Make text bigger  Make text smaller  Toggle background color  Bookmark/Share

DNA-built nanostructures safely target, image cancer tumors

A team of researchers at the University of Toronto has discovered a method of assembling “building blocks” of gold nanoparticles as the vehicle to deliver cancer medications or cancer-identifying markers directly into cancerous tumors. The study, led by Warren Chan, Professor at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research (CCBR), appears in an art Read more...

Shortening guide RNA markedly improves specificity of CRISPR-Cas nucleases

A simple adjustment to a powerful gene-editing tool may be able to improve its specificity. In a report receiving advance online publication in Nature Biotechnology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe how adjusting the length of the the guide RNA (gRNA) component of the synthetic enzymes called CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) can substantially reduce the occurrence of DNA mutations at sites other than the intende Read more...

Gold nanoparticles help to develop a new method for tracking viruses

Left: This is a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image of a single CVB3 virus showing tens of gold nanoparticles attached to its surface. Researchers at the Nanoscience Center (NSC) of University of Jyväskylä in Finland have developed a novel method to study enterovirus structures and their functions. The method will help to obtain new information on trafficking of viruses in cells and tissues as well as on the mechanisms of virus openin Read more...

Important mutation discovered in dairy cattle

Scientists have discovered a mutation with a built-in dilemma for dairy cattle breeders. The deleted gene sequence has a positive effect on milk yield but causes embryonic death in dairy cattle. Scientists have found a genomic deletion that affects fertility and milk yield in dairy cattle at the same time. The discovery can help explain a dilemma in dairy cattle breeding: the negative correlation between fertility and milk production. For t Read more...

Speeding up gene discovery

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, which identified nearly 20,000 protein-coding genes, scientists have been trying to decipher the roles of those genes. A new approach developed at MIT, the Broad Institute, and the Whitehead Institute should speed up the process by allowing researchers to study the entire genome at once. The new system, known as CRISPR, allows researchers to permanently and selectively delete genes from a cell& Read more...

‘Designer sperm’ inserts custom genes into offspring

Get ready: The “new genetics” promises to change faulty genes of future generations by introducing new, functioning genes using “designer sperm.” A new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal, shows that introducing new genetic material via a viral vector into the sperm of mice leads to the presence and activity of those genes in the resulting embryos. This new genetic material is actually inherited, presen Read more...

‘Designer sperm’ inserts custom genes into offspring

Get ready: The “new genetics” promises to change faulty genes of future generations by introducing new, functioning genes using “designer sperm.” A new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal, shows that introducing new genetic material via a viral vector into the sperm of mice leads to the presence and activity of those genes in the resulting embryos. This new genetic material is actually inherited, presen Read more...

Researchers use CT and 3-D printers to recreate dinosaur fossils

This 3D print is next to the original unprepared and erroneously labeled plaster jacket. Data from computed tomography (CT) scans can be used with three-dimensional (3-D) printers to make accurate copies of fossilized bones, according to new research published online in the journal Radiology. Fossils are often stored in plaster casts, or jackets, to protect them from damage. Getting information about a fossil typically requires the removal o Read more...

Single-cell genome sequencing gets better

Researchers led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have generated the most complete genome sequences from single E. coli cells and individual neurons from the human brain. The breakthrough comes from a new single-cell genome sequencing technique that confines genome amplification to fluid-filled wells with a volume of just 12 nanoliters. The study is published in the journal Nature Biotechnology on November 10, 2013. Read more...

Crafting a better enzyme cocktail to turn plants into fuel faster

Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. The new research, published in October in the journal Molecular BioSystems, is part of a worldwide effort to create fuels from plants that are plentiful and aren’t part of the food supply. It’s possible to do this today, but the process is costly, lab Read more...