What is new in Biotech

New CRISPR technique could prevent obesity without cutting or editing a genome

14.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

An exciting new study from researchers at UC San Francisco has demonstrated how a new kind of CRISPR technique can increase the expression of certain genes, instead of the more traditional technique of actively cutting or editing DNA. The method was tested in mice by targeting two genes associated with hunger, with the animals reducing their food...

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Researchers reverse engineer way pine trees produce green chemicals worth billions
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Researchers reverse engineer way pine trees produce green chemicals worth billions

12.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

Washington State University researchers have reverse engineered the way a pine tree produces a resin, which could serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to a range of fossil-fuel based products worth billions of dollars. Mark Lange and colleagues in the Institute for Biological Chemistry literally dissected the machinery by which...

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Google’s DeepMind aces protein folding
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Google’s DeepMind aces protein folding

10.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

Turns out mastering chess and Go was just for starters. On 2 December, the Google-owned artificial intelligence firm DeepMind took top honors in the 13th Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP), a biannual competition aimed at predicting the 3D structure of proteins. The contest worked like this: Competing teams were given the linear...

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Promising antibiotic derived from wasp venom
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Promising antibiotic derived from wasp venom

7.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

As harmful bacteria continue to become resistant to standard antibiotics, it gets increasingly important to come up with alternatives. With that in mind, scientists at MIT have looked to a species of wasp, and found an effective antibiotic in its venom. It was already known that wasp and bee venom contains peptides (short chains of linked amino...

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Inactivating genes can boost crop genetic diversity
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Inactivating genes can boost crop genetic diversity

5.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

Researchers from CIRAD and INRA recently showed that inactivating a gene, RECQ4, leads to a three-fold increase in recombination in crops such as rice, pea and tomato. The gene inhibits the exchange of genetic material via recombination (crossover) during the sexual reproduction process in crops. This discovery, published in the journal Nature...

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Nanoscale tweezers can perform single-molecule biopsies on individual cells
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Nanoscale tweezers can perform single-molecule biopsies on individual cells

3.12.2018   |   Press monitoring

Using electrical impulses, the 'tweezers' can extract single DNA,sproteins and organelles from living cells without destroying them. A new technique, developed by a team led by Professor Joshua Edel and Dr Alex Ivanov at Imperial College London, enables researchers to extract single molecules from live cells, without destroying them. The...

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China orders probe into scientist claims of first gene-edited babies

30.11.2018   |   Press monitoring

Beijing has ordered an investigation into claims by a Chinese scientist to have created the world's first genetically-edited babies, a move that would be a ground-breaking medical first but which has generated a barrage of criticism. A video posted on YouTube by university professor He Jiankui said that the twin girls, born a few weeks ago, had...

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Brain, muscle cells found lurking in kidney organoids grown in lab
Credit: CONTIPRO

Brain, muscle cells found lurking in kidney organoids grown in lab

28.11.2018   |   Press monitoring

Scientists hoping to develop better treatments for kidney disease have turned their attention to growing clusters of kidney cells in the lab. One day, so-called organoids -- grown from human stem cells -- may help repair damaged kidneys in people or be used to test drugs developed to fight kidney disease. But new research from Washington...

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Transparent fruit flies
Credit: Dario Sabljak - Fotolia.com

Transparent fruit flies

26.11.2018   |   Press monitoring

The nervous system of an animal can be studied by cutting it up into thin layers – however this inevitably leads to the destruction of the cellular structures in the tissue. Analyzing complex nerve connections is then hardly possible. The far more elegant method is the so called optical "clearing" of the various tissues using chemical processes...

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New dual-action cancer-killing virus

23.11.2018   |   Press monitoring

Scientists have equipped a virus that kills carcinoma cells with a protein so it can also target and kill adjacent cells that are tricked into shielding the cancer from the immune system. It is the first time that cancer-associated fibroblasts within solid tumours - healthy cells that are tricked into protecting the cancer from the immune system...

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