DNA encodes the information necessary to make all the proteins in a cell, but the vast majority of the DNA in a cell is non-coding DNA, in the past sometimes referred to as 'junk' DNA. Recent research has identified non-coding DNA sequences that are found in nearly all plants and appear to have roles in basic processes such as tissue and organ development, response to hormones, and regulation of gene expression.
Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
In order to investigate inflammation, tumors or stem cells, medical practitioners analyze living cells. Non-invasive optical procedures such as Raman spectroscopy accelerate this procedure. Researchers have now developed it to industrial scale.
An international team of scientists has synthesized the first functional chromosome in yeast, an important step in the emerging field of synthetic biology, designing microorganisms to produce novel medicines, raw materials for food, and biofuels.
The reason why some animals can regenerate tissues after severe organ loss or amputation while others, such as humans, cannot renew some structures has always intrigued scientists. In a new study, researchers show, for the first time, that zebrafish regenerates its caudal fin by a process that involves a specific channel in the cell membrane, called V-ATPase, that pumps hydrogen ions, generating an electrical current.
The key is the overexpression of the ATHB25 gene. This gene encodes a protein that regulates gene expression, producing a new mutant that gives the seed new properties. Researchers have proven that this mutant has more gibberellin - the hormone that promotes plant growth - which means the seed coat is reinforced as well.
Researchers have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications.
Researchers have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bacteria for the production of advanced biofuels.
By optimizing the latest version of the Broad?s Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) 3.1, scientists were able to achieve three to five times overall improvement in variant discovery to meet the challenges of research and accelerate discovery.
Researchers at Warwick Medical School have shown for the first time how a protein motor, Kif15, uses acrobatic flexibility to navigate within the mitotic spindle. Understanding how it works could prove vital for the development of targeted cancer therapies.
With such ambitious goals as helping cure cancer and eradicating pervasive disease, some of the most talented scientists in the country from the emerging field of synthetic biology are breaking new ground at Northwestern University.