Researchers from ETH Zurich have filed a patent application for a method to test the biological activity of one of the strongest toxins known, the botulinum neurotoxin. If the procedure is adopted by the pharmaceutical industry, it could save the lives of more than half a million mice per year.
A non-invasive method that makes it possible to observe in situ how assemblies of lipids are oriented in biological tissues, and which does not require any labeling or preparation, has been developed by physicists.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a menu of 61 new strains of genetically engineered bacteria that may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases such as flu, pertussis, cholera and HPV.
All living organisms consist of cells that have arisen from other living cells by the process of cell division. However, it is not yet fully understood just how this important process takes place. Scientists at the MPI of Biochemistry have now developed a minimal biological system, which brings together key components of the cell division apparatus.
Researchers have opened a new pathway for the future development of biosensors that enable measuring the glucose in the blood, but which are also believed to be more reliable with other fluids, such as urine. To this end, a complex scientific process has been developed which has called into question a dominant paradigm amongst the scientific community with respect to the mechanisms of binding and communication between proteins.
Scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have for the first time demonstrated that baboon embryonic stem cells can be programmed to completely restore a severely damaged artery. These early results show promise for eventually developing stem cell therapies to restore human tissues or organs damaged by age or disease.
Repression of a single protein in ordinary fibroblasts is sufficient to directly convert the cells - abundantly found in connective tissues - into functional neurons. The findings could have far-reaching implications for the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Tobacco plants bloom when they are just a few months old - and then they die. Now, researchers have located a genetic switch which can keep the plants young for years and which permits unbounded growth. In short, an ideal source of biomass.