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A molecular toolkit for gene silencing

Researchers managed to overcome remaining key limitations of RNA interference (RNAi) - a unique method to specifically shut off genes. By using an optimized design, the scientists were able to inhibit genes with greatly enhanced efficiency and accuracy.

Posted: Dec 13th, 2013

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New way to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria: Target human cells instead

As more reports appear of a grim 'post-antibiotic era' ushered in by the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, a new strategy for fighting infection is emerging that targets a patient's cells rather than those of the invading pathogens. The technique interferes with the way that the pathogens take over a patient's cells to cause infection.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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Unusual fungal metabolites with antitumor activity discovered by crowdsourcing

Since the discovery of penicillin, fungi have been a nearly inexhaustible source for the discovery of new drugs. 'Crowdsourcing', the cooperation of a large number of interested nonscientists, has helped to find a new fungus from which American researchers have now isolated and characterized an unusual metabolite with interesting antitumor activity.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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Precise docking sites for cells

The Petri dish is a classical biological laboratory device, but it is no ideal living environment for many types of cells. Studies lose validity, as cell behavior on a flat plastic surface differs from that in branched lung tissue, for example. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have now presented a method to make three-dimensional structures attractive or repellent for certain types of cells.

Posted: Dec 11th, 2013

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