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Genetically modified tobacco plants are viable as raw material for biofuels

In her PhD thesis Ruth Sanz-Barrio, an agricultural engineer, has demonstrated, for the first time, the viability of using specific tobacco proteins (known as thioredoxins) as biotechnological tools in plants. Specifically, she has managed to increase the amount of starch produced in the tobacco leaves by 700% and fermentable sugars by 500%.

Oct 14th, 2013

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Packaging stem cells in capsules for heart therapy

In many studies of stem cell therapy for heart disease, most of the cells wash away in the first hour. Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech encapsulate mesenchymal stem cells in alginate so that the cells stay alive and in the heart. In rats, the capsules promote healing after a heart attack. Alginate has several biomedical uses already so the path to translation looks good.

Oct 11th, 2013

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Salt-tolerant bacteria improve crop yields

Uzbek microbiologist Dilfuza Egamberdieva hopes to apply her new agricultural technique soon in Uzbekistan to boost the yield of economically important crops such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber.

Oct 7th, 2013

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Stem cells engineered to become targeted drug factories

A group of researchers have found a way to use stem cells as drug delivery vehicles. The researchers inserted modified strands of messenger RNA into connective tissue stem cells - called mesenchymal stem cells - which stimulated the cells to produce adhesive surface proteins and secrete interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory molecule.

Oct 4th, 2013

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Laser propelled cells

A new tool enables biomechanical studies of individual cells: Red blood cells were laser-propelled over long distances through optofluidic photonic crystal fibers and their deformation due to shear forces monitored.

Oct 2nd, 2013

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Need different types of tissue? Just print them!

What sounds like a dream of the future has already been the subject of research for a few years: simply printing out tissue and organs. Now scientists have further refined the technology and are able to produce various tissue types.

Oct 1st, 2013

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