Findings

Yale researchers solve structure of the ribosome

Crystallography confirms a long-held notion the RNA, not protein, sparks protein synthesis on the ribosome.

In a landmark achievement, Yale researchers have determined the atomic structure of the ribosome’s large subunit, paving the way for more effective drugs to fight infection.

The findings, published in two separate articles covering 25 pages in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science, were derived in Yale laboratories led by Thomas Steitz, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Peter Moore, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemistry.

“This is like climbing Mt. Everest or running the four-minute mile,” Steitz said. “We have solved the structure of the ribosome’s large subunit, which is the largest unique structure determined. We have established that the ribosome is a ribozyme, an enzyme in which catalysis is done by RNA, not protein.”

The ribosome is the cellular structure responsible for...

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Stem cells from bone marrow can help to repair liver

Much of the power of self-repair in the liver comes, of course, from the liver’s own cells, but a substantial portion is derived from a previously unsuspected source outside the liver, according to a paper published in Hepatology.That novel source of liver cells is bone marrow, the producer of multipotent stem cells, which can develop into many different kinds of cells throughout the body. In the human adult, bone...

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How nicotine may buffer the brain

Smokers who claim that tobacco relaxes them are reporting a documented biochemical effect. Nicotine, the main active...

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A genetic cause for hypertension during pregnancy

Blood pressure normally dips slightly during pregnancy but, as every obstetrician knows, a spike in pressure can lead...

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Facial recognition is impaired in autism

The developmental disorder autism interferes with social functioning—even with the recognition of faces, as a...

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