Scientists have merged stem cell and 'organ-on-a-chip' technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease. The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient's specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.
Scientists have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA 'letters', or bases, not found in nature. The cells of this unique bacterium can replicate the unnatural DNA bases more or less normally, for as long as the molecular building blocks are supplied.
The latest organ-on-a-chip from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering reproduces the structure, functions and cellular make-up of bone marrow, a complex tissue that until now could only be studied intact in living animals.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have shown that a protein they previously demonstrated can make the failing hearts in aging mice appear more like those of young health mice, similarly improves brain and skeletal muscle function in aging mice.
Despite the strong medical applications, the mechanism for telomerase holoenzyme (the most important unit of the telomerase complex) assembly remains poorly understood. New research provides, for the first time, an atomic level description of the protein-RNA interaction in the vertebrate telomerase complex.
Scientists have discovered a new relationship between the three-dimensional shape of the cell and its ability to migrate. The work has important implications for the fundamental understanding of cell movement and for practical applications like tissue engineering.
Researchers have reduced the sophisticated chemistry required for testing water safety to a simple pill, by adapting technology found in a dissolving breath strip. Want to know if a well is contaminated? Drop a pill in a vial of water and shake vigorously. If the colour changes, there's the answer.
The Strategic Vision represents the culmination of the strategic activities of the Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio) - a project which aims to develop and coordinate synthetic biology in the European Research Area.