Category archives: Molecular biology

Plasticity in the macrophage activation states

Plasticity in the macrophage activation states

BiomedicineMolecular biology

By Invited Researcher

The immune system is composed of a considerable variety of cell types with different functions. One of the most important cells involved in the innate immunity are the macrophages. These cells have a wide spectrum of functions: from bacteria-killing function to wound healing properties. Classically the macrophages according to their functions have been classified in […]

One year or one cell division older?

One year or one cell division older?

BiologyBiomedicineHealthMolecular biology

By Invited Researcher

Aging is one of those topics mankind is always trying to understand, especially whether it can be reversed or stopped. With increasing age come not only alterations in appearance, but also associated changes like the degeneration of tissues such as muscles, bone and neural tissues or a higher predisposition for disease. In recent years, we […]

Graphene nanopore DNA sequencing

Graphene nanopore DNA sequencing

BiochemistryChemistryCondensed matterMolecular biology

By Francisco R. Villatoro

Nanopore DNA sequencing was one the ten scientific breakthroughs of 2016 highlighted by Science magazine. In principle, graphene is the perfect pore material for DNA sequencing . Its monoatomic thickness of 0.35 nm is similar to the DNA base spacing and graphene nanopores can be fabricated with a diameter of only 1.0 nm, about the […]

Molecular Detectives: discovering new ion channels (II)

Molecular Detectives: discovering new ion channels (II)

BiologyBiomedicineGeneticsMolecular biology

By Sergio Laínez

The identification of previously unknown proteins is a difficult task and often requires to follow unconventional thinking. In my previous post, I have described how the TRPV1 ion channel (formerly known as the capsaicin receptor) was discovered by combining the construction of a cDNA library from primary afferent neurons (DRG neurons) and the functional selection […]

Molecular Detectives: discovering new ion channels (I)

Molecular Detectives: discovering new ion channels (I)

BiologyBiomedicineGeneticsMolecular biology

By Sergio Laínez

Doing research in molecular biology is not straightforward, because most of the experimental work is based in the study of molecules which cannot be seen by the unaided eye. Instead, we rely on indirect evidence given by methods which are specific for each area of research. Let’s focus here as an illustrative example at someone […]

Dirty mice are the next revolution in immunology research

Dirty mice are the next revolution in immunology research

GeneticsHealthMedicineMolecular biology

By Sergio Laínez

Laboratory mice are one of the most valuable tools scientists rely on to understand how pathologies work. In order to find a cure for a disease, we need to have comprehensive knowledge of the physiological processes which are impaired. For instance, we can manipulate mice genetically to assess the effect of either the deletion, overexpression […]

One pore to rule them all: Bax assembles into rings and arcs in apoptotic mitochondria

One pore to rule them all: Bax assembles into rings and arcs in apoptotic mitochondria

BiomedicineMolecular biology

By Invited Researcher

Although it may sound illogical, destruction of cells is as essential as their creation in the course of proper formation, growth and development of multi-cellular organisms. For this reason, cells program deliberately their suicide through a very controlled process, named apoptosis (from the Greek, “fall off”). Our research group at the University of Tübingen, Germany […]