Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a computer model of a protein that helps cells interact with their surroundings. Like its biological counterpart, the virtual integrin snippet is about twenty nanometers long. It also responds to changes in energy and other stimuli just as integrins do in real life. The result is a new way to explore how the protein connects a cell's inner and outer environments.
Rapidly growing trees like poplars and willows are candidate "biofuel crops" from which it is expected that cellulosic ethanol and higher energy content fuels can be efficiently extracted. Domesticating these crops requires a deep understanding of tree physiology and genetics.
Research conducted in fruit flies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has pinpointed a specific DNA sequence that both triggers the formation of the "histone locus body" and turns on all the histone genes in the entire block.
The road signs that direct traffic on the highways - collectively known as the cytoskeleton - are a mystery, and now the subject of research for Lee Ligon, associate professor of biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey's skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein.
The researchers will be able to work closely together on projects in the field of regenerative medicine, an area with a promising future. The aim is to use the strategy of marine animals to develop novel bio-inspired bone replacement materials and medications to ameliorate osteoporosis.
An unprecedented collaboration among academia, industry, government and civil society has resulted in the launch of a professional-grade collection of public domain DNA parts that greatly increases the reliability and precision by which biology can be engineered.
Predictability is often used synonymously with "boring", as in that story or that outcome was soooo predictable. For practioners of synthetic biology seeking to engineer valuable new microbes, however, predictability is the brass ring that must be captured. Researchers with the multi-institutional partnership known as BIOFAB have become the first to grab at least a portion of this ring by unveiling a package of public domain DNA sequences and statistical models that greatly increase the reliability and precision by which biological systems can be engineered.
AMSilk, a spin-off of the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), has produced the world's first artificial silk fiber that is entirely made of recombinant spider silk proteins. The fiber's tensile strength is comparable to that of natural spider silk, which led to the name Biosteel.