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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
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PLOS ONE: Phylogenetic Properties of RNA Viruses

PLOS ONE: Phylogenetic Properties of RNA Viruses | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

A new word, phylodynamics, was coined to emphasize the interconnection between phylogenetic properties, as observed for instance in a phylogenetic tree, and the epidemic dynamics of viruses, where selection, mediated by the host immune response, and transmission play a crucial role...


Via Ben Hetman
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Genetics and Society
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Stop worrying; start growing - Fagström &al (2012) - EMBO reports

Stop worrying; start growing - Fagström &al (2012) - EMBO reports | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Ever since the Asilomar Conference on ‘Recombinant DNA' in February 1975, regulatory policies relating to recombinant DNA technology have focused on the idea that this technology implies threats to human health and the environment. As a consequence, the explicit goal of these policies is to protect society and nature from an assumed hazard, or, if protection is not possible, at least to delay the implementation of the technology until scientific evidence shows it to be harmless. These policies were widely accepted at the time, as public concerns were, and still are, important. As time has gone by, the evidence for negative impacts of genetically modified (GM) crops has become weaker. However, the regulatory policies within the EU are still rigid enough to prevent most GM crops from leaving the confined laboratory setting; should some candidate occasionally overcome the hurdles posed by these policies, the precautionary principle is invoked in order to ensure further delaying in its use in the field. The reason for this over-cautious approach is widespread public resistance to GM crops, caused and amplified by interested groups that are opposed to the technology and invest heavily into lobbying against it...


Via Alexander J. Stein, pcronald
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Plant Breeding and Genetics
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New plant databases and models developed by the University of Florida could lead to more nutritious foods

New plant databases and models developed by the University of Florida could lead to more nutritious foods | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Information Services for Seed Professionals - The Best Place on the Web for Seed Professionals...

Via Valerio Hoyos-Villegas
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Forever Young - How to build a longer-lasting human? [VIDEO]

The twenty-first century will be shaped by a revolution in biology that will enable us to read the genetic code of life as easily as we would read a book. We have gained the power to control the destiny of our species and the ability to manipulate and build humans at will. This fascinating new series will take us on an incredible journey into the future of being, and give a glimpse of things to come in the new age.

 

Forever young - Imagine yourself 150 years old, pregnant and still going strong. Is this scenario the stuff of science fiction? Scientists predict that in fifty years time every organ in the body, except the brain, will be replaceable. Even the heart can be renovated. The future won't just be a healthier short life. The search for eternal life is now being taken seriously. A number of tantalizing and remarkable discoveries indicating how to stop the human body ageing are about to turn science fiction into reality. The key lies inside every cell in our body. Scientists now believe they will be able to extend the human life span to 150 years. Is this the first step of immortality?

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Deaf gerbils are all ears thanks to stem cells - health - 12 September 2012 - New Scientist

Deaf gerbils are all ears thanks to stem cells - health - 12 September 2012 - New Scientist | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Stem cells injected into the ears of deaf gerbils successfully treat a form of hearing loss that affects one in 10 deaf people...
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Cell structure gives African fruit its iridescent hue

Cell structure gives African fruit its iridescent hue | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Glittering blue colour stays intense years after plant's death.
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Vaccine trial reveals chinks in HIV's armour

Vaccine trial reveals chinks in HIV's armour | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Analysis identifies target for immune response that could improve AIDS vaccines.
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Amazing Science
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Tough gel stretches to 21 times its length, recoils, and even heals itself

Tough gel stretches to 21 times its length, recoils, and even heals itself | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that may pave the way to replacing damaged cartilage in human joints. Called a hydrogel, because its main ingredient is water, the new material is a hybrid of two weak gels that combine to create something much stronger. Not only can this new gel stretch to 21 times its original length, but it is also exceptionally tough, self-healing, and biocompatible—a valuable collection of attributes that opens up new opportunities in medicine and tissue engineering.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Fico Ventilatory's comment, September 6, 2012 2:36 PM
This Reminds me that often, we need look no further than the kitchen for inspiration. risen BREAD works in much the same way as this Gel... Wheat gluten contains the composite proteins Gliadin and glutenin: One gives the bread it's Strength, the other it's elasticity, and the two are required in an exact ratio to make the Crusty, Fluffy European Breads we Westerners are most familiar with. (Gluten forms when glutenin molecules cross-link to form a sub-microscopic network attached to gliadin). I'll bet, from the sounds of it, this Gel works in much the same way.One needs to Look no Further than what's Extant in nature for inspiration: self-similarity is a Natural Law.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Amazing Science
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Brainport vision device helps blind man to see with his tongue

Erik Weihenmayer is the first blind person to climb Everest and the Seven Summits, experiments in collaborationwith the Brainport Vision Device, a revolutionary new technology enabling a blind person to see with his tongue. Mounted on Erik's head is a small video camera which translates visual information to a credit card-size tongue display. Four-hundred tiny pixels present electrical patterns on his tongue, which Erik's brain then interprets as a visual picture in three-dimensional space. He uses the device to read words and numbers on note cards, to play tic-tac-toe and stone-paper-scissors with his daughter, and to rock climb. To learn more about Erik, go to www.TouchTheTop.com.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Mihaela Cristina Radoi's curator insight, January 19, 2014 9:02 AM

A blind person climbed the Seven Mountains (including Kilimanjaro and Everest) using the Brainport Vision Device, a technology enabling a blind person to see with his tongue. There are no frontieres, if there is will. 

Katherine Martinez's comment, February 24, 2014 10:55 PM
This is about a blind men who uses a machine that connects to the tongue to make out patterns so that he can see. This is truly amazing. We have this now, imagine what other things we'll invented in the future. Maybe one day we can make the deaf hear without a cochlear implant.
Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Plants and Microbes
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NY Times: Crop Savior Blazes Biotech Trail, but Few Scientists or Companies Are Willing to Follow (2011)

NY Times: Crop Savior Blazes Biotech Trail, but Few Scientists or Companies Are Willing to Follow (2011) | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

PUNA, Hawaii -- His shoes crunching through volcanic grit on the Big Island's eastern shore, Dennis Gonsalves walks into a grove of juvenile papaya trees. The renowned plant pathologist eyes the bulbous green fruit stack up the trees' trunks. In a few months, harvest will arrive, each tree shedding two or three papayas a week.

 

Working in the shadow of a volcano, farmers in Puna, the heart of Hawaii's papaya industry, harvest a bounty of healthy fruit each year. It's a far cry from 15 years ago, when a devastating virus swept through the groves. The trees withered. Their leaves grew to resemble craggy bird claws. The fruit was pockmarked with ring-shaped spots, hallmarks of infection. The island's papaya tradition seemed at an end.

 

Today, the trees' leaves are thick as a giant's fingers as they dance in the trade winds. The yellow-fleshed papaya will be sold to Los Angeles or San Francisco or fed to Honolulu's throngs. Stopping at one thriving specimen, Gonsalves cannot conceal his pride.

 

"This one here," he said, "you come six months from now, it'll be loaded with papaya." A bit of paternal glow can be allowed. After all, Gonsalves invented the tree.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
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Insights into the Evolutionary History of an Emerging Livestock Pathogen: Porcine Circovirus 2

Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) is the primary etiological agent of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), one of the most economically important emerging swine diseases worldwide. Virulent PCV2 was first identified following nearly simultaneous outbreaks of PMWS in North America and Europe in the 1990s and has since achieved global distribution.


Via Chris Upton + helpers
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
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Bluetongue virus non-structural protein 1 is a positive regulator of viral protein synthesis

Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus of the Reoviridae family, which encodes its genes in ten linear dsRNA segments.

Via Kenzibit
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Media Cultures: Microbiology in the news
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There are fewer microbes out there than you think

There are fewer microbes out there than you think | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
New estimate reduces the number of microbes on Earth by around half.

Via Iain Haysom
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
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The hidden threat of West Nile virus

The hidden threat of West Nile virus | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

"This year is on track to be the worst on record for West Nile virus in the United States. As of 11 September, more than 2,600 new cases, including 118 deaths, had been reported from across the country to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease range from none (in most people) to life-threatening brain inflammation, and it can leave survivors with long-term disabilities including paralysis and fatigue. Researchers are now investigating suggestions that even mild infections may leave another lasting burden — kidney disease."

 

Why don't they look in Africa?  A lot more people getting it here - for a lot longer.  Thanks @AJCann!


Via Ed Rybicki
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from IDM News
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Plant made anti-HIV microbicides—A field of opportunity

HIV remains a significant global burden and without an effective vaccine, it is crucial to develop microbicides to halt the initial transmission of the virus. Several microbicides have been researched with various levels of success. Amongst these, the broadly neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins are promising in that they can immediately act on the virus and have proven efficacious in in vitro and in vivo protection studies. For the purpose of development and access by the relevant population groups, it is crucial that these microbicides be produced at low cost. For the promising protein and peptide candidate molecules, it appears that current production systems are overburdened and expensive to establish and maintain. With recent developments in vector systems for protein expression coupled with downstream protein purification technologies, plants are rapidly gaining credibility as alternative production systems. Here we evaluate the advances made in host and vector system development for plant expression as well as the progress made in expressing HIV neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins using plant-based platforms.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Next Gen Sequencing (NGS) and Bioinformatics at UVic
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Synthesis and evaluation of hybrid drugs for a potential HIV/AIDS-malaria combination therapy

Synthesis and evaluation of hybrid drugs for a potential HIV/AIDS-malaria combination therapy | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Malaria and HIV are among the most important global health problems of our time and together are responsible for approximately 3 million deaths annually. These two diseases overlap in many regions of the world including sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, leading to a higher risk of co-infection. In this study, we generated and characterized hybrid molecules to target Plasmodium falciparum and HIV simultaneously for a potential HIV/malaria combination therapy. Hybrid molecules were synthesized by the covalent fusion of azidothymidine (AZT) with dihydroartemisinin (DHA), a tetraoxane or a 4-aminoquinoline derivative; and the small library was tested for antiviral and antimalarial activity. Our data suggests that compound 7 is the most potent molecule in vitro, with antiplasmodial activity comparable to that of DHA (IC50 = 26 nM, SI >3000), a moderate activity against HIV (IC50 = 2.9 μM; SI >35) and not toxic to HeLa cells at concentrations used in the assay (CC50 >100 μM). Pharmacokinetics studies further revealed that compound 7 is metabolically unstable and is cleaved via O-dealkylation. These studies account for the lack of in vivo efficacy of compound 7 against the CQ-sensitive Plasmodium berghei N strain in mice, when administered orally at 20 mg/kg.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Plant Breeding and Genetics
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Galápagos tomato provides key to making cultivated tomatoes resistant to whitefly

Galápagos tomato provides key to making cultivated tomatoes resistant to whitefly | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
The whitefly is a major problem for open field tomato cultivation throughout the world. Scientists in the Netherlands together with a number of partners have discovered genes for resistance to the whitefly in a wild relative of the common tomato.

Via Valerio Hoyos-Villegas
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Twisted Microbiology
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If the Mars rover finds water, it could be H2 ... uh oh!

If the Mars rover finds water, it could be H2 ... uh oh! | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

For all the hopes NASA has pinned on the rover it deposited on Mars last month, one wish has gone unspoken: Please don't find water. The rover's drill bits may be tainted with Earth microbes that could survive upon touching water.


Via Cesar Sanchez
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Mother's milk no match for virus that triggers asthma - health - 10 September 2012 - New Scientist

Mother's milk no match for virus that triggers asthma - health - 10 September 2012 - New Scientist | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
By overstimulating the immune system in the lungs, viral infections increase the risk of asthma in mice...
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
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Cellphone HIV test studied | Digital healthcare

Cellphone HIV test studied | Digital healthcare | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
South African and South Korean researchers are working on making a smartphone capable of doing Aids tests in rural parts of Africa that are the worst hit by the disease, a researcher said on Friday.

Via Ed Rybicki
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from IDM News
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Plant made anti-HIV microbicides—A field of opportunity

HIV remains a significant global burden and without an effective vaccine, it is crucial to develop microbicides to halt the initial transmission of the virus. Several microbicides have been researched with various levels of success. Amongst these, the broadly neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins are promising in that they can immediately act on the virus and have proven efficacious in in vitro and in vivo protection studies. For the purpose of development and access by the relevant population groups, it is crucial that these microbicides be produced at low cost. For the promising protein and peptide candidate molecules, it appears that current production systems are overburdened and expensive to establish and maintain. With recent developments in vector systems for protein expression coupled with downstream protein purification technologies, plants are rapidly gaining credibility as alternative production systems. Here we evaluate the advances made in host and vector system development for plant expression as well as the progress made in expressing HIV neutralising antibodies and peptide lectins using plant-based platforms.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Rescooped by Marthèlize Tredoux from Virology News
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Give boys lifesaving cervical cancer jab too: Expert says HPV virus is linked to other tumours

Give boys lifesaving cervical cancer jab too: Expert says HPV virus is linked to other tumours | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
The jab has routinely been given to 12 and 13-year-old girls since 2008 and protects against the human papilloma virus, the bug behind most cases of cervical cancer.  But with HPV also blamed for many other tumours, Cambridge University's Professor Margaret Stanley said boys must be given it too.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195558/Give-boys-lifesaving-cervical-cancer-jab-says-expert.html#ixzz252OTvFlb


Via Ed Rybicki
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Immune-related MicroRNAs are Abundant in Breast Milk Exosomes

Immune-related MicroRNAs are Abundant in Breast Milk Exosomes | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Breast milk is a complex liquid rich in immunological components that affect the development of the infant's immune system. Exosomes are membranous vesicles of endocytic origin that are found in various body fluids and that can mediate intercellular communication. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a well-defined group of non-coding small RNAs, are packaged inside exosomes in human breast milk.

We found that, out of 87 well-characterized immune-related pre-miRNAs, 59 are presented and enriched in breast milk exosomes. In addition, compared with exogenous synthetic miRNAs, these endogenous immune-related miRNAs are more resistant to relatively harsh conditions. It is, therefore, tempting to speculate that these exosomal miRNAs are transferred from the mother's milk to the infant via the digestive tract, and that they play a critical role in the development of the infant immune system.

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African research identifies strong candidate for possible single-dose malaria cure

African research identifies strong candidate for possible single-dose malaria cure | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
A recently discovered compound - named MMV390048 - from the aminopyridine class not only has the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria, but might also be able to block transmission of the parasite from person to person, according to a research collaboration involving the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), based in Switzerland, and the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) at UCT.

This was announced at UCT today.On the basis of initial results it was selected by MMV for further development - making it the first compound researched on African soil to enter preclinical development in partnership with MMV.

 

And the fact that it was done by the IIDMM's own Kelly Chibale is even more gratifying: congratulations, all!!!

See a video of the press conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5JPQ-RWVkE&list=PLAF5F3C9233117EAB&index=10&feature=plpp_video

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