Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Biotechnology and Bioengineering News -- ScienceDaily Biotechnology and bioengineering research news.

  • Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Today's soybeans are typically golden yellow, with a tiny blackish mark where they attach to the pod. In a field of millions of beans, nearly all of them will have this look. Occasionally, however, a bean will turn up half-black, with a saddle pattern similar to a black-eyed pea. New research indicates why. […]

  • DNA delivery technology joins battle against drug-resistant bacteria
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    A new DNA delivery technology has been developed to fight drug-resistant bacteria, report investigators. […]

  • E. coli bacteria's defense secret revealed
    on June 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    By tagging a cell's proteins with fluorescent beacons, researchers have found out how E. coli bacteria defend themselves against antibiotics and other poisons. Probably not good news for the bacteria. […]

  • Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs
    on June 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    An extremely safe and practical biocontainment strategy has been born. It is cost and time effective. Additionally, its simplicity means it can be adapted for other microorganisms, making it highly versatile. […]

  • Bio-based p-xylene oxidation into terephthalic acid by engineered E. coli
    on June 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Researchers have established an efficient biocatalytic system to produce terephthalic acid (TPA) from p-xylene (pX). It will allow this industrially important bulk chemical to be made available in a more environmentally-friendly manner. […]

  • Remembrance of things past: Bacterial memory of gut inflammation
    on May 29, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    A team of scientists has designed a powerful bacterial sensor with a stable gene circuit in a colonizing bacterial strain that can record gut inflammation for six months in mice. This study offers a solution to previous challenges associated with living diagnostics and may bring them closer to use in human patients. […]

  • Scientists borrow from electronics to build circuits in living cells
    on May 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Synthetic biology researchers have demonstrated a new method for digital information processing in living cells, analogous to the logic gates used in electric circuits. The circuits are the largest ever published to date in eurkaryotic cells and a key step in harnessing the potential of cells as living computers that can respond to disease, efficiently produce biofuels or develop plant-based chemicals. […]

  • Dual-channel biological function generator
    on May 8, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Bioengineers who specialize in creating tools for synthetic biology have unveiled the latest version of their 'biofunction generator and bioscilloscope,' an optogenetic platform that uses light to activate and study two biological circuits at a time. […]

  • Scientists engineer baker's yeast to produce penicillin molecules
    on May 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Scientists have inserted fungus genes into a yeast cell to make it produce penicillin molecules. In laboratory experiments, they were able to demonstrate that this yeast had antibacterial properties against streptococcus bacteria. […]

  • First EPA-approved outdoor field trial for genetically engineered algae
    on May 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Scientists have successfully completed the first outdoor field trial sanctioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency for genetically engineered algae. The researchers tested a genetically engineered strain of algae in outdoor ponds under real-world conditions. The researchers conclude that genetically engineered algae can be successfully cultivated outdoors while maintaining engineered traits, and, most importantly, without adversely impacting native algae populations. […]

  • New capabilities for genome-wide engineering of yeast
    on May 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Researchers describe how their successful integration of several cutting-edge technologies -- creation of standardized genetic components, implementation of customizable genome editing tools, and large-scale automation of molecular biology laboratory tasks -- will enhance our ability to work with yeast. The results of their new method demonstrate its potential to produce valuable novel strains of yeast for industrial use, as well as to reveal a more sophisticated understanding of the yeast genome. […]

  • Insights to redirect leading HIV cure strategy
    on May 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    New research has provided the first evidence that viruses and hosts share highly similar regulatory sequences in their promoters -- the initiation sequences of human genes that code for functional proteins. […]

  • Protein 'spy' gains new abilities
    on April 27, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    A method to rapidly trigger the universal tagging of proteins being produced by a cell has now been discovered by researchers. The tagging can be turned on like a switch, which enables researchers to acquire a snapshot of proteins being produced by a cell at a given time. […]

  • New tools visualize where bacterial species live in the gut, control their activity
    on April 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    It is now possible to simultaneously visualize multiple bacterial strains in the gut by making them express unique combinations of fluorescent proteins. This approach allowed the researchers to pinpoint the location of the bacteria in the gut based on the rainbow of colors they emitted. Additionally, these tools also allowed precise control of the activity of bacterial genes in real time and in specific locations. […]

  • New tool can help estimate genetically modified pollen spread
    on April 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Food purists may have cause to celebrate thanks to a recent international study. The study, which evaluated the spread of genetically modified (GM) organisms to non-modified crops, has implications from farm to family. […]

  • Synthetic biologists engineer inflammation-sensing gut bacteria
    on April 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Synthetic biologists have engineered gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis in mice. The research points the way to new experiments for studying how gut bacteria and human hosts interact at a molecular level and could eventually lead to orally ingestible bacteria for monitoring gut health and disease. […]

  • How to hack a cell
    on April 5, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    A new study outlines a new simplified platform to target and program mammalian cells as genetic circuits, even complex ones, more quickly and efficiently. […]

  • Scientists engineer sugarcane to produce biodiesel, more sugar for ethanol
    on April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    A multi-institutional team has proven sugarcane can be genetically engineered to produce oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. Surprisingly, the modified sugarcane plants also produced more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production. […]

  • Discovery of a new regulatory protein provides new tool for stem cell engineering
    on March 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Bioengineers have discovered a protein that regulates the switch of embryonic stem cells from the least developed 'naïve' state to the more developed 'primed' state. This discovery sheds light on stem cell development at a molecular level. […]

  • A molecular on/off switch for CRISPR
    on March 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Scientists now reveal how viruses disable bacterial immune systems. For many bacteria, one line of defense against viral infection is a sophisticated RNA-guided "immune system" called CRISPR-Cas. At the center of this system is a surveillance complex that recognizes viral DNA and triggers its destruction. However, viruses can strike back and disable this surveillance complex using "anti-CRISPR" proteins, though no one has figured out exactly how these anti-CRISPRs work -- until now. […]

  • Scientists reveal hidden structures in bacterial DNA
    on March 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Researchers have described the 3D structure of the genome in the extremely small bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. They discovered previously unknown arrangements of DNA within this tiny bacteria, which are also found in larger cells. Their findings suggest that this type of organization is a universal feature of living cells. […]

  • Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves
    on March 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Researchers face a fundamental challenge as they seek to scale up human tissue regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues and organs: how to establish a vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. Researchers have now successfully turned to plants, culturing beating human heart cells on spinach leaves that were stripped of plant cells. […]

  • Outwitting climate change with a plant 'dimmer'?
    on March 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Plants possess molecular mechanisms that prevent them from blooming in winter. Once the cold of winter has passed, they are deactivated. However, if it is still too cold in spring, plants adapt their blooming behavior accordingly. Scientists have discovered genetic changes for this adaptive behavior. In light of the temperature changes resulting from climate change, this may come in useful for securing the production of food in the future. […]

  • A new tool for genetically engineering the oldest branch of life
    on March 8, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    A new study has documented the use of CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in the third domain of life, Archaea, for the first time. Their groundbreaking work has the potential to vastly accelerate future studies of these organisms, with implications for research including global climate change. […]

  • Nature can beat back scientific tinkering with genes of entire species
    on March 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Scientists have revealed daunting challenges to changing the DNA of entire populations of species via the most promising techniques available today to produce 'gene drive.' […]

  • Powerful optical imaging technology catches DNA naturally fluorescing
    on February 17, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce. The tool enables researchers to study individual biomolecules (DNA, chromatin, proteins) as well as important global patterns of gene expression, which could yield insights into cancer. […]

  • Modifying fat content in soybean oil with the molecular scissors Cpf1
    on February 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Successful inactivation of two genes in soybean using CRISPR-Cpf1. […]

  • Bacteria fed synthetic iron-containing molecules turn into electrical generators
    on February 9, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    The bacterial world is rife with unusual talents, among them a knack for producing electricity. In the wild, 'electrogenic' bacteria generate current as part of their metabolism, and now researchers have found a way to confer that ability upon non-electrogenic bacteria. This technique could have applications for sustainable electricity generation and wastewater treatment. […]

  • Genetically modified insects could disrupt international food trade
    on February 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Genetically modified organisms for pest control could end up as contaminants in agricultural products throughout the globe. […]

  • Researchers explore essential cell behavior with crystal sensor
    on January 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    A team of scientists has developed a new tool to monitor under a microscope how cells attach to an adjacent substrate. Studying adhesion events can help researchers understand how tissues grow, how diseases spread, and how stem cells differentiate into more specific cell types. […]