Researchers from Singapore have developed a highly precise single-cell sorting alternative to the popular FACS that uses focused sound waves instead of harsher electric fields. Their detection mechanism also shrinks the instrument size, reduces its complexity and substantially lessens costs. In addition, it enables more accurate cell sorting and leaves no damage to target cells.
COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS
Researchers from Japan have bred genetically engineered chickens that lay eggs carrying interferon beta, a protein known to fight diseases like cancer and hepatitis. The method could eventually cut the cost of producing this important cancer-fighting agent by 90 percent.
The world’s first widespread human testing of a universal flu vaccine against influenza has begun in the UK. Rather than focusing on antibody production, the new vaccine stimulates the immune system to boost influenza-specific T-cells and aims to protect the elderly who are particularly susceptible.
Scientists from Stanford discovered that oxytocin is crucial for newly described brain circuitry involved in social interactions. The finding may offer clues to unlock treatment for social aversion, which could help people with depression, schizophrenia, and autism.
One more piece of the protein puzzle was solved when researchers discovered molecular “add-ons” that can customize protein interfaces. They represent a previously unknown fundamental driving principle which ensures that proteins interact in their own specific ways.
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.
Researchers developed a new method for transforming adult human skin cells directly into motor neurons without the need for stem cells. The technique has the potential to help researchers better understand diseases of motor neurons and could lead to progress in regenerative medicine.
Researchers developed a new approach to cell therapy that uses nanoparticles to deliver genetic material that induces changes in the cell´s transient gene expression. An approach that is faster and cheaper to develop, more customizable and as simple as ‘just add water’.
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.
Artificial womb to serve as a surrogate mother, a heart made of spider silk protein, a nose “growing” on your arm, bioengineered blood vessels and more. New technologies and techniques that will make us feel like we are living in a sci-fi movie are already here.