Researchers have developed a technique that co-opts an immune system already present in bacteria and archaea to turn off specific genes or sets of genes - creating a powerful tool for future research on genetics and related fields.
A new study at the University of Cambridge has allowed researchers to peer into unexplored regions of the genome and understand for the first time the role played by more than 250 genes key to cell growth and development.
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.
The scaffolds have desirable mechanical and biological properties at the same time, and due to the existence of the bladder tissue at tiny scale instead of cell, they do not require cell extraction or culture.
Researchers report that they have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.
The scientists have made proteins with central cavities, or channels, running through them. The team believes that these will be useful in designing new protein functions, such as catalysts for breaking down fats, or molecules that span cell membranes to allow new communications between cells.
How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life - we can also revolutionize the future of technology.
Scientists hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and has been published in Nature. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.