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Illustration of green fluorescent bacterial cells.
Cocaine Use Creates Feedback Loop with Gut Bacteria: Mouse Study
A jolt of norepinephrine in the mouse gut facilitates colonization by certain microbes, which in turn deplete glycine, enhancing cocaine-induced behaviors.
Cocaine Use Creates Feedback Loop with Gut Bacteria: Mouse Study
Cocaine Use Creates Feedback Loop with Gut Bacteria: Mouse Study

A jolt of norepinephrine in the mouse gut facilitates colonization by certain microbes, which in turn deplete glycine, enhancing cocaine-induced behaviors.

A jolt of norepinephrine in the mouse gut facilitates colonization by certain microbes, which in turn deplete glycine, enhancing cocaine-induced behaviors.

amino acids
Illustration of blue and gray amino acids loosely forming protein
Fungal Cold Adaptation Linked to Protein Structure Changes: Study
Patience Asanga | Sep 20, 2022 | 4 min read
Environmental pressure seems to spawn changes in the intrinsically disordered regions of enzymes in polar yeasts, allowing them to adapt to extreme cold.
Artist’s rendition of bright blue microbes among intestinal lining
Study Links Depression with High Levels of an Amino Acid
Dan Robitzski | Jun 14, 2022 | 5 min read
Experiments in animals and observations in humans suggest that the amount of proline circulating in one’s plasma has a strong association with depression severity.
An illustration depicting pores on a membrane
DNA Nanopore Sequencing Adapted for Protein Sequence Comparisons
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Feb 14, 2022 | 3 min read
Researchers link a stretch of DNA to a peptide of interest and measure current changes as the molecule is pulled by a helicase through a nanopore.
Illustration of a DNA-peptide conjugate molecule being pulled through a nanopore in a membrane.
Infographic: Reading Proteins with Nanopores
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Feb 14, 2022 | 1 min read
Adapting DNA nanopore sequencing to peptides allows researchers to identify single amino acid differences.
800x560-sept-15-2021
Using Nanopores to Sense and Sequence Proteins
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | Aug 30, 2021 | 1 min read
Aleksei Aksimentiev and Stefan Howorka discuss challenges in amino acid sensing with nanopores and approaches to design efficient protein sequencing technology.
Cracking Down on Cancer: A Profile of Owen Witte
Diana Kwon | Apr 1, 2020 | 9 min read
Through his studies on cancer-causing viruses, the University of California, Los Angeles, professor has helped develop lifesaving treatments.
Sergiu Pasca Builds Brains to Study Developmental Disease
Emily Makowski | Dec 1, 2019 | 3 min read
The Stanford University professor helped develop a technique to grow brain organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells.
Image of the Day: Fractal Formation
Emily Makowski | Nov 4, 2019 | 1 min read
A mixture of chemicals induces reactions reminiscent of life on pyrite.
Bats May Have Taken on Viruses To Stay in Flight
Ashley Yeager | Feb 22, 2018 | 2 min read
Dampening the immune response to stay up in the air may have helped bats become tolerant to viral infections.
Genes’ Composition Guides More-Optimal Diets
Ruth Williams | Jun 1, 2017 | 2 min read
Fruit flies and mice grow better and eat less when the amino acid balance of their food reflects that coded by their exomes.
A Different Way of Doing Things
Kivanç Birsoy and David M. Sabatini | Apr 1, 2016 | 10 min read
Cancer cells exhibit altered metabolic processes that may serve as promising targets for new therapies.
Metabolic Reprogramming
Kivanç Birsoy and David M. Sabatini | Mar 31, 2016 | 1 min read
How cancer cells fuel their rapid growth
Fingerprints Yield Sex Info
Karen Zusi | Nov 5, 2015 | 2 min read
The amino acids left behind in a human fingerprint can be used to determine whether an individual is male or female.
Early Code
Jef Akst | Jun 3, 2015 | 2 min read
New research points to key properties of transfer RNA molecules and amino acids that may have supported the origin of life on Earth.
On the Origins of Life
Jef Akst | Mar 17, 2015 | 2 min read
A new experimental system demonstrates that precursors of ribonucleotides, amino acids, and lipids may have simultaneously arisen from the same prebiotic chemistry.
Augmenting the Genetic Alphabet
Kate Yandell | May 7, 2014 | 3 min read
For the first time, synthetic DNA base pairs are replicated within living bacteria.
Cysteine Aids Mice with Huntington’s
Kerry Grens | Mar 31, 2014 | 1 min read
Rodent models of Huntington’s disease show dysfunctional cysteine production, and adding the amino acid to their diets seems to relieve symptoms.  
Pioneer DNA Researcher Dies
Jef Akst | Oct 2, 2012 | 1 min read
Leonard Lerman, who helped elucidate the process from gene to protein, passed away last month at age 87.
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