Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have created a living neon sign composed of millions of bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in unison like blinking light bulbs. The method involved attaching a fluorescent protein to the bacteria’s biological clock, and the effect can be tuned based on the presence of toxins and pollutants.
A group of University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated that short spiral-shaped proteins can efficiently deliver DNA segments to cells. The breakthrough was revisiting a known class of polypeptides and changing modifying their globular shape.
A new study has identified a gene mutation that researchers estimate dates back to 11,600 B.C., making it the second oldest human disease mutation yet discovered. Researchers say that although the mutation, which causes a rare vitamin deficiency, is found in vastly different ethnic populations, it originated in a single, prehistoric individual and was passed down to that individual's descendents.
In what's being called a landmark study, researchers used gene therapy to successfully treat six patients with severe hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder. The six men each received a single, 20-minute infusion of healthy genetic material delivered by a virus found in monkeys. Four of the patients were able to stop conventional blood-clotting treatments altogether.
Researchers at Yale University have deisgned a new nanoparticle that acts like a virus by introducing a specific gene into diseased cells in order to kill or repair them. The innovation has a number of promising applications in gene therapy.
University of Central Florida researchers, for the first time, have used stem cells to grow neuromuscular junctions between human muscle cells and human spinal cord cells, the key connectors used by the brain to communicate and control muscles in the body.
Many scientists believe that strengthening synaptic connections could offer a way to treat neurological disorders, as well as age-related decline in brain function. To that end, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has developed a new way to grow synapses between cells in a laboratory dish, under very controlled conditions that enable rapid, large-scale screens for potential new drugs.
The genomes of humans and chimps are nearly identical, and this has kept scientists guessing as to why. Now, researchers say that the insertion and deletion of large pieces of what has been called “junk” DNA could account for the major differences between the two species.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have turned a benign virus into an engineering tool for assembling structures that mimic collagen, one of the most important structural proteins in nature. The process they developed could eventually be used to manufacture materials with tunable optical, biomedical and mechanical properties.
Until now, scientists have been unable to determine the structure of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) proteoglycan, or have even agreed whether these complex molecules have well-defined structures. The recent breakthrough should help research into certain types of cancers and may enable certain drug development pathways.
The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos for research purposes, a ruling some scientists said threatens important research since no one could profit from it.
A slight change in molecular structure introduced by genetic engineering gives crop-protecting proteins called Bt toxins a new edge in overcoming resistance of certain pests, a University of Arizona-led team of researchers reports.
Scientists at the University of Notre Dame have developed a special molecule that can out-compete allergens that attempt to attach to the type of white blood cell that is the source of allergic reactions.
Detailed in a paper published Wednesday, U.S. scientists have used a cloning technique to create the type of customized stem cells that show promise for treating disease. But the first-of-its-kind result comes with a big hitch: too much genetic material inhibits its function.
Nucleosomes are essential components of the genome, acting to regulate access to DNA and protect it from harm. New research at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute contains insights into how these mysterious structures wrap and unwrap, permitting regulatory proteins to act on DNA.
A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Children's Hospital Boston has built cardiac patches studded with tiny gold wires that could be used to create pieces of tissue whose cells all beat in time, mimicking the dynamics of natural heart muscle. The development could someday help people who have suffered heart attacks.
A theoretical model that explains how growing organism maintain perfect scaling has passed muster in the laboratory. Researchers in Israel have recently shown how vein structure patterns in developing fruit fly wings stay in synchronization, adding a significant piece of understanding to the puzzle of scaling.
A net of fine lines surrounding tiny silica microspheres confined in thin liquid crystal layers is now a test bed for creating any kind of microscopic knot. The finding by researchers in Germany and Slovenia could have important implications because the knotting of DNA molecules is crucial to the way genes function.
Ultraviolet light from space was damaging to many prebiotic molecules in Earth’s early history, but some were photostable and survived the assault. Recent research shows that one of these building blocks of DNA and RNA, adenine, has an unexpectedly variable range of ionization energies along its reaction pathways.
Scientists are reporting the first clear success with a new approach for treating leukemia. The breakthrough involves turning the patients' own blood cells into assassins that hunt and destroy their cancer cells.
A team of scientists at Kyoto University has reported producing viable sperm using the stem cells of mice in an experiment that researchers hope could one day lead to treating infertile men.
Researchers in Poland have synthesized a new type of polymer that effectively captures nicotine molecules and their analogues in its molecular pincers. The design is now the core of a polymer nicotine trap which could also be used to deliver a slow, controlled release of nicotine in the body.
Armchair-form single wall carbon nanotubes, which take their name from the distinctive shape of the edge of the tube’s cylinder, have the ideal chiralities and metal-like behavior to serve as a quantum wire. But first, according to recent NIST research, the nanotubes need some help from DNA molecules.
A federal court said Friday that human genes can be patented, reversing a lower court's ruling that involved a test for breast cancer but which could have had big implications for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
The invention of green fluorescent protein (GFP) revolutionized protein biology. Now, researchers Weill Cornell Medical College are hoping to do the same for RNA research with their development of a fluorescent tagging tool made from RNA that mimics the behavior of GFP. It’s been dubbed “Spinach” for its bright green color.