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synthetic biology, genomics, biomediacl engineering...

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A new weapon in the war against superbugs

In the arms race between bacteria and modern medicine, bacteria have gained an edge. In recent decades, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has developed faster than the production of new antibiotics, making bacterial infections increasingly difficult to treat. Now researchers have discovered a protein that kills bacteria. The isolation of this protein, produced by a virus that attacks bacteria, is a major step toward developing a substitute for conventional antibiotics.

Posted: Dec 2nd, 2013

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Difficult dance steps: Team learns how membrane transporter moves (w/video)

Researchers have tried for decades to understand the undulations and gyrations that allow transport proteins to shuttle molecules from one side of a cell membrane to the other. Now scientists report that they have found a way to penetrate the mystery. They have worked out every step in the molecular dance that enables one such transporter to do its job.

Posted: Dec 2nd, 2013

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Human stem cells converted to functional lung cells

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance, reported by Columbia University Medical Center researchers, has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation.

Posted: Dec 1st, 2013

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Biotechnology improves Africa's water supply

The 'Biotechnology for Africa's sustainable water supply' project provided know-how and best practices to target countries for the sustainable management of polluted water resources using green plants and microorganisms to detoxify contaminated water, soils, sediments and sludge.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2013

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Tendon regeneration with biomimetic scaffolds

The EU-funded TENDON REGENERATION project is a collaboration between industry and academia working to develop a 3D scaffold that mimics natural tendons in order to promote tendon healing. Scientists will design and develop fibrous composites of collagen-resilin in a 3D construct to match the properties of tendons and enhance the tendon regeneration process.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2013

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Scientists stitch up photosynthetic megacomplex

Scientists report on a new technique that allowed them to extract a photosynthetic megacomplex consisting of light antenna and two reaction centers from the membrane of a cynaobacterium. This is the first time an entire complex has been isolated and studied as a functioning whole.

Posted: Nov 28th, 2013

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Releasing the untapped biotechnology potential of the sea

While marine microorganisms have long been identified as an untapped resource of biotechnological potential, their exploitation has been hampered by the difficulty and expense of isolating their valuable novel chemicals and molecules. This is a wasted opportunity, and is something that the MaCuMBA project aims to rectify.

Posted: Nov 28th, 2013

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Researchers uncover mechanism behind blood stem cells' longevity

Researchers have long wondered what allows blood stem cells to persist for decades, when their progeny last for days, weeks or months before they need to be replaced. Now, a study from the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered one of the mechanisms that allow these stem cells to keep dividing in perpetuity.

Posted: Nov 26th, 2013

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Implantable slimming aid

Biotechnologists have constructed a genetic regulatory circuit from human components that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signalizes satiety to the body. Tests on obese mice reveal that this helps them to lose weight.

Posted: Nov 26th, 2013

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Tidy knots are faster - Viruses are as simple as they are 'smart'

Viruses are as simple as they are 'smart': too elementary to be able to reproduce by themselves, they exploit the reproductive machinery of cells, by inserting pieces of their own DNA so that it is transcribed by the host cell. To do this, they first have to inject their own genetic material into the cells they infect. Researchers have studied how this occurs and how long it takes for this process to be completed.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2013

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Scientists capture 'redox moments' in living cells

Scientists have glimpsed key chemical events, known as redox reactions, inside living cells of fast-growing Synechococcus. The work marks the first time that redox activity, a very fast regulatory network involved in all major aspects of a cell's operation, has been observed in specific proteins within living cells. The findings hone scientists' control over a common tool in the biofuels toolbox - a microbe that supplies some of the oxygen you breathe.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2013

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