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Genome evolution and carbon dioxide dynamics

Using the size of guard cells in fossil plants to predict how much DNA each cell contained (the genome size), researchers have discovered that variations in genome sizes over geological time correlate with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Oct 24th, 2012

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Evolution of new genes captured

Like job-seekers searching for a new position, living things sometimes have to pick up a new skill if they are going to succeed. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Uppsala University, Sweden, have shown for the first time how living organisms do this.

Oct 19th, 2012

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Virus exploits cellular waste disposal system

ETH-researchers demonstrate how vaccinia virus manipulates the cellular waste-disposal system and thereby cleverly tricks the cell into assisting the intruders replication. Now, the virologists have turned the tables, using inhibitors of this cellular waste-disposal system as a way to block virus infection.

Oct 18th, 2012

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Researchers develop new method for detection of specific DNA sequences

The detection of specific DNA sequences is central to the identification of disease-causing pathogens and genetic diseases, as well as other activities. But current detection technologies require amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), fluorescent or enzymatic labels, and expensive instrumentation.

Oct 1st, 2012

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Biomass characterization technology

Biomass recalcitrance - the problem of how to break down complex plant-based cellulosic feedstock into sugars that can be fermented to produce sustainable biofuels and other renewable biobased products - can be overcome through improved methods of biomass characterization.

Aug 29th, 2012

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A team of scientists move toward rational design of artificial proteins

Past efforts to predict protein structure have met with limited success, but now a scientific team led by Glenn Butterfoss, and Barney Yoo, research scientists at New York University, in collaboration with investigators from the U.S. Department of Energy?s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Stony Brook University and Temple University have demonstrated that a computer modeling approach similar to one used to predict protein structures can accurately predict peptoid conformation as well.

Aug 21st, 2012

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Teaching a microbe to make fuel

Scientists at MIT have taught a microbe a new trick: They've tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel - specifically, a kind of alcohol called isobutanol that can be directly substituted for, or blended with, gasoline.

Aug 20th, 2012

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Viruses with integrated gene switch

Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have developed 'RNA switches' which allow them to specifically turn on and off genes in viruses. This will help to enhance regulation of gene therapy and viral therapy of cancer.

Aug 20th, 2012

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Upgrading synthetic biology's toolkit

A new method could significantly increase the number of genetic components in synthetic biologists? toolkit and, as a result, the size and complexity of the genetic circuits they can build.

Aug 17th, 2012

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