In Shoreditch, residence to London artists, coffee shops and retro clothes, a group of amateur scientists and UCL students have met to engineer biology. They're building a bacteria incubator out of a fridge box, cardboard and open source electronics. Their mission? To test the potential and limitation of biohacking - citizen science in synthetic biology.
Press coverage of synthetic biology in the United States and Europe increased significantly between 2008 and 2011, according to a report released today by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
An international team of scientists, using the world's most powerful X-ray laser, has revealed the three dimensional structure of a key enzyme that enables the single-celled parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis (or sleeping sickness) in humans.
Johns Hopkins researchers have used a small synthetic molecule to stimulate cells to move and change shape, bypassing the cells' usual way of sensing and responding to their environment. The experiment pioneers a new tool for studying cell movement, a phenomenon involved in everything from development to immunity to the spread of cancer.
Scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have published an important proof-of-principle study showing that a computational model can elucidate the interplay of transcription regulators and epigenome dynamics during differentiation. This is critical for a better understanding of the nature of different cell types and disease stages.
Neural stem cells in the adult brain boost their levels of lipid metabolism to grow and generate new neurons. This new finding may open novel therapeutic avenues to treat age- or disease-associated loss of brain cells.