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Upgrading synthetic biology's toolkit

A new method could significantly increase the number of genetic components in synthetic biologists? toolkit and, as a result, the size and complexity of the genetic circuits they can build.

Aug 17th, 2012

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Writing the book in DNA

Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a Harvard geneticist encodes his book in life's language.

Aug 17th, 2012

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A GPS in your DNA

While your DNA is unique, it also tells the tale of your family line. It carries the genetic history of your ancestors down through the generations. Now, says a Tel Aviv University researcher, it's also possible to use it as a map to your family's past.

Aug 16th, 2012

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Launching a 'social networking war' against cancer

Experts agree that, more than ever before, modern wars will be fought in the cyber zone, targeting an enemy's communications technology to cause untold damage. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher is suggesting that the same tactics should be employed in the battle against one of the body's deadliest enemies - cancer.

Aug 14th, 2012

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Computer models calculate systems-wide costs of gene expression

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method of modeling, simultaneously, an organism's metabolism and its underlying gene expression. In the emerging field of systems biology, scientists model cellular behavior in order to understand how processes such as metabolism and gene expression relate to one another and bring about certain characteristics in the larger organism.

Aug 8th, 2012

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Using millions of years of cell evolution in the fight against cancer

Georgia Tech researchers are focusing on ways to fight cancer by attacking defective genes before they are able to make proteins. John McDonald is studying micro RNAs (miRNAs), a class of small RNAs that interact with messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that have been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer. McDonald's lab placed two different miRNAs (MiR-7 and MiR-128) into ovarian cancer cells and watched how they affected the gene system.

Aug 7th, 2012

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New technology eliminates plant toxins

A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a method to hinder unwanted toxins from entering the edible parts of plants such as the oilseed rape, which will make it suitable for animal feed.

Aug 5th, 2012

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Getting to the root - unearthing the plant-microbe quid pro quo

The microbial community or microbiome that inhabits the rhizosphere and endosphere - the niches immediately surrounding and inside a plant's root?facilitates the shuttling of nutrients and information into and out of the roots within the soil matrix. These underground microbial activities have not received as much attention as the effort to characterize the role of the microbial populations inside and on the surfaces of humans, but this is now changing owing to a recent publication.

Aug 1st, 2012

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How does nanotechnology work?