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Biotechnology News

The latest news about biotechnologies, biomechanics
synthetic biology, genomics, biomediacl engineering...

Odd biochemistry yields lethal bacterial protein

While working out the structure of a cell-killing protein produced by some strains of the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, researchers stumbled on a bit of unusual biochemistry. They found that a single enzyme helps form distinctly different, three-dimensional ring structures in the protein, one of which had never been observed before.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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A diffusion trap

Sticky spots on cell membranes hold onto the master regulator of cell polarity, helping to ensure that the regulatory protein accumulates in high enough concentrations to trigger cell polarity.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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A molecular assembly line brings muscles into shape

Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria and at the University of Cologne, Germany have discovered the molecular basis underlying the patterned folding and assembly of muscle proteins.

Posted: Jan 18th, 2013

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Scientists shed light on the "dark matter" of DNA

Genes make up only a minority of the entire genome sequence - roughly two percent in humans. The remainder was once dismissed as "junk", mostly because its function remained elusive. "Dark matter" might be more appropriate, but gradually light is being shed on this part of the genome, too.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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Lipid vesicles to replace mouse experiments

Researchers from ETH Zurich have filed a patent application for a method to test the biological activity of one of the strongest toxins known, the botulinum neurotoxin. If the procedure is adopted by the pharmaceutical industry, it could save the lives of more than half a million mice per year.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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Designer bacteria may lead to better vaccines

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a menu of 61 new strains of genetically engineered bacteria that may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases such as flu, pertussis, cholera and HPV.

Posted: Jan 15th, 2013

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