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Cell division, minus the cells

Researchers have reconstituted cell division - complete with signals that direct molecular traffic - without the cell. Combining frog-egg extracts with lipid membranes that mimic the membrane of the cell, they built a cell-free system that recapitulates how the cleavage furrow is assembled.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2014

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The man with a thousand brains

Forty million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer's and this is only set to increase. But tiny brains grown in culture could help scientists learn more about this mysterious disease - and test new drugs.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2014

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Biology meets geometry

Architecture imitates life, at least when it comes to those spiral ramps in multistory parking garages. Stacked and connecting parallel levels, the ramps are replications of helical structures found in a ubiquitous membrane structure in the cells of the body.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

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Making lab-grown tissues stronger

Biomedical engineers, exploring ways to toughen up engineered cartilage and keep natural tissues strong outside the body, report new developments this week.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

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A new method simplifies the analysis of RNA structure

Scientists have devised a simple and versatile method, based on the geometry of the RNA molecule, which proved to be highly promising for analysing and understanding the complex interactions that characterise these molecules.

Posted: Oct 30th, 2014

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Artificial cells produce real proteins

A living cell, from one point of view, is a sort of sprawling protein factory that can churn out thousands of different proteins to order. Researchers are building on the basic idea of creating 'artificial cells' that might, in the future, enable us to control the production of proteins or other complex biological processes.

Posted: Oct 27th, 2014

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