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New Clues to Why Older Women are More Vulnerable to Breast Cancer

These fluorescent images of human mammary epithelial cells exemplify the effects of aging. In the left image, multipotent progenitor cells from a 19-year-old young woman respond to a tumor-mimicking stiff surface by differentiating into red-colored tumor-suppressing myoepithelial cells. In the right image, progenitor cells from a 66-year-old woman fail to launch this putative cancer-fighting response when exposed to a stiff surface. (Credit: Pelissier/LaBarge)

Berkeley Lab scientists have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.

Bringing Out the Best in X-ray Crystallography Data

Combining components of Rosetta and PHENIX, two successful software programs for creating 3D structural models of proteins and other biomolecules, Berkeley Lab researchers have created a new method for refining those models and making the best of available experimental data.

3D IR Images Now in Full Color

Berkeley Lab and University of Wisconsin researchers have created the first technique to offer full color IR tomography, a non-destructive 3D imaging process that provides molecular-level chemical information of unprecedented detail on biological and other specimens with no need to stain or alter the specimen.

Tiny Bubbles Hold Big Promise for NMR/MRI

Tiny bubbles carrying hyperpolarized xenon gas hold big promise for greatly increasing the sensitivity of NMR/MRI technologies.

Of Aging Bones and Sunshine

Berkeley Lab researcher have shown that deficiencies in vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – accelerates the aging of bone, reducing the quality and making it more susceptible to fracturing.

Cancerous Traffic Jams: Biomechanical Factor in Malignancies Identified

Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated that the malignant activity of a cellular protein system strongly linked to breast cancer can arise from what essentially are protein traffic jams.

Copper on the Brain

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed unique fluorescent probes for molecular imaging of copper in the brain, and are using these probes to uncover new information critical to a healthy mind.

Comparing Proteins at a Glance

A revolutionary X-ray analytical technique enables researchers at a glance to identify structural similarities and differences between multiple proteins under a variety of conditions and has already been used to gain valuable new insight into a prime protein target for cancer chemotherapy.

Do We Owe Our Sense of Smell to Epigenetics?

Olfactory sensory neurons – nerve cells in the nose – directly sense molecules that convey scent, then send the signals to the brain. Biologists have long wondered how it’s possible for each nerve cell to be equipped with only one kind of olfactory receptor (OR). There are over a thousand different kinds of OR genes

Reading the Human Genome

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Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved a major advance in understanding how genetic information is transcribed from DNA to RNA by providing the first step-by-step look at the biomolecular machinery that reads the human genome.