Researchers studying a biological process that enables tiny green algae to grow efficiently have taken the first steps to recreating the mechanism in a more complex plant. Their findings could lead to the breeding of high yield varieties of common crops such as wheat, rice and barley.
Biomedical engineers have developed specialized white blood cells - dubbed 'super natural killer cells' - that seek out cancer cells in lymph nodes with only one purpose: destroy them. This breakthrough halts the onset of metastasis.
Scientists report culturing cells to make extracellular matrix of two types and five different alignments with the strength found in natural tissue and without using any artificial chemicals that could make it incompatible to implant.
Researchers have discovered and described the function of a unique enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of terpene (terpenoid) natural products, and successfully altered its function by altering its structure so that the enzyme produces another molecule.
Usually, harvesting energy and raw materials from plants requires many process steps and aggressive chemicals. To make these processes more efficient and resource saving, researchers are looking for suitable enzymes. Using neutrons, researchers have now investigated the reaction mechanism of an important class of enzymes: the glycosidases.
Estimates suggest that biomedical research consumes almost a quarter of a trillion US dollars every year, yet according to some studies up to 85 per cent is avoidably wasted. Examples of waste include the non-publication of research, failure to share data and instances where the results of research are untranslatable to the benefit of patients or the efficiency of health care delivery.