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Adult stem cells help build human blood vessels in engineered tissues

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a protein expressed by human bone marrow stem cells that guides and stimulates the formation of blood vessels. Their findings, which could help improve the vascularization of engineered tissues, were reported online on October 12 in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. “Some stem cells actually have multiple jobs,” says Dr. Jalees Rehman, associate Read more...

Gene movements observed in vivo

This new method will be a great step forwards to understanding the resulting processes that control gene regulation. These results were published on October 6, 2013 on the website of the review Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. In the cell nucleus, DNA is highly dynamic and changes its spatial configuration, in the same way as during the process of cell division. We already know that the spatial configuration of DNA determines whethe Read more...

Scientists use blur to sharpen DNA mapping

A super-resolution technique developed at Rice University allows fluorescent-labeled probe DNA to pinpoint target DNA sequences in an immobilized strand in ways neither regular nor electron microscopes are able. With high-tech optical tools and sophisticated mathematics, Rice University researchers have found a way to pinpoint the location of specific sequences along single strands of DNA, a technique that could someday help diagnose genetic dis Read more...

Gene activity and transcript patterns visualized for the first time in thousands of single cells

Biologists of the University of Zurich have developed a method to visualize the activity of genes in single cells. The method is so efficient that, for the first time, a thousand genes can be studied in parallel in ten thousand single human cells. Applications lie in fields of basic research and medical diagnostics. The new method shows that the activity of genes, and the spatial organization of the resulting transcript molecules, strongly vary Read more...

DNA nanotechnology opens new path to super-high-resolution molecular imaging

Wyss Institute scientists have begun programming DNA to help make specific targets in the cell blink. A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has been awarded a special .5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an inexpensive and easy-to-use new microscopy method to simultaneously spot many tiny components of cells. The grant, called a Transformative Research Awar Read more...

Butterfly wings inspire new technologies: from fabrics and cosmetics to sensors

A new study has revealed that the stunning iridescent wings of the tropical blue Morpho butterfly could expand the range of innovative technologies. Scientific lessons learnt from these butterflies have already inspired designs of new displays, fabrics and cosmetics. Now research by the University of Exeter, in collaboration with General Electric (GE) Global Research Centre, University at Albany and Air Force Research Laboratory, and funded b Read more...

Programmable glue made of DNA directs tiny gel bricks to self-assemble

A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of bricks smaller than a grain of salt. The new method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: creating injectable components that self-assemble into intricately structured, biocompatible scaffolds at an injury site to help regrow human tissues. The key to se Read more...

Molecular beacons light path to cardiac muscle repair

Fluorescent molecular beacons allow identification and purification of cardiac muscle cells. Pure cardiac muscle cells, ready to transplant into a patient affected by heart disease. That’s a goal for many cardiology researchers working with stem cells. Having a pure population of cardiac muscle cells is essential for avoiding tumor formation after transplantation, but has been technically challenging. Researchers at Emory and Georgia Read more...

Watching the production of new proteins in live cells

This image shows stimulated Raman scattering imaging of newly synthesized protein in live hippocampal neurons incubated in a deuterium-labeled amino acids medium for 20 hours by targeting the unique 2,133… Researchers at Columbia University, in collaboration with biologists in Baylor College of Medicine, have made a significant step in understanding and imaging protein synthesis, pinpointing exactly where and when cells produce new protein Read more...

Sticking power of plant polyphenols used in new coatings

A simple kitchen sink experiment helped Northwestern University researchers discover that green tea leaves not only can be used to steep a good cup of tea, but they make an excellent antibacterial coating, too. And so can red wine, dark chocolate and cacao beans, they found. It’s the powerful and healthful polyphenols at work in a new way. (Polyphenols are naturally occurring molecules found in plants whose functions include structural Read more...