Keyword: biotechnology

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  • Sweet success for bio-battery

    03/03/2014 9:55:59 PM PST · by neverdem · 38 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | Katia Moskvitch | 28 January 2014
    Rechargeable, energy-dense bio-batteries running on sugar might be powering our electronic gadgets in as little as three years, according to a US team of scientists. The battery, created by the group of Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, can convert all the potential chemical energy stored in a sugar into electricity.The prototype is similar in size to a typical AA battery and has an energy storage density of 596 amp hours per kilogram – roughly one order of magnitude greater than a smartphone’s lithium-ion battery. This means that the battery could last at least...
  • Mushrooms used to clean up urban streams

    03/01/2014 1:27:55 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Corvallis Gazette-Times ^ | January 20, 2014 | Anthony Rimel
    A local group is attempting to clean the waters in Corvallis’ Sequoia Creek — and potentially the Willamette River beyond it — using an unusual tool: mushrooms. The process used by volunteers with the Ocean Blue Project, an ecological restoration nonprofit, is to place mushroom spawn and a mixture of coffee grounds and straw in burlap bags that mushrooms can grow in, and then place the bags so that water entering storm drains will filter through them. The technique is attempting to take advantage of the natural ability of mycelium — the underground part of fungi — to break down...
  • Press P to print

    07/23/2013 11:17:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 25 June 2013 | Katharine Sanderson
    The use of 3D printers to create lab equipment, deliver reagents and even build biomaterials is on the rise. Katharine Sanderson installs drivers and prints away © Frank WojciechowskiThe latest piece of cool technology at the top of every self-confessed geek’s wish list is quite likely to be a 3D printer. Who wouldn’t want the wherewithal to print a range of gadgets on a whim, from plastic toys to a spare pair of glasses or even pizza? And now seems like the perfect time to splash out on your own 3D printer: companies like MakerBot are selling 3D printers...
  • Jagged graphene edges can slice into cell membranes

    07/11/2013 3:37:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | July 10, 2013 | NA
    Sharp corners and jagged edges on graphene sheets enable them to puncture cell membranes. Researchers from Brown University have shown how tiny graphene microsheets — ultra-thin materials with a number of commercial applications — could be big trouble for human cells. The research shows that sharp corners and jagged protrusions along the edges of graphene sheets can easily pierce cell membranes. After the membrane is pierced, an entire graphene sheet can be pulled inside the cell where it may disrupt normal function. The new insight may be helpful in finding ways to minimize the potential toxicity of graphene, said...
  • Molecular switch for cheaper biofuel

    06/06/2013 2:00:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | June 3, 2013 | NA
    This is Christian Derntl in the bio-lab.Lignocellulosic waste such as sawdust or straw can be used to produce biofuel – but only if the long cellulose and xylan chains can be successfully broken down into smaller sugar molecules. To do this, fungi are used which, by means of a specific chemical signal, can be made to produce the necessary enzymes. Because this procedure is, however, very expensive, Vienna University of Technology has been investigating the molecular switch that regulates enzyme production in the fungus. As a result, it is now possible to manufacture genetically modified fungi that produce the necessary...
  • New 1-step process for designer bacteria

    05/28/2013 11:24:28 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | May 28, 2013 | NA
    A simpler and faster way of producing designer bacteria used in biotechnology processes has been developed by University of Adelaide researchers. The researchers have developed a new one-step bacterial genetic engineering process called 'clonetegration', published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology. Led by Dr Keith Shearwin, in the University's School of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, the research facilitates faster development of designer bacteria used in therapeutic drug development, such as insulin, and other biotechnology products. Designer bacteria are produced by integrating extra pieces of genetic material into the DNA of bacteria, in this case E. coli, so that the bacteria...
  • St. Francis, Christian Love, and the Biotechnological Future

    05/19/2013 6:36:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    The New Atlantis ^ | Winter/Spring 2013 | William B. Hurlbut
    Sometime near the end of the twelfth century, a wealthy young man named Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone came upon a shepherd driving his flock to market. And apparently for the sheer joy of it — the extravagant pleasure of saving those sheep from slaughter — the young man promptly bought the entire flock, led the sheep out to open meadows, and set them free.This is the man everyone knows as St. Francis of Assisi (ca. 1182–1226) — namesake of the newly elected pope, a saint beloved throughout the world, even by people who have nothing to do with the Catholic...
  • Printable 'bionic' ear melds electronics and biology

    05/08/2013 2:44:49 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | May 1, 2013 | NA
    Scientists used 3-D printing to merge tissue and an antenna capable of receiving radio signals.Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can "hear" radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. The researchers' primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear. "In general, there are mechanical and thermal challenges with interfacing electronic materials with biological materials,"...
  • Lean green microbe machines

    05/01/2013 2:48:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 30 April 2013 | Anthony King
    Pond scum – algae – gained prominence a few years ago, emerging from research obscurity to hog the green limelight. With questions over growing food crops for biodiesel and concerns over fuel security and global warming, algae seemed to offer a renewable, carbon-neutral source of fuel. Algal cultivation could use a large amount of non-arable land without harming food production, said the sales pitch, and its demand for water could be met with non-potable supplies, even saline or wastewater. As algal biochemist Alison Smith of the University of Cambridge, UK, explains, ‘I was being phoned up every five minutes by...
  • Lab-grown kidneys transplanted into rats

    04/16/2013 7:16:05 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Nature News ^ | 14 April 2013 | Ed Yong
    Engineered organs produce urine, though not as efficiently as natural ones. Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have fitted rats with kidneys that were grown in a lab from stripped-down kidney scaffolds. When transplanted, these 'bioengineered' organs starting filtering the rodents’ blood and making urine. The team, led by organ-regeneration specialist Harald Ott, started with the kidneys of recently deceased rats and used detergent to strip away the cells, leaving behind the underlying scaffold of connective tissues such as the structural components of blood vessels. They then regenerated the organ by seeding this scaffold with two cell types: human...
  • Could Wood Feed the World?

    04/16/2013 6:08:16 PM PDT · by neverdem · 25 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 15 April 2013 | Charles Q. Choi
    Enlarge Image Future food? Cellulose from switchgrass and other nonfood plants might be converted into edible starch to feed the hungry. Credit: Peggy Greb/ARS/USDA The main ingredient of wood, cellulose, is one of the most abundant organic compounds on Earth and a dream source of renewable fuel. Now, bioengineers suggest that it could feed the hungry as well. In a new study, researchers have found a way to turn cellulose into starch, the most common carbohydrate in the human diet. Ethanol is today's most common biofuel used to power vehicles. It's typically made using sugars from crop plants such...
  • Yeast to make malaria drug on demand

    04/12/2013 1:04:04 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 10 April 2013 | Hayley Birch
    A natural biochemical pathway that produces the antimalarial drug artemisinin in the sweet wormwood plant has been fully reconstructed in yeast. The engineered yeast cells churn out high concentrations of a precursor that can be converted in a few steps into the first-line malaria drug. According to the team behind the advance, their semi-synthetic route should help smooth out seasonal variations in supply.Semi-synthetic artemisinin has been in the pipeline since 2006, when Jay Keasling’s group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, US, reported rewriting the genome of ordinary brewer’s yeast to encourage it to make artemisinic acid.1 But...
  • Engineered extremophile brews bulk chemical

    04/11/2013 11:40:28 PM PDT · by neverdem
    Chemistry World ^ | 10 April 2013 | Akshat Rathi
    Volcanic vents off the coast of Italy are home to microbes that can produce a bulk industrial chemical © Science Photo LibraryUS researchers have engineered a heat-loving microbe to produce a bulk chemical from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Their results may provide a viable industrial alternative to blue-green algae, which have a much lower efficiency for such chemical transformations.Microbes are principally used by industry to turn larger organic compounds into smaller, more useful ones – fermenting corn sugars to produce ethanol, for instance. More desirable, though, is direct conversion of carbon dioxide into organic compounds.Current methods that use blue-green algae...
  • Droplet printing assembles soft networks

    04/04/2013 6:07:00 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 4 April 2013 | Laura Howes
    Producing soft networks of droplets is now much less laborious and time consuming © Science/AAASBack in 2007, Hagan Bayley’s lab at the University of Oxford, UK, created bionetworks made from small droplets all linked together.1 Each of the aqueous droplets were individually pipetted into an oily phase, where they linked together to create a chain of droplets with a lipid bilayer at each interface. Into those bilayers Bayley’s postdoc at the time, Matt Holden, introduced the alpha-haemolysin (α-HL) protein that the group do a lot of their work on, and showed that the linked droplets could conduct a current. But...
  • Mayo Clinic and Illinois researchers develop new sensor for methylated DNA

    04/04/2013 3:38:37 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | March 15, 2013 | NA
    Collaborators from Mayo-Illinois Alliance for Technology Based Healthcare have developed a new, single molecule test for detecting methylated DNA. Methylation -- the addition of a methyl group of molecules to a DNA strand -- is one of the ways gene expression is regulated. The findings appear in the current issue of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). "While nanopores have been studied for genomic sequencing and screening analysis, this new assay can potentially circumvent the need for some of the current processes in evaluating epigenetics-related diseases," says George Vasmatzis, Ph.D., co-leader of Mayo's Biomarker Discovery Program in the Center for Individualized...
  • OHSU scientists first to grow liver stem cells in culture, demonstrate therapeutic benefit

    03/20/2013 1:29:35 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | February 25, 2013 | NA
    For decades scientists around the world have attempted to regenerate primary liver cells known as hepatocytes because of their numerous biomedical applications, including hepatitis research, drug metabolism and toxicity studies, as well as transplantation for cirrhosis and other chronic liver conditions. But no lab in the world has been successful in identifying and growing liver stem cells in culture -- using any available technique – until now. In the journal Nature, physician-scientists in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Portland, Ore., along with investigators at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology...
  • (Operation Acoustic Kitty) The CIA's Secret Experiments to Turn Cats into Spies

    03/13/2013 6:22:13 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 7 replies
    IO9 ^ | March 13, 2013 | Annalee Newitz
    The CIA's secret experiments to turn cats into spies Want to know what's going to happen to animals in the next century? Then you must read science journalist Emily Anthes' new book Frankenstein's Cat, about how the animals of tomorrow will be transformed by high tech implants and genetic engineering. We've got an amazing excerpt from the book -- about how the CIA tried to create cyborg cat spies. "Robo Revolution," an excerpt from Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts, by Emily Anthes In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited an unusual field agent: a cat....
  • The Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops - Don't believe the anti-biotech hype.

    02/25/2013 6:16:14 PM PST · by neverdem · 50 replies
    Reason ^ | February 22, 2013 | Ronald Bailey
    The Institute for Responsible Technology, an organization opposed to crop biotechnology, has published a list of reasons to avoid GMOs—that is, genetically modified food. It’s a mish-mash of misinformation and disinformation. All of the institute’s assertions are unfounded, but here are the five most dubious claims on the list. 1. GMOs Are UnhealthyEvery independent scientific body that has ever evaluated the safety of biotech crops has found them to be safe for humans to eat.Credit: Library of CongressA 2004 report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that “no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented...
  • Scientists trick iron-eating bacteria into breathing electrons instead

    01/31/2013 3:47:55 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | January 30, 2013 | NA
    Scientists have developed a way to grow iron-oxidizing bacteria using electricity instead of iron, an advance that will allow them to better study the organisms and could one day be used to turn electricity into fuel. The study will be published on January 29 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The method, called electrochemical cultivation, supplies these bacteria with a steady supply of electrons that the bacteria use to respire, or "breathe". It opens the possibility that one day electricity generated from renewable sources like wind or solar could be funneled to iron oxidizing...
  • Unlocking New Talents in Nature: Protein Engineers Create New Biocatalysts

    12/30/2012 1:17:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Dec. 20, 2012 | NA
    Protein engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have tapped into a hidden talent of one of nature's most versatile catalysts. The enzyme cytochrome P450 is nature's premier oxidation catalyst -- a protein that typically promotes reactions that add oxygen atoms to other chemicals. Now the Caltech researchers have engineered new versions of the enzyme, unlocking its ability to drive a completely different and synthetically useful reaction that does not take place in nature. The new biocatalysts can be used to make natural products -- such as hormones, pheromones, and insecticides -- as well as pharmaceutical drugs, like antibiotics,...
  • Maize cells produce enzyme-replacement drug: A genetic tweak keeps problematic plant sugars...

    09/19/2012 11:35:49 PM PDT · by neverdem
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 18 September 2012 | Monya Baker
    A genetic tweak keeps problematic plant sugars off therapeutic proteins. Growing crops is simpler and cheaper than culturing mammalian cells, which can harbour human pathogens and must be kept at precise temperatures and fed particular nutrients. But culturing mammalian cells is currently the only way to make some complex protein drugs. For example, the rare lysosomal storage disease mucopolysaccharidosis I is treated using enzyme-replacement therapy. The enzymes must be made in cells, and the high production costs mean that the drugs can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So Allison Kermode, a plant biologist at Simon Fraser University...
  • Two in one technique for biological imaging

    05/01/2012 5:14:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 24 April 2012 | Rebecca Brodie
    A UK based team has combined two methods into a new technique to investigate cell-substrate interactions in biomedical research.The new technique, correlative light-ion microscopy (CLIM), combines both ion and fluorescence microscopy to obtain topographical and biochemical information for the same area of a sample.The idea for the technique came to Molly Stevens and her colleagues at Imperial College London, when they observed unknown structures while conducting characterisation tests on human tissue samples. 'We realised that there was no simple and efficient method to correlate structural and biochemical information at the micro and nanoscale. Therefore, the only way forward was to...
  • Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

    04/28/2012 2:16:56 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    biologynews.net ^ | April 24, 2012 | NA
    Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses. Linköping researchers and their colleagues at the University Hospital in Zürich tested the luminescent conjugated polymers, or LCPs, on tissue sections from the brains of mice that had been infected with prions. The results show that the number of prions, as well as their toxicity and infectibility, decreased drastically. This is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate the possibility of...
  • New microbe turns sugary seaweed into fuel

    01/25/2012 7:49:44 PM PST · by neverdem · 30 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 19 January 2012 | Jon Evans
    It may be slimy, slippery and rather unpleasant, but seaweed actually has a surprisingly wide range of uses, being a common source of food, chemicals, medicines and cosmetics. It may soon also be a source of biofuel, thanks to an engineered microbe able to transform seaweed directly into ethanol. Seaweed has a number of important advantages over other biofuel feedstocks. Unlike maize and sugarcane, it isn't grown on fields that otherwise would be producing food and unlike wood and energy crops, such as switchgrass, it doesn't contain any lignin, which makes the sugar molecules in it much easier to release.  As a...
  • New synthetic molecules treat autoimmune disease in mice

    12/25/2011 11:25:41 AM PST · by decimon · 26 replies
    A team of Weizmann Institute scientists has turned the tables on an autoimmune disease. In such diseases, including Crohn's and rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's tissues. But the scientists managed to trick the immune systems of mice into targeting one of the body's players in autoimmune processes, an enzyme known as MMP9. The results of their research appear today in Nature Medicine. Prof. Irit Sagi of the Biological Regulation Department and her research group have spent years looking for ways to home in on and block members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzyme family. These proteins...
  • Rice seed yields blood protein - Human serum albumin from transgenic rice could ease...

    10/31/2011 10:52:08 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Nature News ^ | 31 October 2011 | Lauren Gravitz
    Human serum albumin from transgenic rice could ease shortages of donated blood. One can't squeeze blood from a turnip, but new research suggests that a bit of transgenic tweaking may make it possible to squeeze blood — or at least blood protein — from a grain of rice. In a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe rice seeds that can produce substantial quantities of a blood protein called human serum albumin, or HSA1. HSA is in high demand around the world, both for its role in drug and vaccine production and...
  • Among the Biotech Conventioneers - A dispatch on the value of failed drugs, new vaccines against...

    07/01/2011 10:36:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Reason ^ | June 28, 2011 | Ronald Bailey
    A dispatch on the value of failed drugs, new vaccines against superbugs, and the prospect of a molecular stethoscope. Fifteen thousand conventioneers are gathering this week at the Washington, D.C., convention center for the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention to talk science, deals, and policy. At such sprawling meeting, a reporter can only get glimpse of what is going on in this vast industry. But many of the most interesting sessions and conversations revolved around ways to insure that future medicines are better targeted, more personalized, and faster to market. The keynote talk by National Institutes of Health director Francis...
  • Online with the blink of an eye and other marvels in our future

    06/04/2011 9:42:48 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies · 2+ views
    LA Times ^ | 6/3/11 | Amina Khan
    The theoretical physicist and author of 'Physics of the Future' talks about how nanotechnology will change our lives.Will the future bring us the teleportation devices of "Star Trek" or the sinister machines of "The Matrix"? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku of the City College of New York says that many of the things that were once the domain of science fiction — cars that navigate rush-hour traffic on their own, wallpaper that can switch colors when you remodel, an elevator that takes you into outer space — are already here, or well on their way. His book "Physics of the Future,"...
  • Biotech Company to Patent Fuel-Secreting Bacterium

    09/15/2010 1:09:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 39 replies
    NY Times ^ | September 13, 2010 | MATTHEW L. WALD
    A biotech company plans to announce Tuesday that it has won a patent on a genetically altered bacterium that converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into ingredients of diesel fuel, a step that could provide a new pathway for making ethanol or a diesel replacement that skips several cumbersome and expensive steps in existing methods. The bacterium’s product, which it secretes like sweat, is a class of hydrocarbon molecules called alkanes that are chemically indistinguishable from the ones made in oil refineries. The organism can grow in bodies of water unfit for drinking or on land that is useless for farming,...
  • ANIMAL-HUMAN HYBRIDS BANNED IN SOME STATES (Humanzees?)

    06/04/2010 2:30:34 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 174 replies · 1,261+ views
    DiscoveryNews ^ | Fri Jun 4, 2010 | Eric Bland
    In the new movie "Splice," a human-animal hybrid terrorizes people. In real life, scientists argue mixing human and animal cells could save lives.Dren, the half-human, half-animal hybrid set to terrorize Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley in the new movie "Splice," is pure science fiction, but politicians across the country aren't taking any chances. In the last month Ohio and Arizona have both passed laws forbidding research of animal human hybrids. Proponents of the laws fear Dren-like creations and object morally to the combining human and animal cells. But scientists say the research could lead to cure for AIDS, immunize people...
  • Dental implants could be grown inside patients' mouths

    05/30/2010 11:00:39 PM PDT · by Natural Born 54 · 10 replies · 537+ views
    gizmag ^ | May 28, 2010 | Ben Coxworth
    Conventional dental implants are typically screwed into the patient’s jaw bone, require visits to several types of clinicians, take two to six months to heal, and are still subject to failure. Not exactly an ideal solution to missing teeth. A professor of dental medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, however, has devised a technique wherein implants could be grown in the empty tooth socket, right inside the patient’s mouth. Dr. Jeremy Mao started with a tooth-shaped scaffold made of microchannelled natural materials, infused with a growth factor. In an animal-model study, he placed that structure in a recipient’s empty tooth...
  • Natural artificial muscles

    05/06/2010 8:53:23 AM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies · 336+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 05 May 2010 | Mike Brown
    Scientists in Canada and the US have developed artificial proteins that mimic the elastic and mechanical properties of the muscle protein, titin. When cross-linked into biomaterials, these proteins are tough and stretchy just like muscle tissue, the researchers say.There has been intense research to develop synthetic elastomers that mimic muscle tissue for use in biomedical applications. However there are limitations in using these materials for implants as they cannot help with tissue repair or regeneration, and the artificial material can often be attacked by the immune system and rejected by the host's body. The development of artificial muscle tissue using proteins could...
  • Small nanoparticles bring big improvement to medical imaging

    11/22/2009 10:40:46 PM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies · 525+ views
    If you're watching the complex processes in a living cell, it is easy to miss something important—especially if you are watching changes that take a long time to unfold and require high-spatial-resolution imaging. But new research* makes it possible to scrutinize activities that occur over hours or even days inside cells, potentially solving many of the mysteries associated with molecular-scale events occurring in these tiny living things. A joint research team, working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has discovered a method of using nanoparticles to illuminate...
  • If you cant beat em match em, another 600 million bucks to Green Algae research and development.

    09/30/2009 6:37:49 PM PDT · by larry hagedon · 38 replies · 1,498+ views
    The New York Times ^ | July 13, 2009 | JAD MOUAWAD
    A month ago oil giant BP announced a 600 million dollar investment in green algae research. Exxon did not stand still for that. Now they are matching that with their own 600 million bucks. Green algae is a very versatile crop. You can literally and inexpensively make anything from Green Algae that you can make from petroleum or from corn. Hundreds of companies world wide are already hard at work building infrastructure; hundreds of thousands of jobs will result as the Bio Tech Age and the green algae technologies mature over the next few years. Our defense department is supporting...
  • Gates Foundation Sells Off Most Health-Care, Pharmaceutical Holdings

    08/15/2009 9:33:00 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 43 replies · 2,056+ views
    wsjmarkets ^ | AUGUST 14, 2009, 10:06 P.M. ET | JESSICA HODGSON
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday. The Seattle-based charity endowment, set up by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, sold its total holding of 2.5 million shares in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson in the quarter, according to the filing.
  • Teaching Kids to Kill Embryos - A New Generation of Stem Cell Workers

    07/31/2009 2:50:12 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 1 replies · 669+ views
    “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!” —President Ronald Reagan Life Legal Defense Foundation continues to watchdog the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and in doing so found the latest attempt to promulgate embryonic stem cell research by “educating” children. Let us introduce you to Senate Bill 471. Titled “The California Stem Cell and Biotechnology Education and Workforce Development Act of 2009,” the purpose of SB 471 is purportedly to train up a new generation of...
  • The First and Best Biotechnician

    03/26/2009 9:43:01 AM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 6 replies · 243+ views
    ICR ^ | March 26, 2009 | Brian Thomas, M.S.
    The First and Best Biotechnician by Brian Thomas, M.S.* Mankind’s attempts at bioengineering have yet to match the precision of some techniques already found in nature: cloning, tissue culturing, and gene therapy. Recent studies have explored how these processes operate in amoebas, aphids, and parasitic wasps, respectively...
  • U-M researcher's idea jells into potential new disease-detection method

    03/25/2009 11:33:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies · 364+ views
    Relying on principles similar to those that cause Jell-O to congeal into that familiar, wiggly treat, University of Michigan researchers are devising a new method of detecting nitric oxide in exhaled breath. Because elevated concentrations of nitric oxide in breath are a telltale sign of many diseases, including lung cancer and tuberculosis, this development could prove useful in diagnosing illness and monitoring the effects of treatment. Assistant professor of chemistry Anne McNeil and graduate student Jing Chen will discuss the work at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City, Utah. McNeil and Chen work with...
  • Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar

    12/26/2008 11:31:10 PM PST · by neverdem · 34 replies · 1,184+ views
    biologynews.net ^ | December 17, 2008 | NA
    In pursuing cleaner energy there is such a thing as being too green. Unicellular microalgae, for instance, can be considered too green. In a paper in a special energy issue of Optics Express, the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley describe a method for using microalgae for making biofuel. The researchers explain a way to genetically modify the tiny organisms, so as to minimize the number of chlorophyll molecules needed to harvest light without compromising the photosynthesis process in the cells. With this modification, instead of making more sugar molecules, the microalgae could be...
  • Novel bioreactor enhances interleukin-12 production in genetically modified tobacco plants

    12/14/2008 8:20:56 PM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies · 527+ views
    biologynews.net ^ | December 6, 2008 | NA
    Interleukin-12 is a naturally occurring protein essential for the proper functioning of the human immune system. Having either too much or too little interleukin-12 may play a role in the development of many diseases, including some cancers and auto-immune disorders like Crohn's, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In turn, modulating interleukin-12 levels could yield new therapies for those conditions. In an effort to create a new and cost-effective method for producing interleukin-12 and make more of the scarce protein available for research and therapeutic development, a team of scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center (WPI) and the...
  • Stomaching diabetes

    06/20/2008 9:38:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies · 217+ views
    Science News ^ | June 19th, 2008 | Patrick Barry
    A radical technique for treating diabetes could recruit cells in the gut to make insulin SAN DIEGO — If your pancreas fails you, go with your gut. Inserting a gene into gut cells in mice enabled those cells to take over the pancreas’s job, producing insulin after meals, according to unpublished research announced June 18 in San Diego at the Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention. The work may offer a novel way to treat diabetes. "This is the first time that we've engineered a tissue that is not the pancreas to manufacture insulin" in animals, says researcher Anthony Cheung, a...
  • Trash today, ethanol tomorrow

    03/11/2008 1:01:04 AM PDT · by neverdem · 28 replies · 727+ views
    University of Maryland research that started with bacteria from the Chesapeake Bay has led to a process that may be able to convert large volumes of all kinds of plant products, from leftover brewer’s mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline. That process, developed by University of Maryland professors Steve Hutcheson and Ron Weiner, is the foundation of their incubator company Zymetis, which was on view today in College Park for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and state and university officials. "The new Zymetis technology is a win for the State of Maryland, for the University...
  • Biotech Firm to Provide Alternatives to Vaccines Using Tissue From Abortions

    02/29/2008 5:27:34 PM PST · by wagglebee · 12 replies · 943+ views
    Life News ^ | 2/29/08 | Steven Ertelt
    Seattle, WA (LifeNews.com) -- A biotech firm has announced it will offer ethical alternatives to some of the vaccines that currently rely on the use of fetal tissue form abortions. The Seattle-based AVM Biotechnology says it will produce ethical alternatives in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccine development. The news gives hope to pro-life people who have been reluctant to use some vaccines because their development came as a result of the destruction of unborn children. “We will be working to bring commercially available, morally acceptable, vaccines to the US market and to use existing technology to produce new...
  • How brave a new world?

    09/02/2007 7:40:39 PM PDT · by monomaniac · 5 replies · 685+ views
    Mercator.net ^ | Friday, 31 August 2007 | Leon R. Kass
    Leon R. Kass | Friday, 31 August 2007 How brave a new world? There is nothing "brave" or beautiful about the biotechnised world we are entering, says one of America's best-known bioethicists. This is a commencement speech made by Dr Leon Kass at St John's College, in Annapolis, Maryland, earlier this year. Dr Kass, a physician and philosopher, was the chairman of the President's Council for Bioethics from 2002 to 2005. He teaches at the University of Chicago. Surveying the world you graduates are about to enter, I am reminded of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting...
  • Dutch try to grow enviro-friendly meat in lab

    06/01/2007 3:06:04 PM PDT · by Pilsner · 16 replies · 576+ views
    Reuters ^ | Fri Jun 1, 2007 | Reed Stevenson
    UTRECHT, The Netherlands (Reuters) - Dutch researchers are trying to grow pork meat in a laboratory with the goal of feeding millions without the need to raise and slaughter animals. ... But it will take years before meat grown in labs and eventually factories reaches supermarket shelves. And so far, Roelen and his team have managed to grow only thin layers of cells that bear no resemblance to pork chops. Under the process, researchers first isolate muscle stem cells, which have the ability to grow and multiply into muscle cells. Then they stimulate the cells to develop, give them nutrients...
  • Biotechnology Solves Debate Over Origin Of European Potato

    05/18/2007 3:48:45 PM PDT · by blam · 53 replies · 1,644+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 5-16-2007 | American Society of Agron
    Source: American Society of Agronomy Date: May 16, 2007 Biotechnology Solves Debate Over Origin Of European Potato Science Daily — Molecular studies recently revealed new genetic information concerning the long-disputed origin of the "European potato." Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of La Laguna, and the International Potato Center used genetic markers to prove that the remnants of the earliest known landraces of the European potato are of Andean and Chilean origin. They report their findings in the May-June 2007 issue of Crop Science. Americans each eat about 140 pounds of potatoes a year in fresh and processed...
  • Senate Deciding Whether to Kill Humans; Waste Taxpayer Dollars

    04/09/2007 9:47:59 PM PDT · by Phil Magnan · 5 replies · 481+ views
    Christian Newswire ^ | 04/09/07 | Phil Magnan
    Senate Deciding Whether to Kill Humans; Waste Taxpayer Dollars Contact: Phil Magnan, Director, Biblical Family Advocates, 011-36-1-246-2587, phil@bfamilyadvocates.com BUDAPEST, Hungary, Apr. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to a recent article written by Steven Ertelt of Lifenews.com, Senate Will Debate Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding April 10, the Senate has "scheduled a debate and vote on a bill that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research." The article continued by saying, "The main bill, S. 5, is legislation that would mandate federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem...
  • The Human Difference

    12/30/2006 2:07:36 PM PST · by neverdem · 15 replies · 569+ views
    Commentary ^ | December 2006 | Eric Cohen
    In the contest for oddest pronouncement in a State of the Union address, high marks should go to President Bush’s call last January for a national ban on “creating human-animal hybrids.” Fortunately, the modern biotech laboratory does not yet resemble H.G. Wells’s island of Dr. Moreau, that fictional place where an exiled scientist blends man and beast by vivisection. Not even our most skillful, least scrupulous genetic engineers can manufacture humanzees to provide spare parts or serve as semi-skilled labor. We are not yet so talented or so depraved. Yet the President’s call to action did not come out of...
  • Silicon retina mimics biology for a clearer view

    10/23/2006 5:51:25 PM PDT · by annie laurie · 12 replies · 572+ views
    NewScientistTech ^ | 20 October 2006 | Tom Simonite
    A silicon chip that faithfully mimics the neural circuitry of a real retina could lead to better bionic eyes for those with vision loss, researchers claim. About 700,000 people in the developed world are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration each year, and 1.5 million people worldwide suffer from a disease called retinitis pigmentosa. In both of these diseases, retinal cells, which convert light into nerve impulses at the back of the eye, gradually die. Most artificial retinas connect an external camera to an implant behind the eye via a computer (see 'Bionic' eye may help reverse blindness). The new silicon...
  • Piloting a wheelchair with the power of the mind

    10/19/2006 7:13:23 PM PDT · by annie laurie · 16 replies · 503+ views
    Technology Review ^ | October 18, 2006 | Emily Singer
    Recent successful tests of neural prosthetics bring the devices closer to widespread use. Paralyzed patients dream of the day when they can once again move their limbs. That dream is making its way to becoming a reality, thanks to a neural implant created by John Donoghue and colleagues at Brown University and Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems. In 2004, Matthew Nagle, who is paralyzed due to a spinal-cord injury, became the first person to test the device, which translated his brain activity into action (see "Implanting Hope," March 2005, and "Brain Chips Give Paralyzed Patients New Powers"). Nagle's experience with the prosthetic...