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Mystery of biological plastic synthesis machinery unveiled

In two papers, a research team has reported the crystal structure of PHA synthase from Ralstonia eutropha, the best studied bacterium for PHA production. The research team also reported the structural basis for the detailed molecular mechanisms of PHA biosynthesis.

Posted: Dec 1st, 2016

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Researchers tweak enzyme 'assembly line' to improve antibiotics

Researchers have discovered a way to make pinpoint changes to an enzyme-driven 'assembly line' that will enable scientists to improve or change the properties of existing antibiotics as well as create designer compounds. The work is the first to efficiently manipulate which building blocks the enzyme selects in the act of synthesizing erythromycin, an important antibiotic.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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Digital microbes for munching yourself healthy

A research team has taken an important step in modelling the complexity of the human gut's bacterial communities - the microbiome - on the computer. The researchers gathered all known data on the metabolism of 773 bacterial strains - more than ever before. Working from this data, they developed a computer model for each bacterial strain.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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Mysteries of enzyme mechanism revealed

An international research team has made a breakthrough advance by trapping an intermediate in the mechanism of enzymes called heme peroxidases and determining its structure using a beam of neutrons from the heart of a nuclear reactor.

Posted: Nov 29th, 2016

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Molecular chameleons reveal bacterial biofilms

Molecules that change colour can be used to follow in real-time how bacteria form a protective biofilm around themselves. This new method may in the future become significant both in medical care and the food industry, where bacterial biofilms are a problem.

Posted: Nov 23rd, 2016

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Scientists successfully create blood from skin cells

Researchers have artificially generated new mouse blood and immune cells from skin cells. This is a significant first step towards the eventual goal: the engineering of new human blood cells from skin cells or other artificial sources.

Posted: Nov 21st, 2016

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