‘On-Off Switch’ Mechanism Stops Spread Of Cancer

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A tiny bit of genetic material with no previously known function may hold the key to stopping the spread of cancer, researchers at Yale School of Medicine and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China report in two papers in the September 7-11 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

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Mysterious Biological ‘Goo’ Floats Down Alaskan Coast

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Unknown biological glob floating down coast of Alaska

A mysterious glob of unknown material up to 12 miles long has appeared off Alaska’s northern coast. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer says, “It’s certainly biological. It’s definitely not an oil product of any kind.”

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Rare Microbe To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Rare Bug To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Zymetis is testing genetically modified bacteria that efficiently convert biomass into sugar.  

A tiny microbe found in the Chesapeake Bay is the focus of intense study for a biotech startup in College Park, MD. Zymetis has genetically modified a rare, cellulose-eating bacterium to break down and convert cellulose into sugars necessary to make ethanol, and it recently completed its first commercial-scale trial. Earlier this year, the company ran the modified microbe through a series of tests in large fermenters and found that it was able to convert one ton of cellulosic plant fiber into sugar in 72 hours. The trial, researchers say, illustrates the organism’s potential in helping to produce ethanol cheaply and efficiently at industrial scales. Zymetis is now raising the first round of venture capital to bring the technology to commercial applications.

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