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How a microbial biorefinery regulates genes

Digesting lignin, a highly stable polymer that accounts for up to a third of biomass, is a limiting step to producing a variety of biofuels. Researchers at Brown have figured out the microscopic chemical switch that allows Streptomyces bacteria to get to work, breaking lignin down into its constituent parts.

Feb 14th, 2013

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Using light to control cell clustering

A new study from engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, pairs light and genetics to give researchers a powerful new tool for manipulating cells.

Feb 12th, 2013

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Molecular 'calcium sponge' created to tackle heart failure

Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology and the Lillehei Heart Institute have utilized molecular genetic engineering to optimize heart performance in models of diastolic heart failure by creating an optimized protein that can aid in high-speed relaxation similar to fast twitching muscles.

Feb 11th, 2013

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A privacy risk in your DNA

Prof. Eran Halperin has found that advances in DNA sequencing carry with them an enormous risk - the theft of personal information from genetics databases poses a serious threat to privacy. He urges that new legislation concerning the maintenance of private and public databases, as well as anti-genetic-discrimination laws, should be drafted.

Feb 7th, 2013

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Nylons made from shrimps

Scientists are investigating how shell waste from crustaceans could be turned into polymer precursors as a substitute to petroleum-derived solutions.

Feb 7th, 2013

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Imaging unveils temperature distribution inside living cells

A research team in Japan exploring the functions of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) - a molecule that encodes the chemical blueprint for protein synthesis - has discovered a way to take a close look at the temperature distribution inside living cells. This discovery may lead to a better understanding of diseases, such as cancer, which generate extraordinary intracellular heat.

Feb 2nd, 2013

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