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Democratizing synthetic biology

By replacing highly specialized, expensive equipment with standard lab tools, Northwestern University professor Michael Jewett has made synthetic biology research cheaper, faster, and more accessible.

Posted: Mar 2nd, 2015

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Looking for alternatives to antibiotics

Bacteria that talk to one another and organize themselves into biofilms are more resistant to antibiotics. Researchers are now working to develop drugs that prevent bacteria from communicating. The aim is to find alternatives to antibiotics and reduce the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Posted: Mar 2nd, 2015

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Borrowing from whales to engineer a new fluid sensor

How can a humpback whale and a device that works on the same principle as the clicker that starts your gas grill help an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fly longer and with more stability? Well, it all starts with biological structures called tubercles that the whale uses for its unique maneuvers in the ocean.

Posted: Mar 2nd, 2015

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NIBIB launches Want to Be a Bioengineer? game app

How do you keep an artificial limb attached to the body? What lab-grown organ have scientists successfully transplanted into patients? You can find the answer to these questions and many more while playing Want to Be a Bioengineer? a game for middle and high school students.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2015

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Scientists grow leg muscle from cells in a dish

A team of scientists has succeeded in generating mature, functional skeletal muscles in mice using a new approach for tissue engineering. The scientists grew a leg muscle starting from engineered cells cultured in a dish to produce a graft. The subsequent graft was implanted close to a normal, contracting skeletal muscle where the new muscle was nurtured and grown.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2015

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New catalyst to create chemical building blocks from biomass

University of Tokyo researchers have developed a novel selective catalyst that allows the creation of several basic chemicals from biomass instead of petroleum. This discovery may lead to the use of plant biomass as a basic feedstock for the chemical industry.

Posted: Feb 23rd, 2015

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An entirely new approach to tissue engineering

Researchers present an entirely new approach to tissue engineering that uses the interfacial forces between aqueous solutions of phase-separating polymers to confine cells and promote their assembly into interconnected, macroscopic tissue constructs. This simple and inexpensive general procedure creates free-standing, centimeter-scale constructs from cell suspensions in as little as 2 hours.

Posted: Feb 18th, 2015

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