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DNA: how to unravel the tangle

A chromosome is rarely found in the shape we are used to seeing in biology books, that is to say the typical double rod shape. It is usually 'diluted' in the nucleus and creates a bundle that under the microscope appears as a messy tangle. A research coordinated by the scientists at SISSA of Trieste has now developed and studied a numeric model of the chromosome that supports the experimental data and provides a hypothesis on the bundle's function.

Posted: Mar 29th, 2013

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Biological transistor enables computing within living cells

A team of Stanford University bioengineers has taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology. They detail a biological transistor made from genetic material - DNA and RNA - in place of gears or electrons. The team calls its biological transistor the 'transcriptor'.

Posted: Mar 28th, 2013

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Researchers show stem cell fate depends on 'grip'

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has generated new insight on how a stem cell's environment influences what type of cell a stem cell will become. They have shown that whether human mesenchymal stem cells turn into fat or bone cells depends partially on how well they can "grip" the material they are growing in.

Posted: Mar 28th, 2013

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The first caffeine-'addicted' bacteria

Some people may joke about living on caffeine, but scientists now have genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to do that - literally. They describe bacteria being 'addicted' to caffeine in a way that promises practical uses ranging from decontamination of wastewater to bioproduction of medications for asthma.

Posted: Mar 27th, 2013

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Proteins in detail

Researchers with the joint program between IRB Barcelona and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) have devised a new strategy to study the shape of proteins.

Posted: Mar 27th, 2013

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