EteRNA – an online video game connects players into a real biochemistry lab

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EteRNA

The latest research rage is crowdsourcing – Kickstarter to raise funding, screen savers that number-crunch, and games to find patterns in data – but most efforts have been confined to the virtual lab of the Internet. Researchers have now crowdsourced their experiments by connecting players of a video game to an actual biochemistry lab.

 

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The future of medicine is wearable, implantable, and personalized

As doctors and scientists continue to make huge leaps in terms of genome sequencing and scanning devices, everything about your medical treatment is going to change.

There are approximately 7 billion human beings on Earth and each of us is special and unique. We are the walking, talking instantiation of the 3 billion instances of four nucleotides (abbreviated GATC) that constitute our unique genome’s DNA. Just as important, the interplay of that DNA with the environment and our individual lifestyles determines our susceptibility and predisposition to diseases.

 

 

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Bioengineers and the latest Adult Stem Cells Breakthrough!

Finally, the perfect environment provided for stem cell research!

Bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego have achieved the “Triple Crown” of stem cell culture — they created an artificial environment for stem cells that simultaneously provides the chemical, mechanical and electrical cues necessary for stem cell growth and differentiation.

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Life’s Smallest Motor, Cargo Carrier of the Cells, Moves Like a Seesaw

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A molecular motor gives up its secrets.

Life’s smallest motor — a protein that shuttles cargo within cells and helps cells divide — does so by rocking up and down like a seesaw, according to research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brandeis University.

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Value of Sexual Reproduction Versus Asexual Reproduction

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Sexual vs. asexual reproduction – Only the snail’s hairdresser knows for sure

Living organisms have good reason for engaging in sexual, rather than asexual, reproduction according to Maurine Neiman, assistant professor of biology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and researcher in the Roy J. Carver Center for Genomics.

The study looked at sexual, as well as asexual, varieties of a New Zealand freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, by sequencing mitochondrial genomes and found that the sexually reproducing snails had accumulated harmful DNA mutations at about half the rate of the asexual snails.

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Single Atom Controls Motility Required for Bacterial Infection

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The binding and release of a single atom (calcium, shown in light blue) to a bacterial protein is necessary for microbial walking and infection.

Bacteria can swim, propelling themselves through fluids using a whip-like extension called a flaggella. They can also walk, strolling along solid surfaces using little fibrous legs called pili. It is this motility that enable some pathogenic bacteria to establish the infections — such as meningitis — that cause their human hosts to get sick or even die.

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Small Hairy Balls Hide Foul-Tasting Healthful Enzymes

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Dutch researcher Saskia Lindhoud has discovered a new way to package enzymes by causing charged polymers to form a ‘ball of hair’ around them.

Dutch researcher Saskia Lindhoud has discovered a new way to package enzymes by causing charged polymers to form a ‘ball of hair’ around them. Her approach significantly increases the utility of the enzymes. For example, healthy enzymes with a foul taste can be packaged in such a way that they are released in the stomach without being tasted.’

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Ancient Penguin DNA Raises Doubts About Accuracy of Genetic Dating Techniques

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Adelie penguins have survived in Antarctica for thousands of years and are invaluable for genetic research.

Penguins that died 44,000 years ago in Antarctica have provided extraordinary frozen DNA samples that challenge the accuracy of traditional genetic aging measurements, and suggest those approaches have been routinely underestimating the age of many specimens by 200 to 600 percent.

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Scientists Bend Nanowires Into 2-D And 3-D Structures

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This is a false-color scanning electron microscope image of the zigzag nanowires in which the straight sections are separated by triangular joints and specific device functions are precisely localized at the kinked junctions in the nanowires.

Taking nanomaterials to a new level of structural complexity, scientists have determined how to introduce kinks into arrow-straight nanowires, transforming them into zigzagging two- and three-dimensional structures with correspondingly advanced functions.

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Cement’s Basic Molecular Structure Finally Decoded

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Concrete being poured from a cement truck chute on a new sidewalk construction project.

In the 2,000 or so years since the Roman Empire employed a naturally occurring form of cement to build a vast system of concrete aqueducts and other large edifices, researchers have analyzed the molecular structure of natural materials and created entirely new building materials such as steel, which has a well-documented crystalline structure at the atomic scale.

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Spontaneous Assembly: A New Look At How Proteins Assemble And Organize Themselves Into Complex Patterns

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PALM is an an ultrahigh-precision visible light microscopy technique that enables scientists to photo-actively fluoresce and image individual proteins.

Self-assembling and self-organizing systems are the Holy Grails of nanotechnology, but nature has been producing such systems for millions of years. A team of scientists has taken a unique look at how thousands of bacterial membrane proteins are able to assemble into clusters that direct cell movement to select chemicals in their environment. Their results provide valuable insight into how complex periodic patterns in biological systems can be generated and repaired.

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World’s First Controllable Molecular Gear At Nanoscale Created

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molecular gear of the size of 1.2nm whose rotation can be deliberately controlled.

Scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), led by Professor Christian Joachim,*  have scored a breakthrough in nanotechnology by becoming the first in the world to invent a molecular gear of the size of 1.2nm whose rotation can be deliberately controlled. This achievement marks a radical shift in the scientific progress of molecular machines and is published on 14 June 20009 in Nature Materials.

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