Researchers have tried for decades to understand the undulations and gyrations that allow transport proteins to shuttle molecules from one side of a cell membrane to the other. Now scientists report that they have found a way to penetrate the mystery. They have worked out every step in the molecular dance that enables one such transporter to do its job.
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance, reported by Columbia University Medical Center researchers, has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation.
The 'Biotechnology for Africa's sustainable water supply' project provided know-how and best practices to target countries for the sustainable management of polluted water resources using green plants and microorganisms to detoxify contaminated water, soils, sediments and sludge.
The EU-funded TENDON REGENERATION project is a collaboration between industry and academia working to develop a 3D scaffold that mimics natural tendons in order to promote tendon healing. Scientists will design and develop fibrous composites of collagen-resilin in a 3D construct to match the properties of tendons and enhance the tendon regeneration process.
Scientists report on a new technique that allowed them to extract a photosynthetic megacomplex consisting of light antenna and two reaction centers from the membrane of a cynaobacterium. This is the first time an entire complex has been isolated and studied as a functioning whole.
Researchers working to create 'protocells' - primitive synthetic cells consisting of a nucleic acid strand encased within a membrane-bound compartment - have found a solution to what could have been a critical problem, the potential incompatibility between a chemical requirement of RNA copying and the stability of the protocell membrane.
While marine microorganisms have long been identified as an untapped resource of biotechnological potential, their exploitation has been hampered by the difficulty and expense of isolating their valuable novel chemicals and molecules. This is a wasted opportunity, and is something that the MaCuMBA project aims to rectify.
Researchers have long wondered what allows blood stem cells to persist for decades, when their progeny last for days, weeks or months before they need to be replaced. Now, a study from the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered one of the mechanisms that allow these stem cells to keep dividing in perpetuity.
Biotechnologists have constructed a genetic regulatory circuit from human components that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signalizes satiety to the body. Tests on obese mice reveal that this helps them to lose weight.
Viruses are as simple as they are 'smart': too elementary to be able to reproduce by themselves, they exploit the reproductive machinery of cells, by inserting pieces of their own DNA so that it is transcribed by the host cell. To do this, they first have to inject their own genetic material into the cells they infect. Researchers have studied how this occurs and how long it takes for this process to be completed.
Scientists have glimpsed key chemical events, known as redox reactions, inside living cells of fast-growing Synechococcus. The work marks the first time that redox activity, a very fast regulatory network involved in all major aspects of a cell's operation, has been observed in specific proteins within living cells. The findings hone scientists' control over a common tool in the biofuels toolbox - a microbe that supplies some of the oxygen you breathe.
Like automobiles, ribosomes must pass through 'quality control' after their many components are assembled. Scientists investigated an important component in this control process. The researchers demonstrated that a specific protein, which occurs in all cells from yeast to humans, works like a molecular control switch and prevents incomplete ribosomes from leaving the 'assembly hall'.