In 2010 John Craig Venter and his colleagues reported a creation of the first bacterial cell containing a completely synthesized genome. It was a 1.08-mega-base pair Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 genome and it became the very first citizen of synthetic biology.
One of the particularly interesting chemical properties that are giving us some insight into our organic world is chirality. Chirality is a geometric property of most biochemical molecules that makes them different than their mirror images, just like our left and right hand are.
The discovery of the structure of DNA is known as one of the greatest discoveries in human history. It changed our perspective on human life forever, nevertheless one part of this magnificent story was left untold.
There is a new era rising in molecular biology and it began with CRISPR technology (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), which is a genetic modification tool based on bacterial immune system. Gene drives is another interesting mechanism to use for altering genes but in contrast with CRISPR/Cas system it can only function in sexually reproducing species, leaving viruses and bacteria out of the picture.
Scientists are making discoveries that change the way we live. Have you ever asked yourself about the revolutionary discoveries that have made a huge impact on our scientific way of thinking and our everyday life?
For more than a year one third of the world has been highly concerned about the Zika virus outbreak and Splice has covered amazing achievements regarding Zika infection. These days it is one of the main newspaper topics because of the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in Brazil, the country where most of the cases of Zika infection were reported.
A growing global epidemic of obesity and its related health complications such as type 2 diabetes is the reason why scientists are focusing on finding genes that increase the risk of developing obesity in the last decade. A breakthrough was finally made with discovery of the gene for ‘leanness’.
Viruses, small infectious agents that replicate only inside the living cells of other organisms, have been around for billions of years. They can infect all types of life forms, from microorganisms, plants and animals to humans. It has been estimated that there are 10 to the power of 31 viruses on Earth, but humans don’t just live in a viral world, we are also part virus ourselves. Viruses actually comprise up to the 8% of the human genome and these so called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent ancient viral infections that became integrated into the human genome.
The combination of drug misuse, reductions in antimicrobial research by the pharmaceutical industry, and the rapid evolution capabilities of microorganisms has resulted in pathogenic bacteria with stronger and stronger drug resistance. This is an issue that some fear if not handled correctly, could lead to the evolution of a “superbug” that is resistant to everything in our arsenal.
Zika virus has rapidly expanded during the last year in Brazil and currently the outbreaks are occurring in several countries and territories. While following preventive measures is extremely important to limit the spread, finding a reliable field diagnostic test is equally important. And it looks like we got one!