Nanoscale forces measured in aortic smooth muscle cells tell story of disease

Researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Pittsburgh have collaborated to employ a novel nanoscale fibrous system that can measure the tiny forces exerted by and upon individual cells with extreme precision. The team hopes that this platform, which investigators call nanonet force microscopy  … Read more

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Council approves strategic plan; visits Capitol Hill during spring meeting

Members of the American Society for Cell Biology’s (ASCB) Council met May 15 and 16 in Bethesda for their spring business meeting as well as to meet with members of Congress on May 17. The Council discussed membership, the Society’s peer-reviewed journal Molecular Biology of  … Read more

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New cell membrane fusion model challenges dogma

Membrane fusion lies at the heart of many cell functions—from the secretion of antibodies to the release of neurotransmitters. For more than two decades, one view of the process by which membrane fusion occurs has been accepted as dogma; now recent studies indicate that fusion  … Read more

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HIGHLIGHTS from MBoC

Regulation of Chlamydomonas flagella and ependymal cell motile cilia by ceramide-mediated translocation of GSK3 Ji Na Kong, K. Hardin, M. Dinkins, Guanghu Wang, Qian He, T. Mujadzic, Gu Zhu, J. Bielawski, S. Spassieva, and E. Bieberich Cilia are important organelles formed by cell membrane protrusions;  … Read more

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Cell News—Cellular circadian rhythm signaling in live tissue

Cells within a tissue often show some differences in signaling, but studying the long-term variation in signaling molecules among cells is challenging in live tissue, where the limit of observation is a few hours. Now ASCB member Galit Lahav, Laura Lande-Diner, and colleagues at Harvard  … Read more

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Key Protein Found in the Mammalian Eye Influences Circadian Rhythms in Response to Dim Light

We’ve all been warned that blue light at night can make it hard to sleep because it affects our circadian rhythms. This is because a class of photoreceptors in the eye, called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), are blue light sensitive and provide the  … Read more

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Cell News—New role for Myopic in Frizzled signaling

Wnt signaling is involved in embryonic development and some cancers. It starts with Frizzled, a signaling receptor at the cell surface. Frizzled got its name from the irregular hairs and bristles on the thorax, wings, and feet of the Drosophila frizzled mutants. Tirthadipa Pradhan-Sundd and  … Read more

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Cell News—Cell-Cell Adhesion: What’s breaking the desmosomal cadherins ‘spot welds’ in colitis?

In diseases of chronic inflammation such as ulcerative colitis, identifying the molecular troublemakers is not easy. Desmosomal cadherins are the key players in intercellular adhesion, acting as “spot welds” between intestinal epithelial cells and maintaining homeostasis in these tissues. To see what is weakening the  … Read more

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Conductor of Kinetochore Release in Meiosis Revealed

When yeast are starved, they turn to sex to mix up their genes. But first they undergo meiosis to reduce their chromosome number in half before fusing with a mate. Just after the chromosomes are separated, a protein structure—the kinetochore—that is assembled on the chromosomes  … Read more

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Cell News—Cell Cycle: The Mad dance of the kinetochores

In the elegant minuet of the cell cycle, the spindle checkpoint protein, Mad1, keeps strict time. Mad1 and its related proteins and collaborators, Mad2 and Bub1, ensure that the cell cycle cannot move from metaphase to anaphase until each duplicated chromosome is properly organized on  … Read more

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