Discovery of hidden structures in bacterial DNA

Researchers have described the 3D structure of the genome in the extremely small bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. They discovered previously unknown arrangements of DNA within this tiny bacteria, which are also found in larger cells. Their findings suggest that this type of organization is a universal feature of living cells. DNA contains the instructions for life,…

Coming to a lab bench near you: Femtosecond X-ray spectroscopy

​Summary: For the first time, researchers have captured the ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a chemical reaction using ultrafast, tabletop X-ray spectroscopy. The researchers used femtosecond pulses of X-ray light to catch the unraveling of a ring molecule that is important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes. The experiments are described in the April…

Controlling turtle motion by human thoughts

Researchers have developed a technology that can remotely control an animal’s movement with human thought. Remote control animals are animals that are controlled remotely by humans. Some applications require electrodes to be implanted in the animal’s nervous system connected to a receiver which is usually carried on the animal’s back. The animals are controlled by the…

Viruses created to selectively attack tumor cells

ConventionalConventional cancer treatment may cause undesirable side effects as a result of poor selectivity. To avoid them it is important that new therapies can efficiently remove cancer cells and preserve the healthy ones. One of the new approaches in cancer therapy is based on the development of oncolytic viruses, ie, viruses modified to only infect…

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal

Scientists have applied rational crystal design to create protein crystals with extended porous network to accumulate exogenous molecules inside living cells. This work lays a foundation for engineering of stable self-assembling crystalline porous materials which can concentrate and preserve bioactive substances in various cell types. In nature, proteins are assembled into sophisticated and highly ordered…

Scientists Take First Steps to Growing Human Organs in Pigs

​Scientists have grown human cells inside pig embryos, a very early step toward the goal of growing livers and other human organs in animals to transplant into people. The cells made up just a tiny part of each embryo, and the embryos were grown for only a few weeks, researchers reported Thursday. Such human-animal research…

Gene editing takes on rare immunodeficiency disorder

Researchers have harnessed the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to correct mutations in the blood stem cells of patients with a rare immunodeficiency disorder; the engineered cells successfully engrafted in mice for up to five months. The study paves the way for CRISPR-Cas9 as a powerful gene editing tool with potential therapeutic applications for inherited diseases — leading…

Antibiotic spider silk for drug delivery, regenerative medicine and wound healing..

After five years’ work an interdisciplinary team of scientists at The University of Nottingham has developed a technique to produce chemically functionalised spider silk that can be tailored to applications used in drug delivery, regenerative medicine and wound healing. The Nottingham research team has shown for the first time how ‘click-chemistry’ can be used to…

Sunlight offers surprise benefit: It energizes infection fighting T cells

Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity. Their findings, published today in Scientific Reports, suggest how the skin, the body’s largest organ, stays alert to the many microbes that can nest there. “We all…

Cellular reprogramming slows aging in mice

Scientists have rolled back time for live mice through systemic cellular reprogramming, according to a new study. In mice carrying a mutation leading to premature aging, reprogramming of chemical marks in the genome, known as epigenetic marks, reduced many signs of aging in the mice and extended their lifespan on average from 18 weeks to…