Advertisement

DNA

Medical

Solid when wet and liquid when dry – Cornell's new DNA hydrogel seems confused

Every now and again, Cornell University Professor Dan Luo gets a surprise. His research team has discovered a new variety of hydrogel – like Jello, except made with DNA instead of gelatin. When full of water, it is a soft, elastic solid. But when the water is removed, the hydrogel collapses, losing its shape. The resulting material pours like a liquid, and conforms to the shape of its container. The most interesting part, however, is that the liquid hydrogel remembers its shape. Add water and you get back the original Jello-like shape. Terminator T-1000, anyone? Read More

Science

Bi-Fi: New cell-to-cell communication process could revolutionize bioengineering

The internet has revolutionized global communications and now researchers at Standford University are looking to provide a similar boost to bioengineering with a new process dubbed “Bi-Fi.” The technology uses an innocuous virus called M13 to increase the complexity and amount of information that can be sent from cell to cell. The researchers say the Bi-Fi could help bioengineers create complex, multicellular communities that work together to carry out important biological functions.Read More

Motorcycles

Kawasaki's 39 horsepower Ninja 300 bonsai superbike

Kawasaki has returned fire on the Honda CBR250R with an entirely new Ninja 300 version of its liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve, fuel-injected parallel twin Ninja 250R. The huge market share garnered by the superb Honda single has resulted in Kawasaki bestowing a superbike feature set on the bike in the fight for long-term customers, escalating the prestige/horsepower war that has traditionally been fought with flagship four-cylinder liter-plus models to Defcon 1 status in the lower, entry-level classes. Read More

Science

Harvard geneticist stores 70 billion copies of his book in DNA

George Church is a professor of genetics at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and also co-author of the book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves in DNA. With a title like that, it’s only fitting that the book was used to break the record that it recently did – Church led a team that encoded 70 billion html copies of the book in DNA. That’s 1,000 times more data than the previous record.Read More

Science

Domestic tomato genome sequenced in full

The scientists of the aptly-named Tomato Genome Consortium have successfully sequenced the genome of the domestic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), specifically the domestic cultivar known as Heinz 1706. The genome is made up of 35,000 genes spread over 12 chromosomes. In addition to presenting a "high quality" genome of the species, the researches also produced a draft sequence of its closest wild relative, the currant tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium).Read More

Medical

New concept could lead to low-cost DNA sequencing in everyday clinical practices

Doctors and scientists wishing to decode a human genome can now do so in a day for US$1,000 a pop using the recently-released Ion Proton sequencer. With a price tag of $149,000, though, the machine isn’t cheap – nor is it the be-all and end-all of desktop gene sequencing. For one thing, the tiny $900 MinION sequencer should be available soon. Also, a team of scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have now developed a concept of their own, which could end up providing an even less expensive high-speed sequencer.Read More

Twin study isolates key ageing genes

Another breakthrough in the ever accelerating quest to extend human lifespan has seen researchers identify key genes associated with ageing. By studying these "ageing" genes, which are switched on or off by external factors such a diet and lifestyle, it's hoped that the biological mechanisms of ageing can be better understood.Read More

Exercise and caffeine have beneficial effects on DNA

While our DNA is determined at conception, researchers reporting in the March issue of Cell Metabolism, say that we can beneficially alter our DNA molecules in a matter of minutes, simply by exercising. Furthermore, caffeine may also offer similar effects. Read More

Medical

DNA nanorobot could offer targeted treatment of cancer

We've seen various experimental approaches that aim to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy while also reducing its damaging side effects by specifically targeting cancer cells. The latest encouraging development comes from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering where researchers have created a barrel-like robotic device made from DNA that could carry molecular instructions into specific cells and tell them to self-destruct. Because the DNA-based device could be programmed to target a variety of cells, it could be used to treat a range of diseases in addition to providing hope in the fight against cancer.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

MinION - $900 usb-powered DNA sequencer on sale this year

At the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology 2012 conference (AGBT), Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. announced it is entering the gene-sequencing battle with a disposable DNA sequencer that will sell for under $900 in the second half of 2012. The USB-size sequencer is called the MinION (min-ion), and has already demonstrated the potential to bring genome sequencing and personalized medicine out of the lab and into physicians’ offices.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning