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RCas9: A programmable RNA editing tool

A powerful scientific tool for editing the DNA instructions in a genome can now also be applied to RNA as researchers have demonstrated a means by which the CRISPR/Cas9 protein complex can be programmed to recognize and cleave RNA at sequence-specific target sites.

Oct 3rd, 2014

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High-throughput cell-sorting method can separate 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes

A mechanical engineer has developed a new, high-throughput method for sorting cells capable of separating 10 billion bacterial cells in 30 minutes. The finding has already proven useful for studying bacterial cells and microalgae, and could one day have direct applications for biomedical research and environmental science - basically any field in which a large quantity of microbial samples need to be processed.

Sep 26th, 2014

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DARPA awards $7.9M to build an artificial immune system

Scientists from both campuses of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been awarded a total of $7.9 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The two teams will build what is, in essence, an artificial immune system, comprising vast 'libraries' of different types of molecules from which will emerge individual compounds to detect or neutralize an array of biological and chemical threats.

Sep 24th, 2014

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Battling superbugs with new biotechnologies

Using a gene-editing system that can disable any target gene, researchers have shown that they can selectively kill bacteria carrying harmful genes that confer antibiotic resistance or cause disease.

Sep 23rd, 2014

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The accelerator of molecular motors

Researchers have successfully identified the 'molecular accelerator' that activates the peroxisomal processes. To their surprise, it turned out to be an old acquaintance: a certain module of the familiar protein Pex22p, which has hitherto always been considered an anchor protein.

Sep 22nd, 2014

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A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Crystals of membrane proteins and protein complexes often diffract to low resolution owing to their intrinsic molecular flexibility, heterogeneity or the mosaic spread of micro-domains. At low resolution, the building and refinement of atomic models is a more challenging task. The deformable elastic network refinement method developed previously has been instrumental in the determination of several structures at low resolution. Here, DEN refinement is reviewed.

Sep 19th, 2014

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