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Regulating single protein prompts fibroblasts to become neurons

Repression of a single protein in ordinary fibroblasts is sufficient to directly convert the cells - abundantly found in connective tissues - into functional neurons. The findings could have far-reaching implications for the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Giant tobacco plants that stay young forever

Tobacco plants bloom when they are just a few months old - and then they die. Now, researchers have located a genetic switch which can keep the plants young for years and which permits unbounded growth. In short, an ideal source of biomass.

Posted: Jan 10th, 2013

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Raising awareness of the bioeconomy

The bioeconomy sector is an industry which is rapidly growing in importance on a global scale. As we continue to consume the Earth's resources, many of which are not renewable, alternatives to fossil fuels for energy and industrial raw materials are a primary focus.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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China to boost biotechnology industry

The Chinese government will give a boost to the biotechnology industry in order to tackle problems related to population growth, food safety, energy conservation and environmental protection, the State Council said Sunday.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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Materiomics: An -omics approach to biomaterials research

A new review outlines how materiomics sets the stage for a transformative change in the approach to biomaterials research to enable the design of tailored and functional materials for a variety of properties in fields as diverse as tissue engineering, disease diagnosis and de novo materials design, by combining powerful computational modelling and screening with advanced experimental techniques.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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Engineered bacteria make fuel from sunlight

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.

Posted: Jan 8th, 2013

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Innovative technique can sequence entire genome from single cell

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.

Posted: Jan 7th, 2013

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In epigenomics, location is everything

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.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2013

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Sorting stem cells

Researchers have demonstrated a way to easily distinguish undifferentiated embryonic stem cells from later-stage stem cells whose fate is sealed.

Posted: Jan 3rd, 2013

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