If you break a bone, you know you'll end up in a cast for weeks. But what if the time it took to heal a break could be cut in half, or even just a tenth of the time? Researchers report they have coated surfaces with bionanoparticles sourced from a modified virus. These particles accelerated early phase bone growth, reducing the conversion of stem cells to bone nodules from two weeks to two days.
Mosquitoes bred to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite are an attractive approach to helping curb one of the world's most pressing public health issues, according to University of California, Irvine scientists. Now, researchers have produced a model of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito that impairs the development of the malaria parasite. These mosquitoes, in turn, cannot transmit the disease through their bites.
MicroRNAs start off as long strands of precursor genetic material, which get chopped by machinery called the “microprocessor” complex. When the pieces bind to messenger RNA, protein production is inhibited and protein regulation begins. But how does the microprocessor avoid cleaving the wrong type of RNA? Mathematical models may provide the answer.
Scientists in California have purified a subset of stem cells found in fat tissue and made from them bone that was formed faster and was of higher quality than bone grown using traditional methods. The discovery may one day eliminate the need for painful bone grafts that use material taken from the patient during invasive procedures.
At a recent weekend conference of more than 30,000 specialists, experts reported seeing a major escalation in the arms race against cancer. Several new advances, including “smart” drugs, immune system aids, and treatments based on genetic pathways, offer new hope for battling previously intractable diseases.
Mice and monkeys don't develop diseases in the same way that humans do. Nevertheless, after medical researchers have studied human cells in a Petri dish, they have little choice but to move on to study mice and primates. University of Washington bioengineers have developed the first structure to grow small human blood vessels, creating a 3D test bed that offers a better way to study disease, test drugs, and perhaps someday grow human tissues for transplant.
New York University physicists have developed a method that models biological cell-to-cell adhesion that could also have industrial applications. This system is an oil-in-water solution whose surface properties reproduce those found on biological cells.
Tissue engineers can use mesenchymal stem cells derived from fat to make cartilage, bone, or more fat. The best cells to use are ones that are already likely to become the desired tissue. Brown University researchers have discovered that the mechanical properties of the stem cells can foretell what they will become, leading to a potential method of concentrating them for use in healing.
A research team at Rutgers University has been able to take a new pharmacological approach to activate the immune cells to prevent cancer growth through stimulation of the opiate receptors found on immune cells.
When the DNA double helix breaks, the broken end goes searching for the similar sequence and uses that as a template for repair. Using a new dual-molecule technique, a research group in the Netherlands has found out how the DNA molecule is able to perform this search and recognition process in such an efficient way.
The major form of lactoferrin is an important iron-binding protein secreted into human biofluids such as milk, blood, tears, and saliva. Because it is responsible for most of the host-defense properties, researchers are starting to use lactoferrin as a potential therapeutic protein.
Researchers in Germany have enhanced the capabilities of solid-state nanopores by fitting them with cover plates made of DNA. These nanoscale cover plates, with central apertures tailored to various functions, are formed by so-called DNA origami—the art of programming strands of DNA to fold into custom-designed structures with specified chemical properties.
While working with an enzyme found in bacteria that is crucial for capturing solar energy, researchers in Michigan have found they can adjust the time the battery-like enzyme can store energy. In nature, the enzyme recovers from a charge-separated state in seconds, but changing the enzyme’s shape has extended storage to several hours.
Biotechnologists have recently found a way to control a heat-loving microbe with a temperature switch by inserting a gene from another organism. The engineered microbe can be coaxed to use that gene to make a new product, such as biofuel, by simply lowering the temperature.
Scientists in Sweden say they have developed a molecular catalyzer with the ability to oxidize water to oxygen at speeds comparable to those in nature's own photosynthesis. This finding would be a world record for artificial photosynthesis.
The Texas Medical Board on Friday approved new rules on experimental stem cell therapies such as the one Gov. Rick Perry underwent during back surgery last year, despite objections they don't do enough to protect patients and could led to an explosion of doctors promoting unproven, expensive treatments.
Chloroplasts were once living beings in their own right, before being swallowed up by larger cells and used as solar power generators. Until recent research that fast-forwarded the lengthy evolutionary process, the mechanism for this change were not understand. According this new work, chloroplast genes take a direct route to the cell nucleus, where the gene function can be correctly read despite the structural differences in the DNA.
Using genetic engineering techniques, researchers in Germany have generated cells that emit green fluorescent light when stimulated by the binding of a cognate antigen. Previously antigens, which induce destructive immune responses, could not be identified directly without some prior knowledge of their structure.
After running on 48 computer processors for four weeks and completing 32 billion searches, a computer program designed to compare multiple genomes has revealed identical long strings of genetic code shared by different plant species. Previous efforts had revealed identical codes in animals, but this is the first to uncover the phenomenon in plants.
Today, scientists map entire genomes mostly for research, but as genome mapping gets faster and cheaper, scientists and consumers have wondered about possible broader use: Would finding all the glitches hidden in your DNA predict which diseases you'll face decades later? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, say experts.
Plants that contain the ingredients for the popular licorice treat employ a complex assembly line of enzymes to produce the glycyrrhizin molecule, a potent sweetener that is also an effective anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. A newly discovered enzyme brings scientists one step closer to understanding how plants like licorice root manufacture a molecule with potent medicinal properties.
Using an artificial thymus built in a mouse embryo, researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany have succeeded in explaining the surprisingly simple control mechanism for this crucial organ in the body’s immune response. It was not previously known which combination of factors is responsible for the development of a particular progenitor cell type.
The Supreme Court this week threw out a lower court ruling allowing human genes to be patented. The court overturned patents belonging to Myriad Genetics Inc. of Salt Lake City on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have created a gut-on-a-chip microdevice lined by living human cells that mimics the structure, physiology, and mechanics of the human intestine. As a more accurate alternative to conventional cell culture and animal models, the microdevice could help researchers gain new insights into intestinal disorders and evaluate the safety and efficacy of potential treatments.
Scientists in Germany have succeeded in obtaining somatic stem cells from fully differentiated somatic cells without them first passing through the pluripotent stage. To perform this conversion, researchers combined a number of different growth factors, which are proteins that guide cellular growth.