New weapon against Diabetes

Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers._ ETH Zurich

Vigilin, the lock keeper

ETH researchers have discovered a molecule in liver cells that controls the release of fat into the bloodstream. This “lock keeper” is present in large quantities in overweight people and leads indirectly to vascular narrowing._ ETH Zurich

Protein-like structures from the primordial soup

Experiments performed by ETH scientists have shown that it is remarkably easy for protein-like, two-dimensional structures – amyloids – to form from basic building blocks. This discovery supports the researchers’ hypothesis that primal life could have evolved from amyloids such as these. _Fabio Bergamin ETH Zurich

Freeloading Butterflies Get Away with Theft

A bizarre Amazonian butterfly is the ultimate freeloader, researchers say. The butterfly species steals and eats gooey bamboo secretions from its ant neighbors, in a relationship known as kleptoparasitism, new research has found. _live science | By Tia Ghose

Blood test to personalise depression treatment for the first time

Scientists at King’s College London have developed a blood test that accurately and reliably predicts whether depressed patients will respond to common antidepressants, which could herald a new era of personalised treatment for people with depression._ King’s College of London

Getting to the heart of fossils

Scientists have discovered, for the first time, a fossilised heart in a 119 million-year-old fish from Brazil called Rhacolepis. This has been possible thanks to the powerful X-rays of the ESRF, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France. This breakthrough can provide clues about cardiac evolution._ESRF

The gates of serotonin

Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter, regulating mood, appetite, sleep, memory, learning, and other functions by binding to dedicated receptor proteins. Serotonin receptors have been researched for decades, but details about their structure and function are hard to come by. EPFL scientists have now made the first ever computer simulation of a notoriously elusive serotonin receptor that is involved in fast signal transmission in neurons and plays a central role in disorders such as schizophrenia, chemotherapy nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and seizures. The work is published in the journal Structure._EPFL

An Up-Close View of Bacterial «Motors»

In two recent Caltech studies, researchers used a state-of-the-art imaging technique to capture, for the first time, three-dimensional views of this tiny complicated machinery in bacteria. _Now@Caltech