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Synthetic biology dialogue - Impacts

BBSRC, with input from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has published a document outlining the impacts that their 2010 'Synthetic Biology Dialogue' has had in informing continued discussions around synthetic biology.

May 15th, 2013

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Reversing paralysis with a restorative gel

A team of Tel Aviv University researchers, led by Dr. Shimon Rochkind and Prof. Zvi Nevo, has invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves using a biodegradable implant along with a newly-developed gel that increases nerve growth and healing, ultimately restoring function to a torn or damaged nerve. The therapy is only a few years away from clinical use, say the researchers.

May 13th, 2013

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How much a single cell breathes

How active a living cell is can be seen by its oxygen consumption. The method for determining this consumption has now been significantly improved by chemists in Bochum.

May 13th, 2013

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A trick to fold proteins more quickly

A team of researchers of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste and of University of Cambridge have devised a method to reduce the time used to simulate how proteins take on their signature three-dimensional shape. Such important information to comprehend their function is usually obtained using often very costly experimental techniques.

May 8th, 2013

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Silk and cellulose biologically effective for use in stem cell cartilage repair

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.

May 7th, 2013

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Biomedical engineers build a living patch for damaged hearts

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.

May 6th, 2013

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A new cost-effective genome assembly process

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.

May 5th, 2013

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