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Molecular biology: Designer of protein factories exposed

For 10 years, Patrick Cramer and his colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have probed the structure of RNA polymerase I, a crucial cog in the machinery of all cells. Now they unveil the full three-dimensional conformation of the enzyme - at atomic resolution.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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Physicists decode decision circuit of cancer metastasis

Researchers from Rice University's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics have deciphered the operating principles of a genetic circuit that allows cancer to metastasize. The study revealed that the decision circuit has three settings, an oddity that could open the door to cancer treatments that disrupt the circuit.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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SRC launches synthetic biology research on biomedical and minimal-power electronic devices for novel semiconductor applications

Semiconductor Research Corporation, the world's leading university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, today launched the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SSB) research program on hybrid bio-semiconductor systems to provide insights and opportunities for future information and communication technologies. The program will initially fund research at six universities: MIT, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Yale, Georgia Tech, Brigham Young and the University of Washington.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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Biomolecules for the production line

To produce proteins on an industrial scale without using living cells is the ambitious goal of cell-free bioproduction. This method could help us to produce biological ingredients more quickly and with fewer resources than conventional techniques allow.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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Transcription factors: function follows form

Clay can be used in various forms for a range of objects such as cups, plates or bricks. Similarly, proteins can transform their structure and thus adapt their function and activity. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have analysed proteins for such modifications that control gene activity, so-called transcription factors.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2013

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