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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 81

Mar 3, 2017

Want more crop variety? Researchers propose using CRISPR to accelerate plant domestication

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

The more crops we cultivate, the less chance our food supply wil get wiped out by a disease.


Out of the more than 300,000 plant species in existence, only three species—rice, wheat, and maize—account for most of the plant matter that humans consume, partly because in the history of agriculture, mutations arose that made these crops the easiest to harvest. But with CRISPR technology, we don’t have to wait for nature to help us domesticate plants, argue researchers at the University of Copenhagen. In a Review published March 2 in Trends in Plant Science, they describe how gene editing could make, for example, wild legumes, quinoa, or amaranth, which are already sustainable and nutritious, more farmable.

“In theory, you can now take those traits that have been selected for over thousands of years of crop domestication—such as reduced bitterness and those that facilitate easy harvest—and induce those mutations in plants that have never been cultivated,” says senior author Michael Palmgren, a botanist who heads an interdisciplinary think tank called “Plants for a Changing World” at the University of Copenhagen.

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Mar 2, 2017

Scientists Have Grown the World’s First Artificial Embryo, and It’s Nuts

Posted by in category: bioengineering

Em uma primeira experiência mundial, os cientistas conseguiram desenvolver um embrião artificial funcional, a partir do zero, usando dois tipos de células-tronco para construir a vida em uma placa de Petri.

As células-tronco foram cultivadas fora do corpo em uma bolha de gel, e foram capazes de se transformar em vários estágio inicial órgãos internos — assim como em um embrião regular. Os pesquisadores agora estão esperando a técnica vai resolver alguns grandes mistérios sobre os primórdios da vida.

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Mar 1, 2017

The curious case of cockroach magnetization

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, electronics

The discovery that living and dead cockroaches have strikingly different magnetic properties could help bioengineers design new magnetic sensors.

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Mar 1, 2017

‘Like a Bespoke Suit’: 3D-Printed Skin Breakthrough Gives Hope to Burn Victims

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical

A 3D bioprinter able to create human skin is already being used to help burns patients and carry out skin testing, Alfredo Brisac, CEO of Spanish bioengineering company BioDan, told Radio Sputnik.

Last month, scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the BioDan Group presented a prototype 3D bioprinter that can create human skin suitable for transplantation to patients or for use in cosmetic, chemical or pharmaceutical testing.

One of the first living human organs to be created using bioprinting, the 3D-printed skin is created using bio-inks with living cells that are deposited onto a structure that replicates nature. The bio-ink contains the key elements of keratinocytes, fibroblasts and fibrin, which can recreate the structure of the skin.

Continue reading “‘Like a Bespoke Suit’: 3D-Printed Skin Breakthrough Gives Hope to Burn Victims” »

Feb 26, 2017

IARPA Wants Ways to Protect Nation from Genome Editing

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

Sorry, you’re way, way too late as that genie is already in the hands to so many (good and bad) if we were going to control this; were over 2 years too late.


Gene editing could create pest-resistant crops, but it could also create new organisms that threaten humans, according to IARPA.

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Feb 26, 2017

Bioprinter makes fully functional human skin

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, bioprinting, biotech/medical, business

Scientists from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), CIEMAT (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research), Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in collaboration with the firm BioDan Group, have presented a prototype for a 3D bioprinter that can create totally functional human skin. This skin is adequate for transplanting to patients or for use in research or the testing of cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical products.

This research has recently been published in the electronic version of the scientific journal Biofabrication. In this article, the team of researchers has demonstrated, for the first time, that, using the new 3D printing technology, it is possible to produce proper human skin. One of the authors, José Luis Jorcano, professor in UC3M’s department of Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering and head of the Mixed Unit CIEMAT/UC3M in Biomedical Engineering, points out that this skin “can be transplanted to patients or used in business settings to test chemical products, cosmetics or pharmaceutical products in quantities and with timetables and prices that are compatible with these uses.”

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Feb 25, 2017

Cancer cells hijack healthy cells to help them spread to other organs

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

An interaction between two proteins enables cancer cells to use the physical forces of healthy cells to start spreading to other parts of the body.

The finding by researchers from the Francis Crick Institute in London and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) in Barcelona is published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

The process by which cancer cells separate from the original tumour to form new tumours in other organs or tissues of the body is called metastasis, and it is responsible for the majority of deaths in patients with cancer.

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Feb 25, 2017

Computing with biochemical circuits made easy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, satellites

Electronic circuits are found in almost everything from smartphones to spacecraft and are useful in a variety of computational problems from simple addition to determining the trajectories of interplanetary satellites. At Caltech, a group of researchers led by Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Lulu Qian is working to create circuits using not the usual silicon transistors but strands of DNA.

The Qian group has made the technology of DNA accessible to even novice researchers—including undergraduate students—using a software tool they developed called the Seesaw Compiler. Now, they have experimentally demonstrated that the tool can be used to quickly design DNA circuits that can then be built out of cheap “unpurified” DNA strands, following a systematic wet-lab procedure devised by Qian and colleagues.

A paper describing the work appears in the February 23 issue of Nature Communications.

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Feb 24, 2017

The Long-Shot Bid to Put Crispr in the Hands of the People

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

Last week, the US Patent and Trademarks Office ruled on the most-watched patent proceeding of the 21st century: the fight for Crispr-Cas9. The decision was supposed to declare ownership of the rights to the revolutionary gene editing technique. But instead, the patent judge granted sorta-victories to each of the rival parties—a team from UC Berkeley and another with members from both MIT and Harvard University’s Broad Institute. That’s great for those groups (and their spin-off, for-profit gene editing companies with exclusive licenses). But it leaves things a bit murkier for anyone else who wants to turn a buck with gene editing.

The Crispr discoverers now have some authority over who gets to use Crispr, and for what. And while exclusive licenses aren’t rare in biotech, the scope of these do stand out: They cover all the 20,000-plus genes in the human genome. So this week, legal experts are sending a formal request to the Department of Health and Human Services. They want the federal government to step in and bring Crispr back to the people.

Crispr is new, but patent laws governing genetic engineering date back decades. In 1980, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that genetically engineered microbes were patentable, Congress passed something called the Bayh-Doyle Act. The law gives permission for universities to patent—and license—anything their researchers invented with public funds, making it easier to put those inventions back in the hands of citizens.

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Feb 22, 2017

Switched-on DNA spark nano-electronic applications

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

DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices.

Much like flipping your light switch at home — –only on a scale 1,000 times smaller than a human hair — –an ASU-led team has now developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule. The new study, led by ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Nongjian Tao, was published in the advanced online journal Nature Communications ( DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14471).

“It has been established that charge transport is possible in DNA, but for a useful device, one wants to be able to turn the charge transport on and off. We achieved this goal by chemically modifying DNA,” said Tao, who directs the Biodesign Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors and is a professor in the Fulton Schools of Engineering.

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