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Team discovers how microbes build a powerful antibiotic

Researchers report that they have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.

Posted: Oct 26th, 2014

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Biochemists create designer 'barrel' proteins

The scientists have made proteins with central cavities, or channels, running through them. The team believes that these will be useful in designing new protein functions, such as catalysts for breaking down fats, or molecules that span cell membranes to allow new communications between cells.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2014

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Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. Scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2014

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Scientists create possible precursor to life

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life - we can also revolutionize the future of technology.

Posted: Oct 20th, 2014

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Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

Scientists hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and has been published in Nature. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.

Posted: Oct 19th, 2014

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High-speed evolution in the lab - Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis

Organisms require flexible genomes in order to adapt to changes in the environment. Scientists have studied genomes of entire populations. They want to know why individuals differ from each other and how these differences are encoded in the DNA. In two review papers they discuss why DNA sequencing of entire groups can be an efficient and cost-effective way to answer these questions.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2014

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A new self-assembly process allows the recognition of specific DNA sequences

Researchers have introduced a new approach for achieving a highly selective, recognition of designed nine DNA base pairs. The strategy involves the nickel-promoted assembly of a peptide derived from a transcription factor, and a small molecule equipped with a metal-binding unit that acts as heterodimerizing staple.

Posted: Oct 16th, 2014

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