Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 17

Jun 10, 2023

Synthetic Life

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, robotics/AI

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We often discuss cybernetic, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and hybrids of them, but what truly is synthetic life? And what is it like?

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Jun 10, 2023

Team develops magnetic microrobots with folate to promote targeted drug delivery to cancer cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, transhumanism

The limited ability of microrobots to assist drugs in entering cells hinders their therapeutic efficacy. To address this, a research team, reporting in Cyborg and Bionic Systems, has introduced the cancer-targeting molecule folic acid (FA) to microrobots to promote drug uptake by cancer cells via receptor-ligand-mediated endocytosis. This results in a drug delivery system that can locate lesion areas with magnetic fields and deliver loaded drugs into the cytoplasm through endocytosis.

Untethered microrobots have shown remarkable achievements in various fields such as minimally invasive surgery, , environmental remediation, and tissue engineering. Magnetic field actuation is a widely used method due to its good biosafety, deeper tissue penetration, and high temporal and spatial control.

However, practical problems arise when microrobots delivering drugs may only be able to deliver the drugs to the area around the cells but cannot assist the drugs to enter the cells. This limitation could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the treatment since the drugs may not reach the intended targets within the cells.

Jun 10, 2023

Reversing Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Using Immune Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, neuroscience

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects roughly 2.5 million people worldwide and is a neurological disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. More specifically, MS is when the immune system attacks the body’s protective layer around nerve fibers known as myelin sheaths. The breakdown of myelin sheath leads to a disconnect between your brain and body. The immune cells responsible for myelin sheath deterioration include CD4+ T cells, or effector cells, which are part of the body’s first line of defense. In MS, the effector cells do not recognize that the myelin sheath is a normal part of the body. Therefore, the effector cells become the dominant cell type, trying to kill and get rid of the myelin sheath. The immune response will generate inflammation which destroys the myelin sheath leading to a disruption of signals along the nerves from the brain to the body.

A group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently published a therapy that controls the symptoms of MS. The goal of the therapy was to stop effector cells from attacking the myelin sheath and to promote the production of T regulatory cells-or T regs-which have been demonstrated to reduce autoimmune effects.

Dr. Giorgio Raimondi, PhD, MSc, Jordan Green, and others used three therapeutic agents to control MS symptoms. Researchers used microparticles, which are small, bioengineered spheres to deliver the agents. The first agent is a combination of two proteins which include Interleukin-2 (IL2) and an antibody that promotes T reg production. IL2 stimulates T cell expansion, while the antibody blocks specific parts of IL2 to specifically expand T regs compared to effector cells. The second agent includes a molecule that presents a protein specific to myelin so that the immune response will generate T regs specifically designed to protect the myelin sheath. Finally, the third agent is rapamycin, which is an immunosuppressant drug designed to reduce effector T cells.

Jun 10, 2023

Should we take evolution into our own hands and become transhuman?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, cyborgs, evolution, genetics, neuroscience, transhumanism

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Jun 6, 2023

CRISPR, Cures, and the New World of Gene Editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

This is an online article from the Christian Research Journal.

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Jun 6, 2023

Throw Forward Thursday: CRISPR

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, education, ethics, food

The 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Dr. Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work on the gene editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9. This gives us the ability to change the DNA of any living thing, from plants and animals to humans.

The applications are enormous, from improving farming to curing diseases. A decade or so from now, CRISPR will no doubt be taught in High Schools, and be a basic building block of medicine and agriculture. It is going to change everything.

Continue reading “Throw Forward Thursday: CRISPR” »

Jun 5, 2023

Creating complex protocells and prototissues using simple DNA building blocks Communications

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Legitimately awesome paper wherein Arulkumaran et al. assemble DNA nanotubes and use them to build artificial ‘cytoskeletons’ inside of giant unilamellar vesicles. They go on to make a variety of fun variations on this theme and eventually build artificial ‘tissues’ made up of these synthetic cell-like vesicles and an ‘extracellular matrix’ that is also made of DNA nanotubes. I find this paper impressive due to how performs precise engineering at the nanoscale and builds up layers of complexity until macroscale specimens are created in a fashion reminiscent of biological systems, yet unique in its own way. #biotechnology #nanotechnology #cellbiology #bioengineering

Building synthetic protocells and prototissues hinges on the formation of biomimetic skeletal frameworks. Here, the authors harness simplicity to create complexity by assembling DNA subunits into structural frameworks which support membrane-based protocells and prototissues.

Jun 3, 2023

Discovery challenges 30-year-old dogma in associative polymers research

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry

A University of Virginia-led study about a class of materials called associative polymers appears to challenge a long-held understanding of how the materials, which have unique self-healing and flow properties, function at the molecular level.

Liheng Cai, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering at UVA, who led the study, said the new discovery has important implications for the countless ways these materials are used every day, from engineering recyclable plastics to human tissue engineering to controlling the consistency of paint so it doesn’t drip.

The discovery, which has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters, was enabled by new associative polymers developed in Cai’s lab at the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science by his postdoctoral researcher Shifeng Nian and Ph.D. student Myoeum Kim. The breakthrough evolved from a theory Cai had co-developed before arriving at UVA in 2018.

Jun 3, 2023

Engineering the bacteriophage T4 to serve as a vector for molecular repair

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

A team of medical scientists at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., working with a colleague from Purdue University, has developed a way to engineer the bacteriophage T4 to serve as a vector for molecular repair. The study is reported in the journal Nature Communications.

Prior research has shown that many human ailments arise due to : , Down syndrome, and hemophilia are just a few. Logic suggests that correcting such genetic mutations could cure these diseases. So researchers have been working toward developing gene editing tools that will allow for safe editing of genes.

One of the most promising is the CRISPR gene editing system. In this new effort, the research team took a more general approach to solving the problem by working to develop a vector that could be used to carry different kinds of tools to targeted cells and then enter them to allow for healing work to commence.

Jun 3, 2023

An AAV-CRISPR/Cas9 strategy for gene editing across divergent rodent species

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Crispre cas 9.

A major issue in neuroscience is the poor translatability of research results from preclinical studies in animals to clinical outcomes. Comparative neuroscience can overcome this barrier by studying multiple species to differentiate between species-specific and general mechanisms of neural circuit functioning. Targeted manipulation of neural circuits often depends on genetic dissection, and use of this technique has been restricted to only a few model species, limiting its application in comparative research. However, ongoing advances in genomics make genetic dissection attainable in a growing number of species. To demonstrate the potential of comparative gene editing approaches, we developed a viral-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 strategy that is predicted to target the oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) gene in 80 rodent species. This strategy specifically reduced OXTR levels in all evaluated species (n = 6) without causing gross neuronal toxicity. Thus, we show that CRISPR/Cas9-based tools can function in multiple species simultaneously. Thereby, we hope to encourage comparative gene editing and improve the translatability of neuroscientific research.

The development of comparative gene editing strategies improves the translatability of animal research.

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