What is new in Biotech

Thousands of genes exchanged within microbial communities living on cheese

28.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have found that microbial species living on cheese have transferred thousands of genes between each other. They also identified regional hotspots where such exchanges take place, including several genomic "islands" that host exchanges across several species of bacteria. Postdoctoral fellow...


Brain’s stem cells slow ageing in mice

26.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Stem cells in the brain could be the key to extending life and slowing ageing. These cells — which are located in the hypothalamus, a region that produces hormones and other signalling molecules — can re­invigorate declining brain function and muscle strength in middle-aged mice, according to a study published on 26 July in Nature. Previous...


A toolbox for creating new drugs

24.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

ETH microbiologists led by Markus Künzler have discovered a remarkable enzyme in a fungus. They now want to use it to develop new drugs. Fungi appear to offer a truly inexhaustible reservoir of new substances. One such fungus is the jack-o'-lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olearius), which is found throughout the Mediterranean region and has a...


Taking cells out to the movies with new CRISPR technology
Credit: JBárta.prf.jcu

Taking cells out to the movies with new CRISPR technology

21.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Researchers are developing ways to harness DNA, the blueprint of biological life, as a synthetic raw material to store large amounts of digital information outside of living cells, using expensive machinery. But, what if they could coerce living cells, like large populations of bacteria, into using their own genomes as a biological hard drive that...


Forensic scientists recover human DNA from mosquitos
Credit: Kletr - Fotolia.com

Forensic scientists recover human DNA from mosquitos

19.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Nagoya University research team shows that human blood extracted from mosquitos remains viable for DNA analysis up to two days after feeding. Most people would agree that painful mosquito bites are an especially annoying part of summer. Except perhaps forensic scientists, who can examine human blood from a mosquito's stomach and match the DNA to...


Creating mini-human hearts from rat hearts to test new drugs
Credit: Dmytro Tolokonov - Fotolia.com

Creating mini-human hearts from rat hearts to test new drugs

17.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Before new drugs can be used on humans, they need to go through a rigorous regime of testing on animals, artificial models or both, but results don't often carry across to humans completely. Now researchers have developed a technique to create more accurate models, by effectively turning rat hearts into miniature human hearts. Mini-kidneys,...


Antibiotic nanoparticles fight drug-resistant bacteria

14.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, especially among a type of bacteria that are classified as "Gram-negative." These bacteria have two cell membranes, making it more difficult for drugs to penetrate and kill the cells. Researchers from MIT and other institutions are hoping to use nanotechnology to develop more targeted treatments for...


These Golden Bananas Could Save The Lives Of Many Children In Uganda
Credit: yurakp - Fotolia.com

These Golden Bananas Could Save The Lives Of Many Children In Uganda

12.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

Scientists have developed a new type of banana that could help the many children in Uganda who have a pro-vitamin A deficiency. The so-called “golden bananas”, named for their appearance, were developed by a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, led by Professor James Dale. The findings have been published in the Plant...


Personalized cancer vaccines successful in first-stage human trials

10.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

A cancer vaccine is one of the holy grails of modern medical research, but finding a way to stimulate the immune system to specifically target and kill cancer cells has proven to be a difficult task. Now two recent clinical trials that have produced encouraging results in patients with skin cancer are providing hope for the development of...


CRISPR gene editing technique is probably safe, study confirms

7.7.2017   |   Press monitoring

As you were. In May, a study claimed that the revolutionary CRISPR gene editing technique can cause thousands of unwanted and potentially dangerous mutations. The authors called for regulators to reassess the safety of the technique. But doubts were raised about these claims from the very beginning, not least because it was a tiny study involving...


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