Finland makes protein out of thin air; the future is weird

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Okay, so this is just cotton candy. But you get it.

Were you blown away by the invention of a burger patty made of soy protein? Please. As usual, the Scandinavians are here to make us look like absolute dummies. A Finnish company has out-impossible’d the Impossible Burger with the invention of a protein made from thin air. Yeah. Sit with that one for a second.

Solar Foods, a company based outside Helsinki, has successfully created a protein called Solein. Solein is made by a series of processes I learned about at age 15 then promptly discarded: water molecules are split in a process called electrolysis. Then, the hydrogen atom and carbon dioxide from the air feed soil bacteria, which produces Solein. So, the biggest power supply they need to make it is electricity. But if they can get it from solar and wind power, researchers say Solein can be grown with almost zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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Calysta, Inc. believes natural gas can feed the world

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Alan Shaw, CEO Calysta, right and Josh Silverman, the chief scientific officer.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, can be gobbled up by protein-producing microbes. The protein biomass is converted into things like food for farmed salmon or chemicals or other products, according to Ian Shaw, CEO of Calysta Inc., and Josh Silverman, the chief scientific officer. That salmon, of course, is an important source of protein that could serve a growing human population.

 

 

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Researchers create decoy protein that may stop cancer from spreading

A laboratory researcher in a file photo. REUTERS/Sebastian Derungs

The decoy protein significantly slowed metastasis in the study.

Often times, cancer begins in one part of the body and spreads elsewhere via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. This spreading, called metastasis, makes the disease deadly and difficult to halt—even using chemotherapy drugs with serious side effects.

 

 

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Neuroscientists reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice

alzheimers

Blockade of p25 generation in the brain of an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model mitigates amyloid plaque buildup.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice have been reversed by limiting a certain protein in the brain, according to a report by neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

 

 

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Change to a single gene increases mouse lifespan 20%

Scientists also discovered individual organ and body parts reacted differently to the process in the engineered mice.

Most Americans aren’t entirely fond of the idea of immortality as shown by recent studies. But it’s probably a good bet that they still wouldn’t mind extending their lifespans by 10-15 years. If researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have their way, that wish could become a reality. These scientists have successfully extended the lives of mice by changing a single gene.

 

 

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New protein discovery could change biotech forever

The quest started with trying to make better yogurt.

Bacteria that uses a tiny molecular machine to kill attacking viruses could change the way that scientists edit the DNA of plants, animals and fungi, revolutionizing genetic engineering. The protein, called Cas9, is quite simply a way to more accurately cut a piece of DNA.

 

 

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Discovery of a new hair-loss protein brings hope to balding men

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New protein discovery could lead to treatments to stop baldness.

A hair-loss protein has been discovered by scientists in a development that could pave the way for a cure for male-pattern baldness. The discovery could mean treatments are developed to suppress the protein and to stop baldness, although it would not reverse the effects to reverse hair loss.

Grains of rice genetically modified to produce human blood

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Blood protein from genetically modified rice could ease demand for blood donations.

Genetically modified grains of rice produce a key component of human blood in an attempt to provide an alternative to donations. The protein, extracted from rice plants containing human genes, could be used in hospitals to treat burns victims and help patients who have suffered severe blood loss.

Microbiology puzzle solved by online video gamers

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Model of a protein as seen in Foldit

In an experiment called CASP9, scientists were struggling to map the structure of M-PMV, a protein involved in a virus that causes a form of simian Aids. In that experiment and others, the search had been going on for more than a decade. But the solution was not found by a laboratory but the players of an online puzzle game.

Scientists discover protein to restore grey hair to it’s original color

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The discovery raises the prospects of drugs, lotions or shampoos that raise levels of wnt – and restore white or grey hair to its natural color.

Scientists have got to the root of grey hair – paving the way for locks that retain the luster of their youth well into old age.

 

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Scientists Develop Pill to Mend Broken Heart

heart attack

Taking the pill when a heart attack occurs, the muscles and blood vessels around the organ could rebuild themselves.

Researchers in Britain claim they may be just a decade away from perfecting a way to persuade the heart to rejuvenate – a process thought to be impossible just five years ago.  They have developed a pill that triggers the heart to repair itself after an attack and is a major step towards one of the “holy grails” of medical research.

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