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New way to model human disease

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have mimicked pulmonary edema in a microchip lined by living human cells. They used this "lung-on-a-chip" to study drug toxicity and identify potential new therapies to prevent this life-threatening condition.

Posted: Nov 15th, 2012

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Injectable sponge delivers drugs, cells, and structure

Bioengineers at Harvard have developed a gel-based sponge that can be molded to any shape, loaded with drugs or stem cells, compressed to a fraction of its size, and delivered via injection. Once inside the body, it pops back to its original shape and gradually releases its cargo, before safely degrading.

Posted: Nov 13th, 2012

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Nottingham part of GBP 20m investment for UK synthetic biology

In a move that could potentially revolutionise major UK industries and help us to meet serious social and environmental challenges, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has announced an unprecedented GBP 20m worth of synthetic biology projects.

Posted: Nov 12th, 2012

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Scientists discover new method of gene identification

Scientists studying the genes and proteins of human cells infected with a common cold virus have identified a new gene identification technique that could increase the genetic information we hold on animals by around 70 to 80 per cent. The findings could revolutionise our understanding of animal genetics and disease, and improve our knowledge of dangerous viruses such as SARS that jump the species barrier from animals to humans.

Posted: Nov 12th, 2012

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New portable device enables RNA detection from ultra-small sample in only 20 minutes

A new power-free microfluidic chip developed by researchers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute (ASI) enables detection of microRNA from extremely small sample volume in only 20 minutes. By drastically reducing the time and quantity of sample required for detection, the chip lays the groundwork for early-stage point-of-care diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.

Posted: Nov 7th, 2012

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