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Overview: Articles

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Image: DNA-based LASSO molecule probe binding target genome regions for functional cloning and analysis; Copyright: Jennifer E. Fairman/Johns Hopkins University

Powerful new technique can clone thousands of genes at once

21/07/2017

Scientists at Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, the University of Trento in Italy, and Harvard Medical School report they have developed a new molecular technique called LASSO cloning, which can be used to isolate thousands of long DNA sequences at the same time, more than ever before possible.
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Image: A bicyclic peptide (white) bound to serum albumin (red) through the newly developed ligand (green), floating in the bloodstream; Copyright: C. Heinis/EPFL

A new ligand extends the half-life of peptide drugs from minutes to days

20/07/2017

Peptides are biological molecules, made up of short sequences of amino acids. Because they are easy to synthesize, show low toxicity and high efficiency, peptides such as insulin and other hormones can be used as drugs. On the other hand, they are quickly cleared by the kidneys. This problem can be overcome by connecting peptides to ligands.
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Image: word cloud concerning and related terms; Copyright: panthermedia.net/macgyverhh

Mapping genes could improve cancer diagnosis

19/07/2017

Large-scale changes to the structure of the genome are often seen in cancer cells. Scientists at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK, have found a way to detect these changes, which could enhance cancer diagnosis and aid the use of targeted treatments.
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Image: the word

Multi-antioxidant nanoparticles to treat sepsis

18/07/2017

With an incidence of 31.5 million worldwide and a mortality of around 17%, sepsis remains the most common cause of death in hospitalized patients, even in industrialized countries where antibiotics and critical care facilities are readily available. While this disease begins as a serious infection, sepsis' life-threatening organ failure is due to an excessive inflammatory response.
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Image: Tubulogenesis; Copyright: Rice University

3-D bioprinting: One step closer to growing capillaries

14/07/2017

In their work toward 3-D printing transplantable tissues and organs, bioengineers and scientists from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have demonstrated a key step on the path to generate implantable tissues with functioning capillaries.
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Image: Representation of the Cpf1 protein in complex with its target RNA and target DNA; Copyright: University of Copenhagen

A new molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing

13/07/2017

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), led by the Spanish researcher Guillermo Montoya, have discovered how Cpf1, a new molecular scissors unzip and cleave DNA. This member of the CRISPR-Cas family displays a high accuracy, capable of acting like a GPS in order to identify its destination within the intricate map of the genome.
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Image: Structure of RecQ4; Copyright: Kisker Group

Guardian of the genome: Structure of key enzyme decoded

12/07/2017

Scientists from the University of Würzburg solved the structure of the human protein RecQ4 and gained insights into its unusual functional mechanisms, which could help towards the development of new therapeutic strategies against certain tumors.
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Image: Neuronal cell lines; Copyright: LZH

Optics meets genetic engineering: Innovation Forum Optogenetics has started

11/07/2017

Which potentials does the field of optogenetics offer? What are the future business fields and sales markets? The Innovation Network Optogenetics, which started in June, is out to answer these questions. A two-day session on November 28th and 29th, 2017, in Hannover, will bring together stakeholders from different technology areas, in order to bundle competencies and to create synergy.
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Graphic: Rapid sepsis lab on a chip; Copyright: Janet Sinn-Hanlon

Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of blood

07/07/2017

A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood. A team of researchers from the University of Illinois and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, completed a clinical study of the device, which is the first to provide rapid, point-of-care measurement of the immune system's response, without any need to process the blood.
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Photo: Researcher in the laboratory; Copyright: panthermedia.net/DragonImages

'Nanolock' detects cancer mutation; could lead to early diagnoses, personalized therapies

06/07/2017

The moment when healthy cells turn into cancer cells is a critical point. And if caught early enough, many cancers can be stopped in their tracks. One group reports in ACS Sensors that they have developed an accurate and sensitive method that can recognize a particular mutation in the genetic code that has been implicated in the disease. It could help physicians diagnose cancers earlier.
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