By decoding the genomes of more than 1,000 people whose homelands stretch from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, scientists have compiled the largest and most detailed catalog yet of human genetic variation. The massive resource will help medical researchers find the genetic roots of rare and common diseases in populations worldwide.
A research team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a model for making quantifiable predictions of how a group of cells will react and change in response to a given environment or stimulus - and how quickly. The NIST model, in principle, makes it possible to assign reliable numbers to the complex evolution of a population of cells, a critical capability for efficient biomanufacturing as well as for the safety of stem cell-based therapies, among other applications.
Scaling up the production of biofuels made from algae to meet at least 5 percent -- approximately 39 billion liters -- of U.S. transportation fuel needs would place unsustainable demands on energy, water, and nutrients, says a new report from the National Research Council.
Using the size of guard cells in fossil plants to predict how much DNA each cell contained (the genome size), researchers have discovered that variations in genome sizes over geological time correlate with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Global environmental watchdog Greenpeace launched a new report Monday warning the European Union against authorising herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops, saying they would lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds.
Like job-seekers searching for a new position, living things sometimes have to pick up a new skill if they are going to succeed. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Uppsala University, Sweden, have shown for the first time how living organisms do this.
ETH-researchers demonstrate how vaccinia virus manipulates the cellular waste-disposal system and thereby cleverly tricks the cell into assisting the intruders replication. Now, the virologists have turned the tables, using inhibitors of this cellular waste-disposal system as a way to block virus infection.
Researchers from North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new technique that uses sound waves to rapidly separate selected collections of cells for use in biomedical research.
The detection of specific DNA sequences is central to the identification of disease-causing pathogens and genetic diseases, as well as other activities. But current detection technologies require amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), fluorescent or enzymatic labels, and expensive instrumentation.
By mimicking nature's own sensing mechanisms, bioengineers at UC Santa Barbara and University of Rome Tor Vergata have designed inexpensive medical diagnostic tests that take only a few minutes to perform.
Biomass recalcitrance - the problem of how to break down complex plant-based cellulosic feedstock into sugars that can be fermented to produce sustainable biofuels and other renewable biobased products - can be overcome through improved methods of biomass characterization.