When proteins get “out of shape”, the consequences can be fatal. They lose their function and in some cases form insoluble, toxic clumps that damage other cells and can cause severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Göttingen - in collaboration with Polish colleagues - have now “filmed” how a protein gradually unfolds for the first time. By combining low temperatures and NMR spectroscopy, the scientists visualized seven intermediate forms of the CylR2 protein while cooling it down from 25°C to - 16°C. Their results show that the most instable intermediate form plays a key role in protein folding. The scientists’ findings may contribute to a better understanding of how proteins adopt their structure and misfold during illness. (Nature Chemical Biology, 10. February 2013)“Snapshot” of the unfolding of the CylR2 protein from Enterococcus faecalis. If the protein is cooled from 25°C… [more] © Zweckstetter, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry & German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Whether Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Chorea - all three diseases have one thing in common: They are caused by misfolded proteins that form insoluble clumps in the brains of affected patients and, finally, destroy their nerve cells. One of the most important questions in the biological sciences and medicine is thus: How do proteins - the tools of living cells - achieve or lose their three-dimensional structure. Because only if their amino acid chains are correctly folded, can proteins perform their tasks properly.
But what exactly happens when proteins fold or unfold was previously nearly impossible to investigate. With heat and pressure, proteins easily lose their shape - and thus their function. However, such methods are not suitable for directly observing their unfolding process. The intermediate forms that occur in the course of protein folding are much too transient.
With a novel approach, researchers have now succeeded in “filming” the complex process of protein folding for the first time.
Third-party developers on Google Play, the app market for Android devices, receive the personal details of anyone who buys their apps, potentially violating the terms of a 2011 privacy settlement.
Australian developer Dan Nolan revealed on his blog Tuesday that he received the name, suburb and email address of every person who purchased his app on Google Play. The purchasers of the app, however, were not notified that their personal information was being sent to a third-party.
“Let me make this crystal clear, every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred,” Nolan wrote. “Under no circumstances should I be able to get the information of the people who are buying my apps unless they opt into it and it’s made crystal clear to them that I’m getting this information.”
Here we go again…
Beijing chides North Korea, but nothing much happens.
The world has seen this movie before and it’s likely to witness another rerun after North Korea’s third nuclear test on Tuesday.
Beijing has always been loath to back harsh sanctions on North Korea, fearing it could lead to upheaval in the unpredictable nation on its doorstep. Now, threatened by the US military’s “pivot” to Asia, Beijing is even less likely to fall in line with Washington’s position on North Korea.
“The more the United States rebalances its forces in the Western Pacific, the more China has to give leeway in regulating its relationship with North Korea,” said Shen Dingli, a regional security expert at Shanghai’s Fudan University.
And North Korea is exploiting the current high levels of Sino-American mistrust.
Can Shoah studies actually help neutralize Arab hatred for Israelis?Photo Credit: Dara Frank
If the Holocaust was greatly facilitated by world apathy, an opposite trend is now in progress, with Holocaust study programs flourishing in many countries.
Even Arab teachers and students in Israel are currently studying the Shoah and its causes.
It’s been three years now since Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies began offering a seminar for Arab teachers in Arab towns. And participating educators are saying positive things.
“A year ago I visited Yad Vashem for the first time,” history teacher Hanan Mahmid of Umm el-Fahm (Israel’s third largest Arab city, between Afula and Hadera) told Ynet, “and I was in shock…. I think Arab students should visit Yad Vashem once a year.” What made her take part in the seminar?
Egypt is flooding Gaza smuggling tunnels, choking off one of Hamas’ biggest sources for money and placing a virtual siege far more severe than Israel ever created.An Arab working outside a smuggling tunnel connecting the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Photo Credit: Rahim Khatib/Flash 90
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime has been flooding Hamas smuggling tunnels for three days in a move that may be aimed at punishing Sinai terrorists who threaten Cairo’s authority but also may be a warning to Hamas of who is the boss.
Ironically, heavy rains last month forced Hamas to close the tunnels, but now Egypt is taking over where nature left off.
Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.
The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.
“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 meters (yards) from the border fence.
An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started five days ago.
Obama did not mention Keystone XL in the state of the union speech. But the pipeline has become one of the most contentious issues on his second-term agenda, a touchstone for environmental campaigners. To protesters, the project has become the defining symbol of Obama’s promises to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
“The Keystone pipeline project is the purest test of whether the president is serious about doing something about climate change or not,” the author Bill McKibben, whose 350.org group has led opposition to the project, told a few hundred protesters outside the White House.
Pipeline supporters - the Canadian government, the oil industry and a large swath of the country - argue that it will create jobs and shore up supplies of North American energy. Pipeline opponents say the project will unlock vast stores of carbon, overwhelming Obama’s other efforts to cut emissions that cause climate change.
“You can’t really parcel it out,” said Hannah. “You need to have a full-scale approach if you really want to be serious about addressing climate change.”
Over the past 18 months, the protests, initially dominated by students, have grown in size, gathering supporters from across the environmental movement. On Wednesday the Sierra Club, the biggest mass environmental group, broke a 120-year tradition and authorised its president, Michael Brune, to risk arrest.
I know, I know… jobs… money… economy… energy. Still… I don’t really relish the thought of an Exxon Valdez on the Missouri river in the middle of Montana.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will propose a ban on Styrofoam, the substance commonly used for take-out food containers that is almost impossible to recycle.
The mayor who has already targeted fat, sugar and salt in the city will turn to extruded polystyrene foam, saying it clogs up landfills, does not biodegrade and might harm human health.
Bloomberg will raise the proposal in his final State of the City speech on Thursday. The city provided reporters an advance text of the speech on Wednesday.
Bloomberg, in his 12th year as mayor, has made public health and sustainability hallmarks of his three terms in office, and he has taken aim repeatedly at the fast-food industry - most recently in his controversial plan to bar the sale of large portions of sugary soda, which goes into effect next month.
Styrofoam, he says, should go the way of lead-based paint, which the city banned from residential use in 1960. An estimated 20,000 tons of Styrofoam enter the city’s waste stream each year, and it can add an estimated $20 per ton to the cost of recycling because it needs to be removed from the recycling stream, the city said.
“After all, we can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine,” the text of Bloomberg’s speech says.
Dow Chemical Co, which makes Styrofoam, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Similar bans have been adopted in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
The plan was likely to meet opposition from small businesses, since alternatives to Styrofoam tend to cost between two and five times as much.
Jesus H. Christ this guy is a control freak, and New York is his very own personal Sim City.