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Research in Action

Check out these cool images of NIGMS-funded research that have been featured as part of the National Science Foundation's "Research in Action" series published on LiveScience. Many of the images originally appeared in Biomedical Beat.

Chang Shan. Courtesy of Paul Schimmel Lab, The Scripps Research Institute.Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Yields Its Secrets Link to external Web site | 3/14/13
Molecular details help explain the health benefits of Chang Shan, a root extract that Chinese herbalists have used to treat malaria.

Cell nucleus. Courtesy of Laure Crabbe, Jamie Kasuboski and James Fitzpatrick, Salk Institute for Biological Studies.Tracking Telomeres to the Edge Link to external Web site | 1/30/13
New research shows telomeres moving to the outer edge of the nucleus after cell division, suggesting these caps that protect chromosomes also may play a role in organizing DNA.

Flatworms' stem cells (in color, left image) and excretory organs (pink clusters, right image). Courtesy of Peter Reddien, Whitehead Institute for Medical Research (left); Jochen Rink, Max Planck Institute, and Hanh Thi-Kim Vu, Stowers Institute for Medical Research (right).Worm Regeneration May Lend a Hand in Human Healing Link to external Web site | 11/14/12
By studying the features that enable freshwater flatworms to re-grow body parts, scientists might move one step closer to learning how to generate or regenerate human tissue and cells.

Cells after apoptosis. Courtesy of Hogan Tang of the Denise Montell Lab, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Death-Defying Trick: Cells Return From the Brink of Death Link to external Web site | 10/24/12
Many cell types on the brink of self-destruction can bounce back after the trigger is removed.

Two tales of cell division. Courtesy of Jean Cook and Edward Salmon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.DNA Replication Protein Caught Working Second Job Link to external Web site | 8/8/12
A protein previously thought to play a role only in DNA replication also helps enable stable chromosome attachments during mitosis.

BK ion channel. Courtesy of Christopher Lingle Laboratory, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.Proteins: Disordered with a Purpose Link to external Web site | 6/27/12
A special "messy" region of a potassium ion channel is important in its function.

Structure of origin recognition complex as it begins DNA replication. Courtesy of Huilin Li, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.The Protein Machine That Copies Genes Link to external Web site | 5/2/12
A crescent-shaped protein complex wraps around and bends DNA to start the replication process.

Shiga toxin hitchhikes on a cellular protein to escape destruction by the cell. Courtesy of Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay, Carnegie Mellon University.Toxic Turnaround with Manganese Link to external Web site | 2/17/12
New research suggests that manganese, a metal and an essential nutrient, can protect cells from the effects of the potentially deadly Shiga toxin.

Tiny water bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Courtesy of Yves Brun, Indiana University.Bacterial 'Glue' is One of Nature's Stickiest Substances Link to external Web site | 2/8/12
The tiny water bacterium Caulobacter crescentus secretes a sugary substance so sticky that just a tiny bit could withstand the pull from lifting several cars at once.

A mass of spinal nerve cells that contain COX-2. Courtesy of Lawrence Marnett and Nature Chemical Biology.A New Twist on Old Painkillers Link to external Web site | 12/28/11
Ever wondered how ibuprofen eases pain or reduces inflammation? Scientists thought they knew, but a new study suggests they only had part of the answer.

Worm sperm.Proteins that Keep Worm Sperm in Motion Link to external Web site | 11/16/11
Cells are constantly moving around in our bodies, and now a new approach may help scientists better understand how.

Courtesy of Chiara Cirelli, University of Wisconsin-Madison.After a Good Night's Sleep Brain Cells Are Ready to Learn Link to external Web site | 11/9/11
Why do we need to sleep? Research suggests one reason might be to learn more the next day.

Courtesy of Charles Sindelar, Brandeis University.Seesaw Action Helps Protein Motors Move Cargo Around Cells Link to external Web site | 10/26/11
A protein called kinesin moves cargo around inside cells, and here it's stopped in its tracks.

Courtesy of Christopher Chen, University of Pennsylvania.Under Pressure: Peeking in on Contracting Cells Link to external Web site | 10/19/11
A microscopic stretch detector senses pressure inside real tissues to see how cells react.

Courtesy of Nathan Shaner, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Glowing Bacteria Make a Pretty Postcard Link to external Web site | 10/12/11
A petri dish full of genetically engineered glowing bacteria looks like it could grace the front of a postcard from Key West.

Courtesy of bioengineer Jeff Hasty and physicist Lev Tsimring, both at University of California, San Diego.Microbes Find Protection in Organized Communities Link to external Web site | 9/28/11
Understanding how bacteria cluster and crowd could offer new insight into how to beat them.

Glowing Glycans. Courtesy of chemical biologist Carolyn Bertozzi, University of California, Berkeley.Tracking Cellular Sugar Traffic Link to external Web site | 9/21/11
Complex sugars called glycans are involved in important processes like cell communication, immune response and early development. Tracking them can help us understand and treat diseases.

Cilia.How Cilia Do the Wave Link to external Web site | 8/24/11
Thin, hair-like biological structures called cilia work together to help sweep mucus from the lungs and usher egg cells from the ovaries into the uterus.

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This page last reviewed on March 15, 2013