Decoding a key part of the cell, atom by atom

Whatever you are doing, whether it is driving a car, going for a jog, or even at your laziest, eating chips and watching TV on the couch, there is an entire suite of molecular machinery inside each of your cells hard at work. ...

Observing the secret life of molecules inside the cell

To understand how cells function, scientists study how their different components—from single molecules to multiple organelles—work together. Using traditional structural biology techniques, they can look at individual ...

How a large protein complex assembles in a cell

A team of ETH researchers led by Karsten Weis has developed a method that allows them to study the assembly process for large protein complexes in detail for the first time. As their case study, the biologists chose one of ...

Real-time monitoring of proteins in the nuclear pore complex

In human cells, the nucleus is enclosed by a structure called the nuclear pore complex (NPC). It acts as a 'gatekeeper' controlling the transport of molecules between the nucleus and the surrounding cytoplasm (the protein-containing ...

Nanocontainers introduced into the nucleus of living cells

An interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel in Switzerland has succeeded in creating a direct path for artificial nanocontainers to enter into the nucleus of living cells. To this end, they produced biocompatible ...

Nuclear pore complex outer rings: No longer 'one size fits all'

In eukaryotic cells, the nucleus is walled off from the rest of the cell by the nuclear envelope. All transport into and out of the nucleus occurs via cylindrical channels called nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) that penetrate ...

The clouds of spaghetti that keep DNA data safe

Cells can avoid "data breaches" when letting signaling proteins into their nuclei thanks to a quirky biophysical mechanism involving a blur of spaghetti-like proteins, researchers from the Rockefeller University and the Albert ...

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