COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS

DNA

Researchers Developed a Molecule-Sorting DNA Nanorobot

Bioengineers from the Californian Institute of Technology developed DNA robots that can autonomously walk, sort, and work together – all at once. The robots are “programmed” to transport molecules into predetermined locations and may provide many intriguing applications in medicine and nanoengineering.

Chicago City Lights

Exposure to Artificial Light Linked to Cancer

Night shift work has been consistently associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, insomnia, depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Exposure to light at night is not only leaving scars on people’s well being but is affecting wildlife and entire ecosystems, it wastes energy, money and gives astronomers headaches.

Mantis shrimp

Are We Facing a New Era of Color Science?

Findings of an international team of 27 scientists implicate that we are on the threshold of a new era of color science that could have far-reaching impacts on the security industry, medicine, clothing design, military and understanding of animal and human behavior.

Sperm

Dramatic Decline in Sperm Counts of Western Men

Sperm concentration among men from Western countries declined by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years. There is a large decrease in sperm quality among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand a study reports. The even more disturbing fact is that the decline doesn’t seem to be leveling off. If it continues or possibly even increases among men living in these countries, this will be a major problem for fertility and reproduction.

Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

Harnessing Biotechnology in the Fight Against Snakebite

Snakebite at first glance does not seem to be a problem, which should concern a modern human. Despite numerous achievements in the field of pharmacology, it is however among the most neglected diseases of our era.

Grim statistics provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) show that, each year, 5 million bites occur, leading to 150,000 deaths and a striking 400,000 amputations. The lucky ones who manage to avoid a deadly outcome of snakebite envenoming are often mentally and physically scarred for life.

Protein folding

Big Step Forward for Protein Engineering

A group of US and Canadian researchers conducted the largest-scale testing of folding stability for computationally designed proteins. More than 15,000 newly designed small proteins were tested for correlation between folding and function which resulted in significant protein modeling improvements.

Splice supporters