'Optical tweezers' help in quest for better cancer treatments

Stem cells involved in replenishing human tissues and blood depend on an enzyme known as telomerase to continue working throughout our lives. When telomerase malfunctions, it can lead to both cancer and premature aging conditions. ...

Molecular machine tears toxic protein clumps apart

How do cells disentangle proteins that are clumped together? Researchers from AMOLF in Amsterdam and Heidelberg University now show that the molecular chaperone ClpB can forcibly pull on exposed loops of protein chains, and ...

Plant organ growth is not so different from animals

For a long time, researchers assumed that cell death occurs mainly during animal organ growth, but not in plant organs. A research group led by Hannele Tuominen from UPSC has now demonstrated that the death of certain cells ...

Exploring tiny forces with single molecule force spectroscopy

In terms of space organization, DNA has powers rivaling Marie Kondo. A strand of DNA that is two meters long intricately folds itself into a cell nucleus only 10 microns across. (One of the hairs on your head has a diameter ...

Light-based 'tractor beam' assembles materials at the nanoscale

Modern construction is a precision endeavor. Builders must use components manufactured to meet specific standards—such as beams of a desired composition or rivets of a specific size. The building industry relies on manufacturers ...

Cell stiffness may indicate whether tumors will invade

Engineers at MIT and elsewhere have tracked the evolution of individual cells within an initially benign tumor, showing how the physical properties of those cells drive the tumor to become invasive, or metastatic.

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