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A Viral “Bait-and-Switch” Boosts Infection
Research
Oct 04, 2017

A Viral “Bait-and-Switch” Boosts Infection

herpes, virus

Assistant professor of Biochemistry, Demián Cazalla, PhD, and lead author Carlos Gorbea, PhD, have published in Nature a mechanism of infection that makes use of viral non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in previously unreported ways. As its name suggests, ncRNAs do not carry information to make proteins. In this instance, Cazalla’s team shows that a single viral ncRNA, called HSUR2, fools the host’s biology into interfering with its own genes.... Read More

Biochemistry
Janet Iwasa on PBS News Hour
Education, Research
Sep 22, 2017

Janet Iwasa on PBS News Hour

animation

These 3D animations could help you finally understand molecular science. Art and science have in some ways always overlapped, with early scientists using illustrations to depict what they saw under the microscope. Janet Iwasa of the University of Utah is trying to re-establish this link to make thorny scientific data and models approachable to the common eye. View the two-minute story.... Read More

Biochemistry
Biochemistry's Rising Star Symposium (Sept 21-22)
Education
Sep 12, 2017

Biochemistry's Rising Star Symposium (Sept 21-22)

The 2017 Rising Star Symposium will take place on September 21st & 22nd from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Erik Jorgensen, a Distinguished Professor of Biology from the University of Utah. The symposium will include 4 sessions: Chemical Biology, Protein Design, Metabolism, & Structure/Imaging. The speakers are composed of 23 talented scientists from all over the country. The symposium will take place in the HSEB, the first session will be in 3515B. More info coming soon!... Read More

Biochemistry
Claudio Villanueva featured in Medical News Today
Research, Education
Sep 07, 2017

Claudio Villanueva featured in Medical News Today

Dietary supplement may help older adults to keep warm. Recently, a study using aging mice - conducted at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City - investigated whether or not there was something that could be done to reduce this risk. Led by senior author Claudio Villanueva, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry, the team focused particularly on fats.... Read More

Biochemistry
Wes Sundquist Awarded the U’S Highest Honor
Recognition
May 04, 2017

Wes Sundquist Awarded the U’S Highest Honor

Wesley I. Sundquist, distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, was honored with the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the U’s most prestigious faculty award. The $40,000 gift is presented annually to a faculty member who displays excellence in teaching, research and administrative efforts.... Read More

Biochemistry
Michael Kay earns Distinguished Mentor Award
Recognition
May 01, 2017

Michael Kay earns Distinguished Mentor Award

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor Award: To honor and encourage the considerable efforts and accomplishments of faculty who consistently serve as effective mentors of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, The Graduate School established a Distinguished Mentor Award in 2006 for faculty from any discipline. Amongst the 2017 awardees is Biochemistry's Dr. Michael S. Kay.... Read More

Biochemistry
Pushing New Frontiers: U Awarded $2.5 Million to Visualize Life's Building Blocks
Research
Apr 04, 2017

Pushing New Frontiers: U Awarded $2.5 Million to Visualize Life's Building Blocks

The University of Utah is one of just five institutions in the world to be awarded a $2.5 million grant to purchase a state of the art cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM), the Beckman Foundation announced today. The microscope, which will be able to visualize the structure of proteins and DNA at an atom-by-atom scale, will be installed in the Crocker Science Center, currently under construction on Presidents Circle. The microscope’s resolution is fine enough to see details such as the double-helix and ladder structure of DNA, said biochemistry professor Wesley Sundquist.... Read More

Biochemistry
March for Science April 22nd
Education
Apr 03, 2017

March for Science April 22nd

Biochemist Claudio Villanueva will discuss the importance of biomedical research, diversity, and the funding of the next generation of scientists at the upcoming March for Science this Saturday, April 22. The march will begin at 3pm at City Creek Park, and continue up to the Capitol, where Claudio will deliver his talk.... Read More

Biochemistry
Virus-Inspired Delivery System Transfers Microscopic Cargo Between Human Cells
Research
Nov 30, 2016

Virus-Inspired Delivery System Transfers Microscopic Cargo Between Human Cells

virus, protein design

Scientists from the University of Utah and University of Washington have developed blueprints that instruct human cells to assemble a virus-like delivery system that can transport custom cargo from one cell to another. As reported online in Nature on Nov. 30, the research is a step toward a nature-inspired means for delivering therapeutics directly to specific cell types within the body.... Read More

Biochemistry
Genome Engineering Paves the Way for Sickle Cell Cure
Oct 12, 2016

Genome Engineering Paves the Way for Sickle Cell Cure

genome engineering

A team of physicians and laboratory scientists has taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells from the blood of affected patients. For the first time, they have corrected the mutation in a proportion of stem cells that is high enough to produce a substantial benefit in sickle cell patients.... Read More

Biochemistry
Education
Sep 22, 2016

Biochemistry's Rising Star Symposium (Sept 22-23)

Biochemistry hosts the Rising Stars Symposium on September 22nd and 23rd highlighting accomplished young scientists from across the country to share their research in Structural Biology/Imaging and Cell Biology (day 1) and Chemical Biology and Metabolism (day 2). ... Read More

Biochemistry
Snails’ Speedy Insulin
Research
Sep 12, 2016

Snails’ Speedy Insulin

diabetes

University of Utah researchers have found that the structure of an insulin molecule produced by predatory cone snails may be an improvement over current fast-acting therapeutic insulin. The finding suggests that the cone snail insulin, produced by the snails to stun their prey, could begin working in as few as five minutes, compared with 15 minutes for the fastest-acting insulin currently available. ... Read More

Biochemistry
University of Utah Biochemist Is 1 of 4 Researchers Globally to Receive JDRF Grants to Develop ‘Smart’ Glucose-Responsive Insulin
Research
Feb 25, 2016

University of Utah Biochemist Is 1 of 4 Researchers Globally to Receive JDRF Grants to Develop ‘Smart’ Glucose-Responsive Insulin

diabetes, type 1 diabetes

University of Utah biochemist Danny Chou, Ph.D., is one of four researchers worldwide to receive a grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi US Services Inc. to develop glucose-responsive insulin to help millions of people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) maintain proper blood glucose levels. ... Read More

Biochemistry
A Molecular Noose Caught in the Act
Research
Dec 03, 2015

A Molecular Noose Caught in the Act

One of the most fundamental challenges that a cell faces is how to bring membranes that are far apart, close together. New research in Science shows how cellular machinery, called ESCRT (Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport), accomplishes this essential task. ... Read More

Biochemistry
A Call for Caution Before Genetically Engineering Humans
Research, Education
Mar 19, 2015

A Call for Caution Before Genetically Engineering Humans

genetic engineering, genetics

A group of 18 leaders in the field of genomic engineering have written a perspective to be published in the journal Science Express on March 19, cautioning fellow scientists from going down this path too quickly. They call for a moratorium on genetically engineering changes in human DNA that would be passed to future generations. Before this can happen, they say, scientists, clinicians, and the general public must agree on the best ways to ensure the safety and efficacy of the technology. ... Read More

Biochemistry
Novel
Research
Feb 09, 2015

Novel "Smart" Insulin Automatically Adjusts Blood Sugar in Diabetic Mouse Model

diabetes, insulin

Scientists have created a novel, long-lasting "smart" insulin that self-activates when blood sugar soars. Tests on mouse models for type 1 diabetes show that one injection works for a minimum of 14 hours, during which it can repeatedly and automatically lower blood sugar levels after simulated meals, mimicking blood sugar recovery in healthy mice. The finding represents an important advance in insulin therapy for diabetics and will be published Feb. 9 in PNAS Early Edition.... Read More

Biochemistry
Defying Textbook Science, Study Finds New Role for Proteins
Research
Jan 01, 2015

Defying Textbook Science, Study Finds New Role for Proteins

proteins, protein synthesis

Open any introductory biology textbook and one of the first things you’ll learn is that our DNA spells out the instructions for making proteins, tiny machines that do much of the work in our body’s cells. Results from a study published on Jan. 2 in Science defy textbook science, showing for the first time that the building blocks of a protein, called amino acids, can be assembled without blueprints – DNA and an intermediate template called messenger RNA (mRNA). A team of researchers has observed a case in which another protein specifies which amino acids are added. ... Read More

Biochemistry
Rewiring Metabolism Slows Cancer Growth
Oct 30, 2014

Rewiring Metabolism Slows Cancer Growth

Huntsman Cancer Institute, ,

A University of Utah-led study reports that cancers select against a protein complex called the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), and re-introduction of MPC in colon cancer cells impairs several properties of cancer, including growth. The research, which appears online on Oct. 30 in Molecular Cell, implicates changes in a key step in metabolism ¿ the way cellular fuel is utilized ¿ as an important driver of colon cancer that is also likely to be important in many other cancer settings. ... Read More

Biochemistry

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