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Cells reprogrammed on the computer

Scientists have developed a model that makes predictions from which differentiated cells - for instance skin cells - can be very efficiently changed into completely different cell types - such as nerve cells, for example. This can be done entirely without stem cells.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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Microfluidic breakthrough in biotechnology

Chemical flasks and inconvenient chemostats for cultivation of bacteria are likely soon to be discarded. Researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw were first to construct a microfluidic system allowing for merging, transporting and splitting of microdroplets.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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3D molecular syringes

Abdominal pain, fever, diarrhoea - these symptoms could point to an infection with the bacterium Yersinia. The bacterium's pathogenic potential is based on a syringe-like injection apparatus called injectisome. For the first time, researchers have unraveled this molecular syringe's spatial conformation.

Posted: Jul 31st, 2013

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Reprogramming patients' cells offers powerful new tool for studying, treating blood diseases

First produced only in the past decade, human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are capable of developing into many or even all human cell types. In new research, scientists reprogrammed skin cells from patients with rare blood disorders into iPSCs, highlighting the great promise of these cells in advancing understanding of those challenging diseases - and eventually in treating them.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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Tooth generated from stem cells

Chinese scientists have successfully grown tooth-like structures from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

Posted: Jul 30th, 2013

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Broad-scale genome tinkering with help of an RNA guide

Researchers have devised a way to quickly and easily target and tinker with any gene in the human genome. The new tool, which builds on an RNA-guided enzyme they borrowed from bacteria, is being made freely available to researchers who may now apply it to the next round of genome discovery.

Posted: Jul 25th, 2013

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Artificial muscle contracts and expands with changes in humidity

A small plastic strip can do 'weight training' to effortlessly lifts many times its own weight, driven by cyclic changes in the humidity of the surrounding air. This strong 'artificial arm' is based on the interaction between microgels and a layer of polycations that shrinks as it dries.

Posted: Jul 24th, 2013

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Researchers develop hydrogel for studying deadly brain cancer

Human glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most common, aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer, is notoriously difficult to study. Now a team of engineers has developed a three-dimensional hydrogel that more closely mimics conditions in the brain than other platforms used to study brain cancer. In a paper in the journal Biomaterials, the researchers describe the new material and their approach, which allows them to selectively tune up or down the malignancy of the cancer cells they study.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2013

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