The ASCB Post staff brings you the latest news about science, advocacy, discovery, innovation, research and funding.


Cell News—Decoding noncoding RNA from virus to host

Next-generation sequencing is uncovering a vast array of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that may form a whole new class of RNAs that affect transcription. The Yale laboratory of Joan Steitz, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, a longtime ASCB member, and a founder  … Read more

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Cell News—Structure of immune protein remnant that protects against pathogens

A vertebrate’s first line of defense against pathogens are antibodies. An antibody receptor, pIgR (polymeric immunoglobulin receptor) is conserved across vertebrates from fish to humans, and a piece of the receptor comes off and becomes part of the antibody package to help stabilize the antibody.  … Read more

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Cell News—A septin dials down microtubule cargo delivery in neurons

You’ve probably seen animations of microtubule transport (MT) where a kinesin motor protein strolls along a microtubule, towing a massive cargo vesicle tethered above like a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade balloon. The N-terminal motor head domain with its shuffling “feet” has been finely dissected by researchers,  … Read more

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Cell News—Lysosome pH varies based on organelle’s position in the cell

The cell’s recycling station, the lysosome, is coming to light as a cause for concern in a host of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and a group of 50 rare genetic diseases known as lysosomal storage diseases. For lysosomes to work properly they must maintain an acidic  … Read more

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Cell News—Signaling in response to stiff breast tumor matrix

As breast tumors progress, the matrix surrounding the tumor cells becomes stiffer. How normal cells sense and respond to the changes in stiffness was not well understood. Now Lily Thao-Nhi Le and colleagues in ASCB member Lindsay Hinck’s lab at University of California, Santa Cruz  … Read more

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Cell News—Cardiomyocyte junction protein loss promotes fibrotic gene expression

Desmosomes in cardiomyocytes physically hold the cells together, and allow for electrical signaling to propagate through the heart. These structures are also host to signaling proteins (TGF-β1/p38 MAPK) that have been found to be dysregulated in cardiac diseases, such as arrhythmogenic or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. ASCB  … Read more

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Cell News—Pile-up of intermediate filaments drives giant axon neuropathy

It has an ungainly name and an uglier phenotype. Giant Axon Neuropathy (GAN) is an extremely rare genetic disease that manifests itself in children under five as a distinctive waddling walk. On the cellular level, the signature of GAN is a pile-up of aggregates and  … Read more

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Cell News—Architecture affects actin contractility

Cells’ skeleton can contract so that cells can move, divide, establish shape, and maintain tissues. How that contractility, induced by myosin, changes in response to the cells’ architecture and biochemistry is not well understood. Using micropatterning of actin, Hajer Ennomani, Gaëlle Letort, and colleagues in  … Read more

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Cell News—New tool to predict off-target sites for CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA design

CRISPR/Cas9 is a powerful tool for gene editing, and it can also be used for genetic screens. However, the single-guide RNA (sgRNA) that targets Cas9 can have off-target effects. Now John Doench, David Root, and colleagues at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard used  … Read more

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Preserving Data: Who’s Got Your Back(up)?

Data management has become an essential part of research. Scientists need to be able to rely on their data infrastructures to recover data in case of disaster or to assist with reproducibility of their results. Ensuring a reliable data infrastructure and backup processes may not  … Read more

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