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Stem cells injected into nerve guide tubes repair injured peripheral nerve

When autologous, skin-derived stem cells were transplanted within collagen nerve guide tubes aimed at bridging gaps in damaged nerves, into the upper arms of a patient who was suffering peripheral nerve damage, the procedure successfully led to the rescue of peripheral nerves. The procedure spared the patient with poly-injury to motor and sensory nerve damage from amputation of the upper arms and resulted in 'suitable functional recovery'. Three year follow up revealed nerve regeneration.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2014

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Researchers develop artificial bone marrow

Artificial bone marrow may be used to reproduce hematopoietic stem cells. A prototype has now been developed. The porous structure possesses essential properties of natural bone marrow and can be used for the reproduction of stem cells at the laboratory.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2014

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25 years of DNA on the computer

For about 20 years now, experimental research on nuclear DNA has been supplemented by research based on computer simulations aimed at reconstructing the structure and function of this molecule that is so essential to life as we know it. A systematic review - carried out with the participation of SISSA in Trieste - provides a detailed summary of the majority of models developed to date. The review is mainly aimed at biologists, for whom it may become an important research tool.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2014

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Epigenetics enigma resolved

Scientists have obtained the first detailed molecular structure of a member of the Tet family of enzymes. The finding is important for the field of epigenetics because Tet enzymes chemically modify DNA, changing signposts that tell the cell's machinery 'this gene is shut off' into other signs that say 'ready for a change'.

Posted: Dec 26th, 2013

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Biosynthesis captured in motion

Chemists have caught molecules in the act of biosynthesis revealing an animated view of how a fundamental piece of cellular machinery operates.

Posted: Dec 23rd, 2013

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Integrated approaches to customize fungal cell factories

The natural ability of certain fungi to break down complex substances makes them very valuable microorganisms to use as cell factories in industrial processes. Advances in metabolic engineering and systems biology are helping to customize and optimize these fungi to produce specific bioproducts.

Posted: Dec 19th, 2013

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Scientists reduce protein crystal damage, improve pharmaceutical development

Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with two other institutions, have identified a method for protein crystallography that reduces damage to the protein crystal. This will allow crystals to be studied for longer periods of time as researchers study protein structures for new pharmaceuticals.

Posted: Dec 18th, 2013

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