The advance should allow deeper insights into protein function, Chase says, "because we can only get a true understanding of what that single protein does when we isolate its function." There was no tool to do this. Cover art uses a worm jigsaw puzzle to illustrate how knockdown strategies have evolved to achieve more cell-type specificity, culminating in the new approach, which can restrict knockdown to a single cell type.
Senior Brandeis research scientist Daniel Perlman has discovered a way to make phytosterol molecules from plants dispersible in beverages and foods that are consumed by humans, potentially opening the way to dramatic reductions in human cholesterol levels.
The project BASYNTHEC ('Bacterial synthetic minimal genomes for biotechnology') launched in 2010 with almost EUR 3 million in EU funding. It sought to develop a model-based approach for engineering B. subtilis and create synthetic modules for producing metabolites and proteins of interest. Ultimately, the research could lead to new antimicrobial treatments for bacterial infections.
Researchers at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have produced the first genome-wide investigation of cap-independent translation, identifying thousands of mRNA sequences that act as Translation Enhancing Elements (TEEs), which are RNA sequences upstream of the coding region that help recruit the ribosome to the translation start site.
Plastic bags coated by plasma at atmospheric pressure serve as a GMP laboratory for the cultivation of adherent cells. The plasma is used to modify the internal surface of the bag specifically, so that different cell types can grow on it.
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown surveillance mechanism, known as a DNA damage checkpoint, used by cells to monitor oxidatively damaged DNA. DNA repair takes place approximately 10,000 times per cell, per day, through processes that are still only partially understood because of their complexity, speed, and the difficulty of studying complex interactions within living cells.
By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day. These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.
Scientists published a mathematical method of simplifying and interpreting genome data bearing evidence of mutations, such as those that characterize specific cancers. Not only is the technique highly accurate; it has immediate utility in efforts to parse tumor cells, in order to determine a patient's prognosis and the best approach to treatment.