomarker for early detection of many different cancers
From Paper: A multi-scale integrated analysis identifies KRT8 as a pan-cancer early biomarker
Published: Oct 2020
  • Our analysis demonstrates that KRT8 is (1) differentially expressed in several cancers across all molecular modalities and (2) may be useful as a biomarker to identify patients that should be further tested for cancer.
  • Detectable KRT8 in serum as measured by ELISA distinguished patients with pancreatic cancer from healthy controls with an AUROC=0.94.
Submitted by Kayla Burris
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A review of the Sigma-1 receptor's role in stimulant addiction and cancer
From Paper: The Sigma-1 Receptor: When Adaptive Regulation of Cell Electrical Activity Contributes to Stimulant Addiction and Cancer
Published: Nov 2019
  • σ1R has a powerful capability to fine-tune cells’ electrical activity and calcium homeostasis—a regulatory power that appears to favor cell survival in pathological contexts such as stroke or neurodegenerative diseases
  • One of the most striking findings discussed in this review is that σ1R, through a common mechanism, i.e., the chaperoning of voltage-gated K+ channels, is involved in both neuronal response to cocaine and cancer cell response to tumor microenvironment
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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The crystal structure of the 5-HT2a receptor when bound to LSD
From Paper: Structure of a Hallucinogen-Activated Gq-Coupled 5-HT2A Serotonin Receptor
Published: Sep 2020
  • These findings could help pharmacologists design drugs that elicit the therapeutic effects of psychedelic hallucinogens without unwanted side-effects
  • This study determined the active-state structure of the 5-HT2a receptor when bound to LSD - a prototypical psychedelic hallucinogen
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
Telomerase gene therapy prevents age-related fibrotic lung disease
From Paper: Telomerase treatment prevents lung profibrotic pathologies associated with physiological aging
Published: Oct 2020
  • The results demonstrate telomere shortening with age in the lungs of wild-type mice, reaching at old ages values similar to those of young G3 Tert−/− mice
  • Mice with a mutation in TERT (telomerase gene) and a control, mice without a TERT mutation, were both given telomerase gene therapy and then assessed for telomere shortening and lung fibrosis at various time points throughout their lives
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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