Beautiful Science

PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

A section of spinal cord containing a protein called BNIP-H (stained red), magnified 20 times. Stained green is an enzyme called choline acetyltransferase. Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered that the BNIP-H protein is linked to Cayman ataxia, a rare genetic disorder which affects a region of the brain involved in motor control. The disorder leads to difficulty in coordinating complex movements. Associate Professor Low Boon Chuan and postdoctoral scientist Sun Jichao, from the Department of Biological Sciences and Mechanobiology Institute at NUS, found that the protein regulates the growth of nerve cells by transporting key metabolic enzymes to the tips of neural cells.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2015, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe