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'Traffic' in our cells works both for and against us

A mechanism that permits essential substances to enter our cells while at the same time removing from them harmful components also has a 'down side'. This negative aspect prevents vital drugs, such as anti-cancer drugs, from achieving their designed functions, while also enabling bacterial cells to develop resistance to penetration of antibiotics.

Posted: May 1st, 2013

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Synthetic biology research community grows significantly

The number of private and public entities conducting research in synthetic biology worldwide grew significantly between 2009 and 2013, according to the latest version of an interactive map produced by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Posted: Apr 30th, 2013

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Patterned hearts

Bioengineers create rubber-like material bearing micropatterns for stronger, more elastic hearts.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2013

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Mapping of cancer cell fuel pumps paves the way for new drugs

For the first time, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to obtain detailed images of the way in which the transport protein GLUT transports sugars into cells. Since tumours are highly dependent on the transportation of nutrients in order to be able to grow rapidly, the researchers are hoping that the study will form the basis for new strategies to fight cancer cells.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2013

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Researchers identify key cellular organelle involved in gene silencing

A team of scientists has conducted a study on plants (Arabidopsis) that shows that the site of action of the repression of target gene expression occurs on the endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle that is an interconnected network of membranes - essentially, flattened sacs and branching tubules - that extends like a flat balloon throughout the cytoplasm in plant and animal cells.

Posted: Apr 26th, 2013

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Discovery could revolutionize immunization

Immune cells in newborn humans appear to be more ready to do battle than previously thought. New Cornell research shows that small populations of preprogrammed immune cells can fight specific pathogens that they have never encountered. The findings, say the researchers, have the potential to revolutionize how and when people are immunized.

Posted: Apr 25th, 2013

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Discovery brings hope of new tailor-made anti-cancer agents

Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and their collaborators have tailor-made a new chemical compound that blocks a protein that has been linked to poor responses to treatment in cancer patients. The development of the compound, called WEHI-539, is an important step towards the design of a potential new anti-cancer agent.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2013

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Random walks on DNA

Scientists have revealed how a bacterial enzyme has evolved an energy-efficient method to move long distances along DNA. The findings present further insight into the coupling of chemical and mechanical energy by a class of enzymes called helicases, a widely-distributed group of proteins, which in human cells are implicated in some cancers.

Posted: Apr 19th, 2013

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