A new study by Rice University biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin's to attack cancer and bacteria.
Hyperswarming, pathogenic bacteria have repeatedly evolved in a lab, and the good news is that they should be less of a problem to us than their less mobile kin. That's because those hyperswarmers, adorned with multiple whipping flagella, are also much worse at sticking together on surfaces in hard-to-treat biofilms. They might even help us figure out a way to develop anti-biofilm therapies for use in people with cystic fibrosis or other conditions.
Researchers have now created the first simplified computer model of the process that forms the Fahraeus-Lindqvist layer in our blood -- a model that could help to improve the design of artificial platelets and medical treatments for trauma injuries and for blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and malaria.
Using human pluripotent stem cells and DNA-cutting protein from meningitis bacteria, researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research and Northwestern University have created an efficient way to target and repair defective genes.
Scientists have discovered an efficient process for hydrogen biocatalysis. They developed semi-synthetic hydrogenases, hydrogen-generating enzymes, by adding the protein's biological precursor to a chemically synthesized inactive iron complex. From these two components, the biological catalyst formed spontaneously in a test tube.
A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the University of Kent has revealed how vitamin B12/antipernicious anaemia factor is made - a challenge often referred to as 'the Mount Everest of biosynthetic problems'.
The method combines two high-tech laboratory techniques and allows the researchers to precisely poke holes on the surface of a single cell with a high-powered femtosecond laser and then gently tug a piece of DNA through it using optical tweezers, which draw on the electromagnetic field of another laser.