Prickly Protein

Prickly protein prevents bacteria from forming clumps, reduces their ability to cause disease.

A genetic mechanism that controls the production of a large spike-like protein on the surface of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria alters the ability of the bacteria to form clumps and to cause disease, according to a new University of Iowa study.

MIT robot may accelerate trials for stroke medications

MIT robot may accelerate trials for stroke medications

The development of drugs to treat acute stroke or aid in stroke recovery is a multibillion-dollar endeavor that only rarely pays off in the form of government-approved pharmaceuticals. Drug companies spend years testing safety and dosage in the clinic, only to find in Phase III clinical efficacy trials that target compounds have little to no benefit. The lengthy process is inefficient, costly, and discouraging, says Hermano Igo Krebs, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Revealing the inner workings of a cellular nanomotor

Our cells produce thousands of proteins, but more than one-third of these proteins can fulfill their function only after migrating to the outside of the cell. While it is known that protein migration occurs with the help of various ‘nanomotors’ that push proteins out of the cell, little is known about their precise mechanical functioning. New research by Anastassios Economou (Laboratory of Molecular Bacteriology – Rega Institute) and his team reveals the inner workings of one such nanomotor, called SecA, with new clarity.