Novel enzyme structure discovered by scientists A research team at the University of California, Riverside, has discovered the structure of a novel RNA-modifying enzyme and identified the mechanism that controls substrate specificity. The study was published in Nature Communications on November 6 and explains how protein machinery in cells is regulated to target RNA molecules for modification.
Orphan immunity gene clusters acquired for protection Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Institute found that gut bacteria acquire interbacterial defense gene clusters. The October 30 article in Nature, suggests that bacteria use these toxins against their microbial neighbors. This discovery could further scientific knowledge of the human gut which is critical to many aspects of health and disease. Discuss
Researchers identify microproteins with major implications in disease A new study published in Nature Communications on October 25 provides evidence of how microproteins contribute to cellular stress. Researchers from Salk Institute suggest that these small proteins can cause dysregulation, which underlies several debilitating diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and diabetes. Discuss
Software improves the speed of identifying potential new antibiotics Computational biologists at Carnegie Mellon University and seven other institutions developed a software tool that can play a high-speed "Match Game" to identify bioactive molecules and microbial genes that produce them so they can be evaluated as new antibiotics and other therapeutic agents. This work was published in Cell Systems on October 16. Discuss
New CRISPR Cas13 system offers powerful antiviral protection A first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard demonstrates that Cas13, a class 2 CRISPR system, can be used as an antiviral in cultured human cells. The research, published in Molecular Cell on October 10, suggests that the RNA-cutting enzyme can be programmed to detect and destroy RNA-based viruses. Discuss
DNA Metabarcoding used to analyze human diet A collaborative study from US researchers demonstrates that DNA metabarcoding has promise for characterization of human diets. The research, which was published in mSystems on October 8, provides evidence that DNA sequencing-based approaches can be successfully applied to human samples. Discuss