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Broad-scale genome tinkering with help of an RNA guide

Researchers have devised a way to quickly and easily target and tinker with any gene in the human genome. The new tool, which builds on an RNA-guided enzyme they borrowed from bacteria, is being made freely available to researchers who may now apply it to the next round of genome discovery.

Posted: Jul 25th, 2013

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Artificial muscle contracts and expands with changes in humidity

A small plastic strip can do 'weight training' to effortlessly lifts many times its own weight, driven by cyclic changes in the humidity of the surrounding air. This strong 'artificial arm' is based on the interaction between microgels and a layer of polycations that shrinks as it dries.

Posted: Jul 24th, 2013

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Researchers develop hydrogel for studying deadly brain cancer

Human glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most common, aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer, is notoriously difficult to study. Now a team of engineers has developed a three-dimensional hydrogel that more closely mimics conditions in the brain than other platforms used to study brain cancer. In a paper in the journal Biomaterials, the researchers describe the new material and their approach, which allows them to selectively tune up or down the malignancy of the cancer cells they study.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2013

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Chips that mimic the brain

Novel microchips imitate the brain's information processing in real time. Neuroinformatics researchers demonstrate how complex cognitive abilities can be incorporated into electronic systems made with so-called neuromorphic chips: They show how to assemble and configure these electronic systems to function in a way similar to an actual brain.

Posted: Jul 22nd, 2013

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A new method for clicking molecules together

Scientists at EPFL have developed a quick and simple method for connecting and assembling new molecules together, paving a new road for synthetic chemistry, material science, chemical biology, and even drug discovery.

Posted: Jul 22nd, 2013

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