Category Archives: Research

The dual role of mercury on mitochondrial complexes by sulfur bridges

All forms of mercury are long known to be highly toxic. In recent years, the metal occurrence in dental amalgams has raised worries for the harmful effects due to the slow mercury release in the human body.

How are thylakoid membranes shaped and maintained?

An oxygen-rich atmosphere was one of the most important prerequisites for the evolution of complex life on earth. Ancestors of modern-days cyanobacteria floated the earth’s atmosphere with this gas roughly 2.8 billion years ago. To convert carbon

Crowd surfing of graphene on a lipid monolayer

In the recent years a growing interest in graphene applications lead to the development of new biosensor devices. Graphene is a powerful sensor due to its extraordinary electron mobility, unique mechanical strength and optical properties.  Consequently, the

A novel mechanism by which viral integration drives cancer

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a group of about 200 DNA viruses that infect the skin, or the mucous membranes of the anus, genitals and oropharyngeal cavity. HPV infections are the most common sexually transmitted disease in the

What’s really in human milk? Studying microbiota in a novel body site

Breastfeeding is the gold standard of infant nutrition as it reduces children’s risk of developing obesity, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and numerous other medical conditions. This has been historically understood by the fact that breastmilk is rich in

Diving into cell membranes with advanced solid-state NMR methods: harnessing the power of protons

Membrane proteins act as the gateways of the cell. They are essential for the signalling between cells and for the uptake of nutrients; they constitute major drug-targets in human, and their malfunctions are related to severe diseases

DNA explosions in the evolution of Hawaiian flies: consequences and questions

The chromosome set of each species carries the organism’s DNA sequences or genome. Genomes of higher organisms contain the essential coding DNA, plus the typically more abundant noncoding DNA. This segment carries various repeated DNA sequences. The

Regulation of ER Ca2+ homeostasis by disulfide reductase

Intracellular calcium is one of the most important second messengers for the regulation of various cellular processes including protein secretion, muscle contraction, gene transcription, protein degradation and apoptosis. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is not only the organelle

The enigma of blood pressure variation

The circulation of blood throughout the body comes from the continuous rhythmic pumping action of the heart. Specifically, a pulsatile flow of blood happens when the blood within the heart is ejected out the left ventricle into

The capillary web gets lost in diseased kidneys

Main functions of the kidney are regulating ions, pH, fluid balance and blood pressure and disposing of metabolic waste products. These functions are dependent on properly working renal blood vessels, including the smallest ones, the so called

Puberty changes how adolescents remember peer faces

Together with voices, faces are the most important source of social information for humans, even prior to birth. What is equally important to know is how the kinds of information we pay most attention to in faces

Time is Brain. Rupture of a brain aneurysm and the patients journey to the neurosurgical center

In brain infarction or traumatic injuries of the brain an immediate admission to a neurosurgical / neurological center can be life saving. With brain hemorrhages caused by a ruptured aneurysm the situation is not as clear. First

Mechanisms of diuretic plants: an overview

Ongoing research suggests several molecular mechanisms that were correlated with acute or prolonged diuretic activity of different natural products. So, it is not surprising that research on this subject is at the forefront of research on the

New strategy for the degradation of persistent pollutants in water

An hybrid solid system for the degradation of persistent pollutants was realized by mixing titanium dioxide, silica and an enzyme extracted from soybean hulls. Removal of organic pollutants from urban and industrial wastewaters is one of the

A covert authentication and security solution for GMOs

Significantly increasing worldwide utilization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) presents challenges to ensure security, authenticity and validation of material goods and legal agreements. Similarly to the evolution witnessed in Internet protocols, strategic focus is required to anticipate,

Evolution of aquatic mammals and birds: the present predicts the past

The movement of vertebrates from the water to the land has been considered one of the great evolutionary transformations in history. However of equal evolutionary importance was the re-invasion of the aquatic environment by various groups of