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29 Current news of Cell Press

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Mussels are inspiring new technology that could help purify water and clean up oil spills

12-Jul-2019

Mussels are notorious maritime stowaways known for damaging the hulls of boats, but these same adhesive properties have widespread engineering applications, scientists in China and the United states write in review published in the journal Matter. They suggest that the chemistry of mussel threads ...

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This computer program makes pharma patents airtight

21-Jan-2019

Routes to making life-saving medications and other pharmaceutical compounds are among the most carefully protected trade secrets in global industry. Building on recent work programming computers to identify synthetic pathways leading to pharmaceutically complex molecules, researchers in Poland ...

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A plastic-eating caterpillar

26-Apr-2017

Generally speaking, plastic is incredibly resistant to breaking down. That's certainly true of the trillion polyethylene plastic bags that people use each and every year. But researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 24 may be on track to find a solution to plastic waste. The key is a ...

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Biochemical 'fossil' shows how life may have emerged without phosphate

03-Mar-2017

One major mystery about life's origin is how phosphate became an essential building block of genetic and metabolic machinery in cells, given its poor accessibility on early Earth. In a study published on March 9 in the journal Cell, researchers used systems biology approaches to tackle this ...

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A look at the 'marijuana' receptor

21-Oct-2016

Researchers have the clearest picture yet of the receptor that causes the "high" associated with marijuana. The three-dimensional image of cannabinoid receptor 1, revealed October 20 in Cell, reveals how molecules like THC bind to cannabinoid receptor 1, which is found to be embedded in the ...

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Why is breast cancer common but heart cancer rare?

11-Aug-2016

Malignant cancers strike certain organs, such as the colon or breast, more often than others. In an Opinion publishing August 9 in Trends in Cancer, researchers propose that this vulnerability in some organs may be due to natural selection. Humans can tolerate tumors in large or paired organs ...

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New insights on how cocaine changes the brain

27-Nov-2015

The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users. Through experiments conducted in rats exposed to cocaine, the researchers mapped out the network of circuits that cause wild firing of neurons that ...

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Digestible batteries needed to power electronic pills

24-Sep-2015

Imagine a "smart pill" that can sense problems in your intestines and actively release the appropriate drugs. We have the biological understanding to create such a device, but we're still searching for electronic materials (like batteries and circuits) that pose no risk if they get stuck in our ...

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Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

02-Sep-2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A study reveals exactly how the venom's toxin--called MP1 (Polybia-MP1) - selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells. MP1 interacts with ...

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Chemical-only cell reprogramming transforms human and mouse skin cells into neurons

11-Aug-2015

Two labs in China have independently succeeded in transforming skin cells into neurons using only a cocktail of chemicals, with one group using human cells from healthy individuals and Alzheimer's patients, and the other group using cells from mice. The two studies reinforce the idea that a ...

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