The Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether companies can patent human genes, a decision that could reshape medical research in the United States and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.
A huge EU consortium joined forces to develop tools for managing the co-existence of genetically modified (GM) foods and conventional ones in the EU market. The traceability provided should be critical to consumer confidence.
Scientists from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany recently completed the first analysis of the bread wheat genome, one of the "big three" global crops upon which mankind depends for nutrition.
Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Séralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards and there is no need to re-examine previous safety evaluations of genetically modified maize NK603. These are the conclusions of separate and independent assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and six EU Member States.
Sweeter and more disease-resistant watermelons just may be on their way, thanks to an international consortium of more than 60 scientists that has just published the genome sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).
Scientists discovered last month an essential mechanism that regulates the flow of calcium into mitochondria. They found that the mitochondrial protein MICU1 is required to establish the proper level of calcium uptake under normal conditions.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) combined different microscopic imaging methods to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between biomass cell wall structure and enzyme digestibility, a breakthrough that could lead to optimizing sugar yields and lowering the costs of making biofuels.
With increasing demands for sustainable energy, being able to cost-efficiently produce biofuels from plant biomass is more important than ever. However, lignin and hemicelluloses present in certain plants mean that they cannot be easily converted into biofuels. A recent study appears to have solved this problem, using gene manipulation techniques to engineer plants that can be more easily broken down into biofuels.
Scientists in Spain employed computational techniques to improve the characterization of proteins. The system they developed has allowed them to predict, for example, the relationship between two human proteins and telomeres, which led to their possible implication in cellular aging and the development of cancer; this awaits experimental verification.
A European project investigated the effect of brown spider venom on the structure and biophysical properties of cellular membranes. By using state-of-the-art fluorescent techniques, scientists succeeded in directly visualising venom-induced changes in cells.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a major advance in understanding how flu viruses replicate within infected cells. The researchers used cutting-edge molecular biology and electron-microscopy techniques to "see" one of influenza's essential protein complexes in unprecedented detail.
In an experiment performed on oilseed rape, scientists use RNAi suppression as a tool to switch off the enzyme responsible for oil breakdown, specifically for the duration of seed development. This results in the accumulation of around 8% more oil in the seed.