Biotechnology and Bioengineering

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

  • Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation
    on January 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    In a scientific first, researchers have turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process. […]

  • Biologists create toolkit for tuning genetic circuits
    on January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Scientists have created a toolkit for synthetic biologists who need to precisely tune the input and output levels of genetic circuits. […]

  • One-step production of aromatic polyesters by E. coli strains
    on January 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Systems metabolic engineers defined a novel strategy for microbial aromatic polyesters production fused with synthetic biology from renewable biomass. The team produced aromatic polyesters from Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains by applying microbial fermentation, employing direct microbial fermentation from renewable feedstock carbohydrates. […]

  • Engineers hack cell biology to create 3-D shapes from living tissue
    on December 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Many of the complex folded shapes that form mammalian tissues can be explained with very simple instructions, bioengineers report. By patterning mechanically active mouse or human cells to thin layers of extracellular fibers, the researchers could create bowls, coils, and ripples out of living tissue. The cells collaborated mechanically through a web of these fibers to fold themselves up in predictable ways, mimicking natural developmental stages. […]

  • First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control
    on December 14, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Researchers successfully constructed a first-of-its-kind chemical oscillator that uses DNA components. DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors. […]

  • Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves
    on December 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Scientists have created computationally designed protein assemblies, that display some functions normally associated with living things, in the search for ways to transport therapeutic cargo into specific types of cells without using viruses as vehicles. These encapsulate their own RNA genomes and evolve new traits in complex environments. They are synthetic versions of the protein shells that viruses use to protect and deliver materials. The synthetic proteins evolved better RNA packaging, resistance against degrading enzymes in blood and longer circulation time. […]

  • Bacteria development marks new era in cellular design
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Scientists have built a miniature scaffold inside bacteria that can be used to bolster cellular productivity, with implications for the next generation of biofuel production. Because there is a growing need for agricultural or renewable production of biofuels and other commodity chemicals to move away from fossil fuels, scientists have long sought to enhance the internal organization of bacteria and improve the efficiency of the cells for making nutrients, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. […]

  • Algae could feed and fuel planet with aid of new high-tech tool
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Vast quantities of medicines and renewable fuels could be produced by algae using a new gene-editing technique, a study suggests. […]

  • CRISPR-Cas9 technique targeting epigenetics reverses disease in mice
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Scientists report a modified CRISPR-Cas9 technique that alters the activity, rather than the underlying sequence, of disease-associated genes. The researchers demonstrate that this technique can be used in mice to treat several different diseases. […]

  • Refrigeration technology to maintain cold-stored mouse sperm viability for 10 days
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    A research team has succeeded in developing a refrigeration preservation technology that maintains the fertilization functionality of mouse sperm for 10 days. Previously, the maximum freezing period was limited to three days, but by extending the preservation period by over three times that amount, it is now possible to send sperm of genetically modified mice to research organizations around the world. […]

  • Teaching life a new trick: Bacteria make boron-carbon bonds
    on November 29, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    For the first time, scientists have created bacteria that can make compounds with boron-carbon bonds. […]

  • Large-scale approach reveals imperfect actor in plant biotechnology
    on November 27, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Scientists have unraveled the molecular activities of a key protein that can enable plants to withstand a common herbicide. Their findings reveal how the protein can sometimes act imprecisely, and how it can be successfully re-engineered to be more precise. […]

  • World's smallest tape recorder is built from microbes
    on November 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Through a few clever molecular hacks, researchers have converted a natural bacterial immune system into a microscopic data recorder, laying the groundwork for a new class of technologies that use bacterial cells for everything from disease diagnosis to environmental monitoring. […]

  • Synthetic biology and bioengineering: Risks and opportunities
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Human genome editing, 3-D-printed replacement organs and artificial photosynthesis - the field of bioengineering offers great promise for tackling the major challenges that face our society. But as a new article highlights, these developments provide both opportunities and risks in the short and long term. […]

  • Age, gut bacteria contribute to MS disease progression, according to study
    on November 17, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Gut bacteria at a young age can contribute to multiple sclerosis disease onset and progression, new research indicates. […]

  • Kill switches for engineered microbes gone rogue
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Stable autonomous kill switches ensure biocontainment of living microbes designed as devices for medicine or the environment. New research outlines two new types of kill switches that address these challenges. The new kill switches are self-sufficient and highly stable in bacterial populations that evolve, and they last over many generations. They can ensure that only bacteria with intact synthetic gene circuits survive, or confine bacteria to a target environment at 37°C (body temperature) while inducing them to die at lower temperatures, as demonstrated during bacterial exit from a mouse intestinal tract. […]

  • New procedures for DNA stability
    on November 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    In eukaryotic cells the proximity of the genes to the nuclear pores, which are found in the nuclear membrane, contributes to maintaining the integrity of the genome. This is due to the fact that the anchoring of DNA to the pore during transcription avoids the formation of DNA-RNA hybrids, which are a natural source of DNA breaks and genome instability. […]

  • Genetic engineering mechanism visualized
    on November 13, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Researchers report the visualization of the dynamics of 'molecular scissors' -- the main mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic-engineering technique. […]

  • Nanoscale platform aims to control protein levels
    on October 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    A nanoscale antibody first found in camels combined with a protein-degrading molecule is an effective new platform to control protein levels in cells, according to scientists. […]

  • Consumers see ‘organic’ and ‘non-GM’ food labels as synonymous
    on October 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    What are the best ways to communicate whether a food has GM ingredients? To gauge consumers’ willingness to pay for food labeled as GM vs. non-GM, researchers conducted a national survey of 1,132 respondents. […]

  • Turning brain cells into skin cells
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A new study reveals that it is possible to repurpose the function of different mature cells across the body and harvest new tissue and organs from these cells. […]

  • Need for speed makes genome editing efficient, if not better
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Researchers have developed a computational model to quantify the mechanism by which CRISPR-Cas9 proteins find their genome-editing targets. […]

  • How switches work in bacteria
    on October 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Many bacteria have molecular control elements, via which they can switch on and off genes. These riboswitches also open up new options in the development of antibiotics or for the detection and decomposition of environmental toxins. Researchers have now used light optical microscopy of single molecules to fundamentally study the way riboswitches work. […]

  • New way to prevent genetically engineered and unaltered organisms from producing offspring
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    A major obstacle to applying genetic engineering to benefit humans and the environment is the risk that organisms whose genes have been altered might produce offspring with their natural counterparts, releasing the novel genes into the wild. Now, researchers have developed a promising way to prevent such interbreeding. The approach, called 'synthetic incompatibility,' effectively makes engineered organisms a separate species unable to produce viable offspring with their wild or domesticated relatives. […]

  • Predatory bacteria: The quest for a new class of antibiotics
    on October 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Researchers take one step forward toward understanding and genetically manipulating B. bacteriovorus, a type of bacteria with promising potential use as a living antibiotic. […]

  • Gene drives have the potential to suppress mosquito populations, but resistant mosquitoes crop up
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Researchers successfully built a gene drive to reduce female fertility in the mosquito that spreads malaria, but mutations gradually arose that blocked the spread of the new genes. […]

  • Designer biosensor can detect antibiotic production by microbes
    on October 3, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Researchers from North Carolina State University have engineered designer biosensors that can detect antibiotic molecules of interest. The biosensors are a first step toward creating antibiotic-producing 'factories' within microbes such as E. coli. […]

  • Disease resistance successfully spread from modified to wild mosquitoes
    on September 28, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Using genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce or prevent the spread of disease is a rapidly expanding field of investigation. One challenge is ensuring that GM mosquitoes can mate with their wild counterparts so the desired modification is spread in the wild population. Investigators have engineered mosquitoes with an altered microbiota that suppresses human malaria-causing parasites. These GM mosquitoes preferred to mate with wild mosquitoes and passed the desired protection to offspring. […]

  • Fluorine-containing molecules from cell cultures
    on September 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Natural organic compounds that contain fluorine are rare because living organisms -- with a few exceptions -- do not produce them. Scientists have now genetically engineered a microbial host for organofluorine metabolism, allowing it to produce a fluoridated intermediate known as a diketide. As reported, the diketide could then be used as a monomer for the in vivo production of fluorinated bioplastics. […]

  • Haplobank: A biobank of reversible mutant embryonic stem cells
    on September 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Scientist have developed a biobank of revertible, mutant embryonic stem cells – called Haplobank - which contains over 100,000 mutated, conditional mouse embryonic stem cell lines, targeting about 70% of the protein-coding genome. […]