Understanding bacterial motility using cryogenic electron microscopy A new finding reported in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on October 1 shows how bacterial transmit motion from an inner motor to an outer tail through a flexible joint in the flagellum. This hook helps researchers understand how bacteria move and allows them to improve therapies against bacterial infections. Discuss
Viral geometry mystery solved, or at least they have a theory A new theory, published in Nature Communications on September 27, accurately predicts the positions of proteins within icosahedral (twenty-sided) protein containers of viruses. Researchers at the University of York in the UK and San Diego State University in the US state that this discovery revolutionizes scientific understanding of how viruses form, evolve and infect hosts.
Form-switching bacteria may cause antibiotic resistance For the first time, scientists have confirmed that bacteria can change forms to avoid being targeted by antibiotics in the human body. Researchers from Newcastle University used state-of-the-art technology to identify bacteria with this unique characteristic. They show, in a study published in Nature Communications on September 26, that these bacteria can survive without a cell wall, potentially leading to antibiotic resistance. Discuss
Novel "death star" nanoparticle discovered for potential use in targeted therapies A novel nanoparticle has been reported by researchers at San Diego State University with the potential to serve as a delivery system for therapeutics. The research published on September 17 in eLife describes how Metamorphosis Associated Contractile structures (MACs) trigger metamorphosis in tubeworms. Moreover, they identify a novel protein (with syringe-like structures, nicknamed Death Star for the effect it has) responsible for the activation of metamorphosis. Discuss
Oncogene identified as a therapeutic target for liver cancer The function of an enzyme that is highly expressed in many cancers has been revealed to regulate key pathways in cancer metabolic adaptation. Researchers at the Georgia Cancer Center and Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University published their findings in Hepatology. Discuss
New drug target identified for common brain cancer Research led by the Cleveland Clinic has identified a potential new therapy in the treatment of glioblastoma. An article published in Cancer Discovery on August 21, identifies FGF2 (fibroblast growth factor 2), as a novel drug target for glioblastoma, the most common primary malignant brain tumor. Discuss