In two papers, a research team has reported the crystal structure of PHA synthase from Ralstonia eutropha, the best studied bacterium for PHA production. The research team also reported the structural basis for the detailed molecular mechanisms of PHA biosynthesis.
Researchers have discovered a way to make pinpoint changes to an enzyme-driven 'assembly line' that will enable scientists to improve or change the properties of existing antibiotics as well as create designer compounds. The work is the first to efficiently manipulate which building blocks the enzyme selects in the act of synthesizing erythromycin, an important antibiotic.
A research team has taken an important step in modelling the complexity of the human gut's bacterial communities - the microbiome - on the computer. The researchers gathered all known data on the metabolism of 773 bacterial strains - more than ever before. Working from this data, they developed a computer model for each bacterial strain.
An international research team has made a breakthrough advance by trapping an intermediate in the mechanism of enzymes called heme peroxidases and determining its structure using a beam of neutrons from the heart of a nuclear reactor.
Molecules that change colour can be used to follow in real-time how bacteria form a protective biofilm around themselves. This new method may in the future become significant both in medical care and the food industry, where bacterial biofilms are a problem.
Scientists report using human pluripotent stem cells to grow human intestinal tissues that have functioning nerves in a laboratory, and then using these to recreate and study a severe intestinal nerve disorder called Hirschsprung's disease.
DNA makes up only half of the material inside chromosomes - far less than was previously thought - a study has revealed. Up to 47 per cent of their structure is a mysterious sheath that surrounds the genetic material, researchers say.
Researchers have artificially generated new mouse blood and immune cells from skin cells. This is a significant first step towards the eventual goal: the engineering of new human blood cells from skin cells or other artificial sources.
Plant biologists have bumped up crop productivity by increasing the expression of genes that result in more efficient use of light in photosynthesis, a finding that could be used to help address the world's future food needs.