The mechanical properties of natural joints are considered unrivalled. Cartilage is coated with a special polymer layer allowing joints to move virtually friction-free, even under high pressure. Scientists have developed a new process that technologically imitates biological lubrication and even improves it using two different types of polymers.
The final step in the production of a biotech medicine is finishing with the correct sugar structure. This step is essential for the efficacy of the medicine, but it also makes the production process very complex and expensive. Now, researchers have developed a technology that shortens the sugar structures whilst retaining the therapeutic efficiency. This technology has the potential to make the production of biotech medicines significantly simpler and cheaper.
Researchers have completed a 3-D map of an enzyme called Proline utilization A (PutA). PutA facilitates metabolism by adding oxygen to molecules. Mapping this enzyme will give researchers a better understanding of its function, which could help drug manufacturers create more effective drugs.
Chemists have figured out how to control multiple bacterial behaviors - potentially good news for the treatment of infectious diseases and other bacteria-associated issues, without causing drug resistance.
Researchers use new techniques to document how cells can conceal growth, then suddenly swell like raisins into grapes; study is a 'paradigm shift' in understanding osmotic shock that may lead to new strategies for fighting bacterial disease
Scientists have merged stem cell and 'organ-on-a-chip' technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease. The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient's specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.
Scientists have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA 'letters', or bases, not found in nature. The cells of this unique bacterium can replicate the unnatural DNA bases more or less normally, for as long as the molecular building blocks are supplied.
The latest organ-on-a-chip from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering reproduces the structure, functions and cellular make-up of bone marrow, a complex tissue that until now could only be studied intact in living animals.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have shown that a protein they previously demonstrated can make the failing hearts in aging mice appear more like those of young health mice, similarly improves brain and skeletal muscle function in aging mice.
Despite the strong medical applications, the mechanism for telomerase holoenzyme (the most important unit of the telomerase complex) assembly remains poorly understood. New research provides, for the first time, an atomic level description of the protein-RNA interaction in the vertebrate telomerase complex.