6 Stories

Mutant Enzyme Munches Plastic

This could massively reduce waste, scientists say

(Newser) - Some rare good news in the fight against plastic pollution: Scientists working with a plastic-eating microbe discovered in Japan two years ago accidentally created a mutant enzyme that sounds like an environmentalist's dream, the Guardian reports. The enzyme breaks down the PET—polyethylene terephthalate—used in plastic bottles even... More »

Scientists Reverse Aging in Mice

Could the process work for humans?

(Newser) - Harvard scientists have reversed the aging process in mice, injecting them with an enzyme that healed tissue and reportedly spurred the growth of new neurons in their brains. Now they’re wondering if they can apply some of these benefits to humans. But differences between human and mice bodies make... More »

After 20 Years, Scientists Crack HIV Puzzle

Enzyme integrase made visible for first time

(Newser) - After 40,000 failed trials and "painstakingly slow progress," scientists have solved a puzzle that stumped AIDS researchers for more than 20 years—and their findings could help develop more effective HIV drugs. The researchers at Harvard and Imperial College London grew a crystal that for the first... More »

Mutant Genes Linked to Long Life

DNA-protecting enzyme may be key to living to 100

(Newser) - Scientists have spotted a link among people who live to age 100: high levels of telomerase, an enzyme that protects DNA and could possibly be simulated in life-lengthening drugs. The enzyme repairs telomeres, end sections of DNA that have been likened to plastic tips that prevent shoelaces from unraveling. In... More »

Soy Goo May Fight Alzheimer's

Enzyme in fermented beans attacks brain plaques

(Newser) - The good news: There may be a natural way to treat Alzheimer's disease. The bad news: It's kind of gross. A recent study found that natto, the stinky and slimy soybean product featured in some Japanese dishes, contains an enzyme that can shred the type of brain plaque that causes... More »

Tangerine Peel May Help Fight Cancer

Compound in fruit's skin attacks, destroys abnormal cells

(Newser) - UK researchers may have found a natural way to combat certain cancers. In tests, a chemical compound in tangerine peel attacked and destroyed cancer cells. The findings could lead to treatments for cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and ovaries, Reuters says. “It is very exciting to find a... More »

6 Stories