New research shows a natural compound in basil called fenchol may protect against Alzheimer’s disease pathology. A University of South Florida Health-led team discovered that the aromatic compound fenchol has the same beneficial effect as gut-derived short chain fatty acid (SCFA) metabolites in reducing neurotoxic amyloid-beta in the brain. The authors reported that fenchol, like SCFAs, activates fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2) on neurons in the brain, increasing lysosomal and proteasomal activity and decreasing amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity and neuronal cell death.
Two teams of researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have discovered that the location of the centromere—a specific chromosomal site that holds duplicated chromosomes together and plays an important role in cell division—is transmitted between two generations through epigenetic mechanisms. Using specific mutants in a microscopic worm generated using CRIPSR technology, the researchers show that once the centromere is defined, its location is transmitted to the next generation independent of the DNA that guides the centromere defining protein CENP-A, leading the authors to conclude an epigenetic memory mechanism.
A collaborative study by scientists in Switzerland and Norway, has discovered a new mechanism for regulating RNA maturation that depends on nutrients in the diet. Underscoring the crucial role of the environment in RNA methylation and the control of the splicing machinery, the researchers showed when nutrients are abundant, the mRNA of a methyl-donor synthesizing gene is methylated, gene splicing is blocked, and the level of methyl donors decreases, in a feedback loop.