A new tool enables biomechanical studies of individual cells: Red blood cells were laser-propelled over long distances through optofluidic photonic crystal fibers and their deformation due to shear forces monitored.
As they destroy bacteria very efficiently, plasmas constitute an alternative to chemical disinfectants and potentially to antibiotics, as well. How they achieve this effect has been investigated by a team of biologists, plasma physicists and chemists.
What sounds like a dream of the future has already been the subject of research for a few years: simply printing out tissue and organs. Now scientists have further refined the technology and are able to produce various tissue types.
In the first study of its kind, Rice University scientists have used synthetic biology to study how a popular soil amendment called 'biochar' can interfere with the chemical signals that some microbes use to communicate. The class of compounds studied includes those used by some plant pathogens to coordinate their attacks.
An EU-funded project has successfully established human stem cell-based in vitro tests, which are capable of replicating the development of the human central nervous system. The innovation could lead to the more accurate and efficient testing of drugs, and importantly lead to a move away from animal testing.
A research team centered at Brown University has compiled the largest and most stringently validated list of RNA editing sites in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a stalwart of biological research.
A new method to produce accurate computer models of molecules, developed by scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, combines existing formulas in a kind of algorithmic stew to gain a better picture of molecular structural diversity that is then used to eliminate errors and improve the final model.
Since its discovery, researchers have hailed Cas9 - a protein 'machine' that can be programmed by a strand of RNA to target specific DNA sequences and to precisely cut, paste, and turn on or turn off genes - as a potential key to unlocking a host of new treatments and therapies for genetic conditions, but only if they fully understand how it works.
Chemists from Nijmegen have developed a catalyst that binds to DNA, slides over it and splits the molecule in particular places. The researchers were able to do this by synthetically modifying a natural catalyst.