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Biotechnology

Category: Biotechnology

CRISPRainbow, a new technology using CRISPR/Cas9 developed by scientists at UMass Medical School, allows researchers to tag and track up to seven different genomic locations in live cells. This labeling system, details of which were published in Nature Biotechnology, will be an invaluable tool for studying the structure of the genome in real time.


All the movies, images, emails and other digital data from more than 600 basic smartphones (10,000 gigabytes) can be stored in this faint pink smear of DNA.
Technology companies routinely build sprawling data centers to store all the baby pictures, financial transactions, funny cat videos and email messages its users hoard.

Researchers have developed a new and highly efficient method for gene transfer. The technique, which involves culturing and transfecting cells with genetic material on an array of carbon nanotubes, appears to overcome the limitations of other gene editing technologies.


The University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University research team site-specifically inserted a small molecule named coralyne into the DNA and were able to create a single-molecule diode
Researchers at the University of Georgia and at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have demonstrated for the first time that nanoscale electronic components can be made from single DNA molecules. Their study, published in the journal Nature Chemistry, represents a promising advance in the search for a replacement for the silicon chip.


Professor Saso Ivanovski.
The discomfort and stigma of loose or missing teeth could be a thing of the past as Griffith University researchers pioneer the use of 3D bioprinting to replace missing teeth and bone.


A new study shows that a hollowed-out version of cowpea mosaic virus could be useful in human therapies.
Viruses aren't always bad. In fact, scientists can harness the capabilities of some viruses for good--modifying the viruses to carry drug molecules, for example.

Researchers have presented one of the first computerised tomography (CT) scans of a mummified individual from southern Africa, and also completed the first successful aDNA (ancient DNA) extraction from such remains. The mummy is estimated to have been about 300 years old.


This graphic depicts a new inhibitor, 6S, locking up an enzyme (red) to block the production of hydrogen sulfide (yellow and white).
Research teams separated by 14 hours and 9,000 miles have collaborated to advance prospective treatment for the world's second-leading cause of death.


Haoquan Wu, Ph.D., left, and Ying Dang, Ph.D., right, have improved the gene editing technology CRISPR and enhanced its ability to target and knockout genes.
Scientists have developed a process that improves the efficiency of CRISPR, an up-and-coming technology used to edit DNA.


Dr. David Gangitano is an associate professor in the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University.
Sam Houston State University is advancing the field of forensic botany with the publication of two recent studies that use marijuana DNA to link drug supplies and pollen DNA to aid in forensic investigations.

A novel HIV-based lentiviral vector can introduce a gene to pancreatic tumor cells that makes them more sensitive to the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine, without integrating into cellular DNA. This integrase-defective lentiviral delivery system greatly reduces the risk of insertional mutagenesis and replication-competent lentivirus production, as describe in a new study published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free to read on the Human Gene Therapy website until March 31, 2016.


Japanese bioengineers have tweaked Escherichia coli genes so that they pump out thebaine, a morphine precursor that can be modified to make painkillers.
A common gut microbe could soon be offering us pain relief. Japanese bioengineers have tweaked Escherichia coli genes so that they pump out thebaine, a morphine precursor that can be modified to make painkillers. The genetically modified E. coli produces 300 times more thebaine with minimal risk of unregulated use compared to a recently developed method involving yeast.

Researchers from the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (GPI RAS) and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have developed a new biosensor test system based on magnetic nanoparticles. It is designed to provide highly accurate measurements of the concentration of protein molecules (e.g. markers, which indicate the onset or development of a disease) in various samples, including opaque solutions or strongly coloured liquids.

In a discovery that may lead to ways to prevent frost on airplane parts, condenser coils, and even windshields, a team of researchers led by Virginia Tech has used chemical micropatterns to control the growth of frost caused by condensation.

Bethesda, MD - Genome engineering is a rapidly growing discipline that seeks to develop new technologies for the precise manipulation of genes and genomes in cellula and in vivo. In addition to its utility for advancing our understanding of basic biology, genome engineering has numerous real-world applications, ranging from correction of disease-causing mutations in humans to engineering plants that better provide fuel, food and industrial raw materials. The first clinical trials and patient treatments using genome engineering approaches are now a reality. The scope of this meeting is expansive, encompassing multiple approaches for modifying genomes - from transgenesis and gene targeting to the creation of synthetic genomes. The experimental models featured include bacteria, fungi, model organisms (e.g.-- Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish, mice, rats), plants, humans, and animals including livestock. We anticipate that this diversity of approaches and experimental systems will create a stimulating meeting environment that will enable new insights and advance the field.


A transmission electron microscope image of ribbonfish skin shows random arrangements of crystalline quinine embedded in cytoplasm (a). The arrangement of crystal layers reflects light across a broad spectrum.
A nature-inspired method to model the reflection of light from the skin of silvery fish and other organisms may be possible, according to Penn State researchers.


Green spots observed in cells indicate successful insertion of the foreign fluorescent protein gene by the PITCh system.
A streamlined protocol for an alternative gene insertion method using genome editing technologies, the PITCh (Precise Integration into Target Chromosome) system, has been reported in Nature Protocols by Specially Appointed Lecturer Tetsushi Sakuma, Professor Takashi Yamamoto, Specially Appointed Associate Professor Ken-Ichi T Suzuki, and their colleagues at Hiroshima University, Japan.


'Ours is the first rolling DNA motor, making it far faster and more robust,' says Khalid Salaita, the Emory University chemist who led he research.
Physical chemists have devised a rolling DNA-based motor that's 1,000 times faster than any other synthetic DNA motor, giving it potential for real-world applications, such as disease diagnostics. Nature Nanotechnology is publishing the finding.


Slaymaker and Gao et al. used structural knowledge of Cas9 to guide engineering of a highly specific genome editing tool.
Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on "off-target" editing errors. The refined technique addresses one of the major technical issues in the use of genome editing.


These are fluorescently labeled polarized Upcyte hepatocytes.
In new research appearing in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology, an international research team led by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem describes 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.

RMIT University in Melbourne has worked with a medical device company and a neurosurgeon to successfully create a 3D printed vertebral cage for a patient with severe back pain.

Cornell biomedical engineers have developed specialized white blood cells - dubbed "super natural killer cells" - that seek out cancer cells in lymph nodes with only one purpose: destroy them. This breakthrough halts the onset of metastasis, according to a new Cornell study published this month in the journal Biomaterials.


Plant Breeding Institute's Principal Research Fellow, Associate Professor Harbans Bariana, is demonstrating the issue of wheat rust.
A gene that can prevent some of the most important wheat diseases has been identified--creating the potential to save more than a billion dollars in lost production in Australia alone each year.

While there are no cures for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, many researchers believe that one could be found in neural stem cells. Unfortunately, scientists do not yet have a full understanding of how these cells behave and differentiate, which has put a roadblock in the path to potential life-saving treatments.

University of Birmingham (UK) scientists have created a plant that rejects its own pollen or pollen of close relatives, according to research published in the journal Science today (5 November 2015).

Scientists have shown for the first time that tumour DNA shed into the bloodstream can be used to track cancers in real time as they evolve and respond to treatment, according to a new Cancer Research UK study published in the journal Nature Communications today (Wednesday).

A DNA sample thought to show prehistoric trade in cereals is most likely from modern wheat, according to new research led by the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has shown that a method they developed to improve the usefulness and precision of the most common form of the gene-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nucleases can be applied to Cas9 enzymes from other bacterial sources. In a paper receiving advance online publication in Nature Biotechnology, the team reports evolving a variant of SaCas9 - the Cas9 enzyme from the Streptococcus aureus bacteria - that recognizes a broader range of nucleotide sequences, allowing targeting of genomic sites previously inaccessible to CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a nanoscale machine made of DNA that can randomly walk in any direction across bumpy surfaces. Future applications of such a DNA walker might include a cancer detector that could roam the human body searching for cancerous cells and tagging them for medical imaging or drug targeting.


Brent Opell, a professor of biological sciences in the College of Science and a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate, collects a portion of a spider web.
A taut tug on the line signals the arrival of dinner, and the leggy spider dashes across the web to find a tasty squirming insect. The spider, known as an orb weaver, must perfectly execute this moment, from a lightning-fast reaction to an artfully spun web glistening with sticky glue.

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