December 2012

Tiny mitochondrial intermembrane space’s proteome

Despite being the smallest of the four mitochondrial compartments, the intermembrane space is important for several of the organelle’s functions. Among other things, the IMS oversees the transport and modification of proteins and other entities, regulates the respiratory chain complexes and coordinates apoptosis. But not many details are known about the compartment.


How high cholesterol levels come in handy during protozoan infection

It has been long impressed on us by doctors and news reports that eating too much fatty food will lead to hyperlipidemia and, worse, potentially deadly atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Statins, now being prescribed by doctors to untold millions of people around the world to reverse these conditions, have made the pharmaceutical industry a multibillion dollar industry. So it is surprising that in the December issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, researchers in India presented data suggesting that hyperlipidemia confers some protection against leishmaniasis, a disease caused by protozoan parasite infection.


Insights into a new therapy for a rare form of cystic fibrosis

Scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have established that VX-770, a drug recently approved by the FDA to treat a form of cystic fibrosis caused by a rare mutation, works through an unconventional mechanism. Their results shed light on the regulation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator and reveal new possibilities for treating cystic fibrosis caused by various mutations.


JBC thematic minireview series on HIV and the host

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published a minireview series about this exciting and important field of research, covering diverse topics spanning the replication cycle of HIV to help researchers continue the investigation of the basic biology of HIV in the hope of better understanding the enigmatic human pathogen.


The road well traveled together

In their joint “Reflections” article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, “Our NIH Years: A Confluence of Beginnings,” Leonore and Leonard Herzenberg describe their scientific journey from the laboratory of Nobel laureate Jacques Monod in Paris in 1957 to the National Institutes of Health in 1959 and finally to a joint laboratory at Stanford University School of Medicine, where they have been for more than 50 years.


Zombies, beer and family-friendly, sun-filled afternoons

Ben Wiehe, manager of the Science Festival Alliance, reflects on the diverse activities at the 2012 Bay Area Science Festival and offers advice for those considering putting a festival together.


ASBMB at Discovery Days at San Francisco’s AT&T Park

AT&T Park hosted Discovery Days on Saturday, Nov. 3, the final event of the 2012 Bay Area Science Festival. ASBMB was there.


The ASBMB 2012 graduation survey: a synopsis

Every year, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requests demographic data on students graduating with bachelor’s and graduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology from more than 800 programs across the United States. The 2012 survey yielded 135 respondents, 94 of whom provided data.


Holiday wishes from the Lipid Research Division

ASBMB Lipid Research Division chief Daniel Raben offers his thoughts as the year comes to a close.

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