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Biotechnology News

The latest news about biotechnologies, biomechanics
synthetic biology, genomics, biomediacl engineering...

Engineering plants for biofuels

With increasing demands for sustainable energy, being able to cost-efficiently produce biofuels from plant biomass is more important than ever. However, lignin and hemicelluloses present in certain plants mean that they cannot be easily converted into biofuels. A recent study appears to have solved this problem, using gene manipulation techniques to engineer plants that can be more easily broken down into biofuels.

Posted: Nov 26th, 2012

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Using computational biology for the annotation of proteins

Scientists in Spain employed computational techniques to improve the characterization of proteins. The system they developed has allowed them to predict, for example, the relationship between two human proteins and telomeres, which led to their possible implication in cellular aging and the development of cancer; this awaits experimental verification.

Posted: Nov 26th, 2012

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Analysing spider venom

A European project investigated the effect of brown spider venom on the structure and biophysical properties of cellular membranes. By using state-of-the-art fluorescent techniques, scientists succeeded in directly visualising venom-induced changes in cells.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2012

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Scientists describe elusive replication machinery of flu viruses

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a major advance in understanding how flu viruses replicate within infected cells. The researchers used cutting-edge molecular biology and electron-microscopy techniques to "see" one of influenza's essential protein complexes in unprecedented detail.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2012

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Rapeseed oil gets biotech boost

In an experiment performed on oilseed rape, scientists use RNAi suppression as a tool to switch off the enzyme responsible for oil breakdown, specifically for the duration of seed development. This results in the accumulation of around 8% more oil in the seed.

Posted: Nov 25th, 2012

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Biomedical engineering: technology that drives medical advances

Systems to improve patient rehabilitation, methods that help detect diseases, and smart biomaterials for optimising treatments - scientific advances in the field of biomedical engineering are unstoppable. A number of leading UPC teams are carrying out research aimed at harnessing technology to improve people's health.

Posted: Nov 22nd, 2012

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Antibiotics: The plastic approach

Our antibiotic armory is set to benefit from the development of short-chain synthetic polymers with potent efficacy against multidrug-resistant microbes.

Posted: Nov 21st, 2012

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Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice

Scientists have engineered bacteria that are capable of sacrificing themselves for the good of the bacterial population. These altruistically inclined bacteria can be used to demonstrate the conditions where programmed cell death becomes a distinct advantage for the survival of the bacterial population.

Posted: Nov 20th, 2012

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Algae can draw energy from other plants

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that a plant, the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, not only engages in photosynthesis, but also has an alternative source of energy: it can draw it from other plants. This finding could also have a major impact on the future of bioenergy.

Posted: Nov 20th, 2012

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