Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics -- the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry.
The notion that police can identify a suspect based on the tiniest drop of blood or trace of tissue has long been a staple of TV dramas, but scientists at Harvard have taken the idea a step further. Using just a single human cell, they can reproduce an individual's entire genome.
In a novel use of gene knockout technology, researchers tested the same gene inserted into 90 different locations in a yeast chromosome - and discovered that while the inserted gene never altered its surrounding chromatin landscape, differences in that immediate landscape measurably affected gene activity.
Advances in bio-technologies and computer software have helped make genome sequencing much more common than in the past. But still in question are both the accuracy of different sequencing methods and the best ways to evaluate these efforts. Now, computer scientists have devised a tool to better measure the validity of genome sequencing.
How can bacteria protect themselves from lethal infection by viral parasites? One extreme way is for individual cells to commit suicide when infected, thereby preventing or limiting viral replication and protecting the rest of the bacterial population from subsequent infections.
Scientists have believed that microscopic organisms in the gut, microbiota, might play a crucial role in gaining weight but were never able to prove it. Groundbreaking research by a Chinese scientist has revealed a precise link.
Growing new blood vessels in the lab is a tough challenge, but a Johns Hopkins engineering team has solved a major stumbling block: how to prod stem cells to become two different types of tissue that are needed to build tiny networks of veins and arteries.