Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

'Crowding' inside cells influences many functions and major diseases

Among the most studied protein machines in history, mTORC1 has long been known to sense whether a cell has enough energy to build the proteins it needs to multiply as part of growth. Because faulty versions of mTORC1 contribute to the abnormal growth seen in cancer, drugs targeting the complex have been the subject of 1,300 clinical trials since 1970. Now, a new study finds that mTORC1 has a second function of profound importance: controlling how "crowded" human cells become. The finding explains for the first time the workings of a physical quality that cells use to regulate their actions, and more closely links malfunctions in mTORC1-related genes to several diseases of aging. Based on past studies, biologists have long concluded that cells, for survival, require a limit on the number of proteins in their fluid-filled inner spaces, the cytoplasm, where many cellular functions occur. Specifically, the current study found that the mTORC1 complex controls crowding by determining the number of ribosomes, multiprotein machines that build other proteins there.

Visit Website | Image credit: Soleil Nordic/Shutterstock.com