Researchers have developed a method to efficiently turn human stem cells into retinal ganglion cells, the type of nerve cells located within the retina that transmit visual signals from the eye to the brain. Death and dysfunction of these cells cause vision loss in conditions like glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
Scientists describe a new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory. This groundbreaking development could help advance a variety of liver-related research and applications, from studying drug toxicity to creating bio-artificial liver support for patients awaiting transplantations.
Against voracious beetles or caterpillars plants protect themselves with cyanide. Certain enzymes release the toxic substance when the plant is chewed. These HNL-called enzymes are also important for industry. Researchers found a new biocatalyst in a fern which outshines all other HNL-type enzymes on the market.
Bioart ranges from bacterial manipulation to glowing rabbits, cellular sculptures. In the pursuit of creating art, practitioners have generated tools and techniques that have aided researchers, while sometimes crossing into controversy, such as by releasing invasive species into the environment, blurring the lines between art and biology, and challenging scientific thinking.
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.