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Scientists create possible precursor to life

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life - we can also revolutionize the future of technology.

Oct 20th, 2014

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Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

Scientists hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and has been published in Nature. It details how certain organisms manage to lower the toxicity of pollutants.

Oct 19th, 2014

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High-speed evolution in the lab - Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis

Organisms require flexible genomes in order to adapt to changes in the environment. Scientists have studied genomes of entire populations. They want to know why individuals differ from each other and how these differences are encoded in the DNA. In two review papers they discuss why DNA sequencing of entire groups can be an efficient and cost-effective way to answer these questions.

Oct 17th, 2014

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Easy recipe to make bone and cartilage

The repair of large bone defects and damaged cartilage remains a significant clinical challenge, with current strategies unable to reliably generate the cells that make bone and cartilage. Now, researchers are able to produce such cells by exposing embryonic stem cells to a combination of small molecules, mimicking normal development. This strategy is easily scalable, offering great potential in bone and cartilage regenerative medicine.

Oct 7th, 2014

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A new way to extract bone-making cells from fat tissue

By sorting human fat tissue cells by their expression of a certain gene, scientists were able to retrieve a high yield of cells that showed an especially strong propensity to make bone tissue. With more refinement, the method could improve the ability of surgeons to speed bone healing.

Oct 6th, 2014

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Scientists develop barcoding tool for stem cells

A seven-year-project to develop a barcoding and tracking system for tissue stem cells has revealed previously unrecognized features of normal blood production: new data suggests, surprisingly, that the billions of blood cells that we produce each day are made not by blood stem cells, but rather their less pluripotent descendants, called progenitor cells.

Oct 5th, 2014

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