Over 20 million people in Europe suffer from osteoarthritis which can lead to extensive damage to the knee and hip cartilage. Stem cells offer a promising way forward but a key challenge has been to design a 'smart material' that is biologically effective for cartilage tissue regeneration. Now researchers have identified a blend of naturally occurring fibers such as cellulose and silk that makes progress towards affordable and effective cell-based therapy for cartilage repair a step closer.
Duke University biomedical engineers have grown three-dimensional human heart muscle that acts just like natural tissue. This advancement could be important in treating heart attack patients or in serving as a platform for testing new heart disease medicines.
A collaboration between the DOE JGI, Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) and the University of Washington has resulted in an improved workflow for genome assembly that the team describes as a fully automated process from DNA sample preparation to the determination of the finished genome.
A UW-Madison research group has converted skin cells from people and monkeys into a cell that can form a wide variety of nervous-system cells - without passing through the do-it-all stage called the induced pluripotent stem cell, or iPSC.
New discoveries of the way plants transport important substances across their biological membranes to resist toxic metals and pests, increase salt and drought tolerance, control water loss and store sugar can have profound implications for increasing the supply of food and energy for our rapidly growing global population.
A mechanism that permits essential substances to enter our cells while at the same time removing from them harmful components also has a 'down side'. This negative aspect prevents vital drugs, such as anti-cancer drugs, from achieving their designed functions, while also enabling bacterial cells to develop resistance to penetration of antibiotics.
The number of private and public entities conducting research in synthetic biology worldwide grew significantly between 2009 and 2013, according to the latest version of an interactive map produced by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
For the first time, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to obtain detailed images of the way in which the transport protein GLUT transports sugars into cells. Since tumours are highly dependent on the transportation of nutrients in order to be able to grow rapidly, the researchers are hoping that the study will form the basis for new strategies to fight cancer cells.
Enzymes could break down cell walls faster - leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation - if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests.
The protein C4BP is similar to a spider in its spatial form with eight 'arms'. The structure of the 'spider body' leads scientists to unconventional ideas - the protein is possibly suitable as a scaffold for the transport of active pharmaceutical substances, particularly biomolecules.
A team of scientists has conducted a study on plants (Arabidopsis) that shows that the site of action of the repression of target gene expression occurs on the endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle that is an interconnected network of membranes - essentially, flattened sacs and branching tubules - that extends like a flat balloon throughout the cytoplasm in plant and animal cells.