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Nature Communications

Nature Communications is an open access, multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing research regarding biological, health, physical, chemical, and earth sciences. 

Light-activated technique helps bring cell powerhouses back into balance

University of Illinois biochemistry professor Kai Zhang and collaborators developed a technique using light to regulate mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouses inside cells. The technique could address mitochondrial diseases and cancer.

SHIELD program a model for effective pandemic management, data show

The SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell program combined frequent saliva tests with modeling and an app to keep the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and surrounding community safe when on-campus operations resumed in fall 2020.

Researchers determine Pol III “identity” as important regulatory mechanism and likely disease factor in cancer

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a link between RNA polymerase III subunit composition and transcription, an advancement that has potential implications for future cancer research. Their findings were published in...

Decoding the molecular clock that controls neurogenesis in visual center of Drosophila

The nervous system is made up of diverse cells that arise from progenitors in a specific time-dependent pattern. In a new study, published in Nature Communications, researchers have uncovered the molecular players involved and how the timing is controlled.

Researchers explore the molecular mechanisms of a promising antiviral defense system

In the last decade, scientists have discovered that the antiviral system known as cGAS-STING is an important innate immune system in humans because it senses double-stranded DNA in cytoplasm resulting from viral and bacterial infections. Recent research shows that the cGAS-STING system may have its...

Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds

People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a...

Researchers discover widespread, specific lipid binding by a large family of human proteins

Phospholipid-protein interactions play an essential role in the regulation of many important cellular processes. The largest family of putative lipid-binding proteins contain the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Previous studies in the field estimate that approximately 10 percent of the PH protein...

Cronan lab uncovers mechanism for synthesis of pimelate moiety, the biotin precursor

Professor John. E. Cronan, Microbiology Alumni Professor and professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, is a leading researcher and innovator in the field of lipid metabolism. His recent work focuses on the synthesis of biotin and its building blocks across different species of...

Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant

Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but releases...

Study: Gut hormones' regulation of fat production abnormal in obesity, fatty liver disease

Gut hormones play an important role in regulating fat production in the body. One key hormone, released a few hours after eating, turns off fat production by regulating gene expression in the liver, but this regulation is abnormal in obesity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-...