Researchers modify yeast to show how plants respond to a key hormone

Researchers have developed a novel toolkit based on modified yeast cells to tease out how plant genes and proteins respond to auxin, the most ubiquitous plant hormone. Their system allowed them to decode auxin’s basic effects on a diverse family of plant genes. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Researchers modify yeast to show how plants respond to a key hormone

Breakthrough in genetic modification of grains

Genetic modification of plants might be controversial in commercial applications, but it is undeniably useful for research purposes. Despite years of effort, it has been remarkably difficult to develop efficient methods for transformation of grain crops. New work reports on a method to genetically modify maize and other grains. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Breakthrough in genetic modification of grains

Was a researcher just served a world first CRISPR meal?

For (probably) the first time ever, plants modified with the “genetic scissors” CRISPR-Cas9 has been cultivated, harvested and cooked. D professor in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology served pasta with “CRISPRy” vegetable fry to a radio reporter. Although the meal only fed two people, it was still the first step towards a future where science can better provide farmers and consumers across the world with healthy, beautiful and hardy plants. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Was a researcher just served a world first CRISPR meal?

Forensic DNA analysis checks the origin of cultured cells

Cell lines are cultured cells that are commonly used in medical research. New results show that such cells are not always what they are assumed to be. Using genetic analyses, the researchers showed that a commonly used cell line that was established almost 50 years ago does not originate from the patient it is claimed to stem from. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Forensic DNA analysis checks the origin of cultured cells

More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering

While looking for ways to make tomatoes and other crop plants more productive, researchers developed a way to cut the time required to modify a tomato’s genes by six weeks. The improvement will save on money and resources while accelerating tomato research. …

Read More...

Comments Off on More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering

Synthetic biology: Engineering a chemical switch into a light-driven proton pump

Synthetic biology is an emerging and rapidly evolving engineering discipline. Now scientists have engineered a chemically switchable version of the light-driven proton pump proteorhodopsin — an essential tool for efficiently powering molecular factories and synthetic cells. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Synthetic biology: Engineering a chemical switch into a light-driven proton pump

Scientists program cells to remember and respond to series of stimuli

Engineers have programmed cells to remember and respond to events. This approach to circuit design enables scientists to create complex cellular state machines and track cell histories. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Scientists program cells to remember and respond to series of stimuli

Synthetic biology used to limit bacterial growth and coordinate drug release

Researchers have engineered a clinically relevant bacterium to produce cancer drugs and then self-destruct and release the drugs at the site of tumors. The approach enables continual production and release of drugs at disease sites in mice while simultaneously limiting the size, over time, of the populations of bacteria engineered to produce the drugs. The strategy represents the use of synthetic biology in therapeutics. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Synthetic biology used to limit bacterial growth and coordinate drug release

Malaria: A genetically attenuated parasite induces an immune response

With nearly 3.2 billion people currently at risk of contracting malaria, scientists have experimentally developed a live, genetically attenuated vaccine for Plasmodium, the parasite responsible for the disease. By identifying and deleting one of the parasite’s genes, the scientists enabled it to induce an effective, long-lasting immune response in a mouse model. These findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine on July 18, 2016. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Malaria: A genetically attenuated parasite induces an immune response

Gas sensors ‘see’ through soil to analyze microbial interactions

Researchers use programmed bacteria as gas sensors that help them ‘see’ into soil to learn about the behavior of the microbial communities within. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Gas sensors ‘see’ through soil to analyze microbial interactions

Proteins team up to turn on T cells

Scientists are learning how cells make the decision to become T cells. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Proteins team up to turn on T cells

Stem cells feel the force

Scientists have gained new insights into how stem cells feel and respond to external mechanical forces by changing the way DNA is organized in the nucleus, and thereby the expression of genes that are required for stem cell differentiation. …

Read More...

Comments Off on Stem cells feel the force