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Transcription factors: function follows form

Clay can be used in various forms for a range of objects such as cups, plates or bricks. Similarly, proteins can transform their structure and thus adapt their function and activity. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have analysed proteins for such modifications that control gene activity, so-called transcription factors.

Oct 17th, 2013

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New 3D method used to grow miniature pancreas

An international team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen have successfully developed an innovative 3D method to grow miniature pancreas from progenitor cells. The future goal is to use this model to help in the fight against diabetes.

Oct 15th, 2013

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Printable biotechnology

Cells, biological circuits, and individual biomolecules organize themselves and interact with the environment. Use of these capabilities in flexible and economically efficient biotechnological production systems is in the focus of the 'Molecular Interaction Engineering' project. It is the objective to develop printed biological circuits and catalysts for biologico-technical hybrid systems.

Oct 14th, 2013

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Genetically modified tobacco plants are viable as raw material for biofuels

In her PhD thesis Ruth Sanz-Barrio, an agricultural engineer, has demonstrated, for the first time, the viability of using specific tobacco proteins (known as thioredoxins) as biotechnological tools in plants. Specifically, she has managed to increase the amount of starch produced in the tobacco leaves by 700% and fermentable sugars by 500%.

Oct 14th, 2013

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Packaging stem cells in capsules for heart therapy

In many studies of stem cell therapy for heart disease, most of the cells wash away in the first hour. Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech encapsulate mesenchymal stem cells in alginate so that the cells stay alive and in the heart. In rats, the capsules promote healing after a heart attack. Alginate has several biomedical uses already so the path to translation looks good.

Oct 11th, 2013

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Salt-tolerant bacteria improve crop yields

Uzbek microbiologist Dilfuza Egamberdieva hopes to apply her new agricultural technique soon in Uzbekistan to boost the yield of economically important crops such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber.

Oct 7th, 2013

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How does nanotechnology work?