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Groundbreaking microscopy unlocks secrets of plant virus assembly

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Understanding how a plant virus assembles could lay the groundwork for future use to carry drugs into the human body. The Nature Communications paper investigates vital steps to understanding how safe, plant-based virus-like particles could be created in the future. Read the full press release here Read Mechanisms of assembly and genome packaging in an RNA...

Swinging on "monkey bars": motor proteins caught in the act

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The first images of motor proteins in action are published in the journal Nature Communications today. These proteins are vital to complex life, forming the transport infrastructure that allows different parts of cells to specialise in particular functions. Until now, the way they move has never been directly observed. Researchers at the University of Leeds...

First glimpses of motor proteins in action

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The first images of motor proteins in action are published in the journal Nature Communications. These proteins are vital to complex life, forming the transport infrastructure that allows different parts of cells to specialise in particular functions. Until now, the way they move has never been directly observed. Read full press release here Read  Direct...

University funds £17m structural biology lab

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The University of Leeds is investing £17 million in a state-of-the-art laboratory for structural biology research. The new facility will provide the University’s internationally renowned Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology with instruments for Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance that are competitive with the very best in the world. Professor Sheena Radford FRS, Director...

Researchers discover viral "Enigma machine"

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Researchers have cracked a code that governs infections by a major group of viruses including the common cold and polio. Until now, scientists had not noticed the code, which had been hidden in plain sight in the sequence of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) that makes up this type of viral genome. But a paper published...

Gold nanotubes launch a three-pronged attack on cancer cells

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Scientists have shown that gold nanotubes have many applications in fighting cancer: internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging; drug delivery vehicles; and agents for destroying cancer cells. Read the full press release here Read Engineering Gold Nanotubes with Controlled Length and Near‐Infrared Absorption for Theranostic Applications in Advanced Functioning Materials

Molecule fights cancer on two fronts

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New synthetic anti-cancer molecule that targets two key mechanisms in the spread of malignant tumours through the body. The synthetic molecule JK-31 blocks the signalling of a “growth factor” chemical that promotes the creation of networks of blood vessels to feed tumours, but intervenes directly in the growth of the cancer itself, inhibiting a protein...

Mimicking natural evolution with ‘promiscuous reactions’ to improve the diversity of drugs

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A revolutionary new scientific method developed at the University of Leeds will improve the diversity of ‘biologically active molecules’, such as antibiotics and anti-cancer agents. The researchers took their inspiration from evolution in nature. The research may uncover new pharmaceutical drugs that traditional methods would never have found. Read the full press release here Read Efficient...

Celebrating the work of a neglected scientific pioneer

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A University of Leeds academic has shed important new light on the fascinating story of a pioneer whose contribution to one of science’s biggest discoveries has long been overlooked. From the late 1920s, University of Leeds biophysicist William T Astbury carried out groundbreaking work using X-rays to study the molecular structure of wool fibres for...