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In a step toward personalized drug testing, researchers coax human stem cells to form complex tissues.

Jan 7th, 2016

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Biophysicists discover the key feature of an accurate tool for optogenetics

Biophysicists have developed a hypothesis to explain the function of a light-driven protein which pumps sodium ions across a cell membrane, and they have revealed the key structural feature of these pumps. The scientists see these sodium pumps as being highly promising tools in using light signals to control nerve cells - which is exactly what is involved in the new scientific field of optogenetics.

Dec 14th, 2015

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Protein imaging reveals detailed brain architecture (w/video)

Chemical engineers and neuroscientists have developed a new way to classify neurons by labeling and imaging the proteins found in each cell. This type of imaging offers clues to each neuron's function and should help in mapping the human brain, the researchers say.

Dec 3rd, 2015

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Researchers grow retinal nerve cells in the lab

Researchers have developed a method to efficiently turn human stem cells into retinal ganglion cells, the type of nerve cells located within the retina that transmit visual signals from the eye to the brain. Death and dysfunction of these cells cause vision loss in conditions like glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Dec 1st, 2015

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Functional human liver cells grown in the lab

Scientists describe a new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory. This groundbreaking development could help advance a variety of liver-related research and applications, from studying drug toxicity to creating bio-artificial liver support for patients awaiting transplantations.

Nov 26th, 2015

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Plant defense as a biotech tool

Against voracious beetles or caterpillars plants protect themselves with cyanide. Certain enzymes release the toxic substance when the plant is chewed. These HNL-called enzymes are also important for industry. Researchers found a new biocatalyst in a fern which outshines all other HNL-type enzymes on the market.

Nov 24th, 2015

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How does nanotechnology work?