Oct 25, 2023
Biochemist selected as Innovation Fund investigator by Pew Charitable Trusts
Katsuhiko Murakami, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, has been selected as a member of the 2023 class of Innovation Fund investigators by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Jul 13, 2023
Essential process for SARS-CoV-2 viral replication visualized
During the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a long string of connected proteins is cleaved apart into individual proteins. This process is interrupted by an FDA-approved drug to treat COVID-19; however, the mechanistic details of this cleavage process are still unclear. Now, a team led by researchers at Penn State has produced the most detailed images to date of this process, revealing that these proteins are cleaved in a consistent order likely dictated by the structure of the protein string.
Apr 14, 2023
How does an aging-associated enzyme access our genetic material?
New research provides insight into how an enzyme that helps regulate aging and other metabolic processes accesses our genetic material to modulate gene expression within the cell. A team led by Penn State researchers have produced images of a sirtuin enzyme bound to a nucleosome — a tightly packed complex of DNA and proteins called histones — showing how the enzyme navigates the nucleosome complex to access both DNA and histone proteins and clarifying how it functions in humans and other animals.
Feb 16, 2023
DNA stuck in the gears of the RNA production machine
Precise control of gene expression — ensuring that cells make the correct components in the right amount and at the right time — is vital for all organisms to function properly. Cells must regulate how genes encoded in the sequence of DNA are made into RNA molecules that can carry out cellular functions on their own or be further processed into proteins.
Aug 04, 2021
Researchers film human viruses in liquid droplets at near-atomic detail
A research team led by Deb Kelly, Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics and professor of biomedical engineering at Penn State, has used advanced electron microscopy (EM) technology to see how human viruses move in high resolution in a near-native environment. The visualization technique could lead to improved understanding of how vaccine candidates and treatments behave and function as they interact with target cells, Kelly said.
Jul 30, 2021
Novel method of imaging silicon anode degradation may lead to better batteries
A novel method of characterizing the structural and chemical evolution of silicon and a thin layer that governs battery stability may help resolve issues that prevent using silicon for high-capacity batteries, according to a group of researchers.
Jun 03, 2021
New images of canine parvovirus may help predict how virus jumps to new species
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly infectious pathogen that causes severe diseases in unvaccinated dogs, including inflammation of the heart and acute gastrointestinal illness. Originating in cats, the virus is a rare example of a DNA-based virus that can jump between species, and a team of researchers’ discovery may help in predicting this and the virus’ ability to evolve, which could have implications for current vaccines used in dogs.
Apr 09, 2021
Antibody binding-site conserved across COVID-19 virus variants
A tiny protein of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that gives rise to COVID-19, may have big implications for future treatments, according to a team of Penn State researchers.
Jan 25, 2021
Regulating the ribosomal RNA production line
Cryo-electron microscopy study allows researchers to visualize structural changes in an E. coli enzyme synthesizing ribosomal RNA that shift it between turbo- and slow-modes depending on the bacteria’s growth rate
Nov 23, 2020
Altered 'coat' disguises fatal brain virus from neutralizing antibodies
A genetic modification in the ‘coat’ of a brain infection-causing virus may allow it to escape antibodies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.