Category Archives: Molecular and structural bases of living organisms

A “Nano-Robot” Built Entirely from DNA to Explore Cell Processes

Constructing a tiny robot from DNA and using it to study cell processes invisible to the naked eye… You would be forgiven for thinking it is science fiction, but it is in fact the subject of serious research by scientists from Inserm, CNRS and Université de Montpellier at the Structural Biology Center in Montpellier . This highly innovative “nano-robot” should enable closer study of the mechanical forces applied at microscopic levels, which are crucial for many biological and pathological processes.

A Gene Therapy Studied in Steinert’s Disease

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) or Steinert’s disease is a rare and debilitating genetic neuromuscular disease affecting multiple organs and with a fatal outcome. No treatment is available at present. Encouraged by previous research into its molecular causes, researchers have developed and tested a promising gene therapy that acts directly at the origin of the disease. Initial findings show correction of molecular and physiological alterations in mouse skeletal muscle1.

Understanding Zebrafish Fin Regeneration Opens up Avenues in Regenerative Medicine

The zebrafish is particularly studied in research laboratories due to its ability to regenerate its caudal fin. This study opens up new avenues for improving our understanding of the regeneration processes, with the aim of developing clinical applications in the field of regenerative medicine.

Cancer du sein : la rupture du noyau des cellules tumorales favorise leur dissémination

Quand les cellules se multiplient et migrent, elles peuvent être comprimées et leur noyau se briser. Ce phénomène entraine des détériorations de leur ADN et des scientifiques du CNRS, de l’Institut Curie et de l’Inserm viennent de montrer qu’il facilite ainsi la dissémination des cellules cancéreuses des tumeurs mammaires.

COVID-19: A New Serological Test to Improve Monitoring of the Pandemic

A new test to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that is reliable, inexpensive and needs no special equipment? This is the proposal of an international scientific team, of which one of the members is an Inserm researcher at the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology (CNRS/Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier). Developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, this serological test is based on a single reagent that causes red blood cells to agglutinate in the presence of antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2. Potential initial applications for this test include clinical and epidemiological research.

The “Cocktail Effect” of Endocrine Disruptors Better Understood

Endocrine disruptors can potentially become more harmful if mixed. Following on from research published in 2015, scientists continue to decipher the molecular mechanisms behind this phenomenon known as the “cocktail effect”.

A New Method for Unlocking the Mysteries of Life

Understanding the three-dimensional structure of DNA and RNA and how they interact with other molecules is necessary for the advancement of biomedical research and drug development. A team led by Inserm researcher Valérie Gabelica at the Nucleic acids: natural and artificial regulation laboratory (ARNA, Inserm/CNRS/Université de Bordeaux)[1] has developed an innovative method pairing mass spectrometry with circularly polarized light, enabling better characterization of these different molecular interactions.

Malaria: Vaccine clinical trial for Pregnant Women yields promising results

Malaria infection during pregnancy represents a major public health problem in the regions endemic for the disease, substantially increasing the risks to mothers and their unborn children. For newborns, malaria is linked to low birth weight and an excess risk of mortality. To protect this population, a team of researchers is developing a vaccine at the French National Institute of Blood Transfusion (INTS).

Atopic dermatitis: how allergens get on our nerves

Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, primarily affects infants and children, and manifests itself in hypersensitivity to allergens in the environment. A skin disease characterized by flare-ups, it is often treated with topical anti-inflammatories. A new study shows that immune cells and sensory neurons interact in the skin to form units that can detect allergens and trigger inflammation. A discovery that provides an insight into how atopic dermatitis works, and points the way to new therapeutic possibilities.

Du nouveau dans l’apprentissage automatique via des systèmes biologiques

Alors que les méthodes d’apprentissage automatique sont utilisées dans de nombreux domaines, y compris la santé humaine, leur application au monde du vivant est peu explorée à l’échelle moléculaire. Des chercheurs de l’Inra et de l’Inserm, viennent de réaliser un premier pas dans cette direction en créant un réseau neuronal simple dans un extrait cellulaire de bactérie Escherichia coli.

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