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Study: Universal gene for life missing from volcanic microbes (Wired UK)

Study: Universal gene for life missing from volcanic microbes (Wired UK) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
ThermoDBP potentially usefully in #syntheticbiology:

*Study: Universal gene for life missing from volcanic microbes*

by
Liat Clark
"A DNA-binding protein which is supposedly present in all life on Earth is absent from certain microbes found living near volcanoes, a study says. The discovery challenges our present knowledge of the fundamental basis of living organisms.

In the place of the single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB), the single cell organism Thermoproteales has another gene, now named ThermoDBP. The functionality of the gene is not yet clear. However, the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, suggests it could be useful in the fields of biotechnology and synthetic biology.

"All cells, whether they are microbial or human, have some things in common," says Malcolm White of the University of St Andrews' School of Biology, one of the paper's authors. "These are the fundamental components or building blocks which were present in the first cells and have been passed on over 3.5 billion years. However, we have discovered that a gene normally thought to be absolutely essential and conserved throughout every form of life, is in fact lost in one group of volcanic bugs, and replaced by a completely novel gene."....". Learn more..

 


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Researchers watch tiny living machines self-assemble

Researchers watch tiny living machines self-assemble | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

All crea­tures, from bac­te­ria to hu­mans, mon­i­tor and trans­form their en­vi­ron­ments us­ing small pro­tein nano­ma­chines made of thou­sands of atoms,” ex­plained the sen­ior au­thor of the stu­dy, Ste­phen Mich­nick of the Uni­vers­ity of Mont­real de­part­ment of bio­chem­is­try. To un­der­stand how a pro­tein goes from a lin­ear chain to a un­ique as­sem­bled struc­ture, Michnik's team de­vel­oped a strat­e­gy to mon­i­tor pro­tein as­sembly by in­te­grat­ing flu­o­res­cent probes through­out the lin­ear pro­tein chain so that they could de­tect the struc­ture of each stage of pro­tein as­sembly, step by step to its fi­nal struc­ture. Learn more...

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Researcher examines protein's role in diabetic retinopathy

Renu A. Kowluru, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology, anatomy/cell biology and endocrinology at Wayne State University recently received a one-year, $110,000 Innovative Grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help gain new insight into the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Her hypothesis is that NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a protein that regulates antioxidant response, fails to reach to the nucleus of cells in the retina to neutralize free radicals, which are volatile. As a result, Kowluru said, KEAP1 - the protein that serves as an anchor for Nrf2 and represses its activation - increases, damaging the mitochondria, the cells' power source. That damage, she believes, in turn accelerates the death of cells in tiny blood vessels (capillaries), ultimately resulting in the development of retinopathy.

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Bacterial signaling systems as platforms for rational design of new generations of biosensors

Bacterial signaling systems as platforms for rational design of new generations of biosensors

by
Checa SK, Zurbriggen MD, Soncini FC.
"Bacterial signal-responsive regulatory circuits have been employed as platform to design and construct whole-cell bacterial biosensors for reporting toxicity. A new generation of biosensors with improved performance and a wide application range has emerged after the application of synthetic biology concepts to biosensor design. Site-directed mutagenesis, directed evolution and domain swapping were applied to upgrade signal detection or to create novel sensor modules. Rewiring of the genetic circuits allows improving the determinations and reduces the heterogeneity of the response between individual reporter cells. Moreover, the assembly of natural or engineered modules to biosensor platforms provides innovative outputs, expanding the range of application of these devises, from monitoring toxics and bioremediation to killing targeted cells."
http://1.usa.gov/JTBbQj


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New blood analysis chip could lead to disease diagnosis in minutes

New blood analysis chip could lead to disease diagnosis in minutes | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

This UC Berkelyreport from 2011 highlights the development of the basic mechanics of a lab on a chip. This  major milestone in microfluidics could soon lead to stand-alone, self-powered chips that can diagnose diseases within minutes. Learn more...

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Biotechnology innovation for inclusive growth: a study of Indian policies to foster accelerated technology adaptation for affordable development - Vijayaraghavan & Dutz (2012) - World Bank

The recent withholding of approval for transgenic eggplant in India by the Minister for Environment highlights the complications in bringing consensus in regulatory processes. In principle, Indian ability to effectively regulate biotechnology-derived products in healthcare and agriculture should provide a competitive advantage given the lower costs in carrying out such validation, driven by abundant available scientific and clinical labor and the consequent lower total costs of various validation procedures. Currently, the cost of regulations in OECD countries typically leads the private sector to confine regulatory validation to products that have a sufficiently large global market potential. This is a key reason for large multinationals and industrialized country public research bodies not to advance research for neglected diseases, small acreage crops, and low-value agriculture products. If India gains sufficient regulatory capacity, then the products approved in India have the potential to reach other developing countries that have similar product needs in the areas of health and agriculture.


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French biotech sector struggling - Nature.com (blog)

French biotech sector struggling - Nature.com (blog) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
French biotech sector strugglingNature.com (blog)And the funding picture is no brighter for the survivors, according to the 150-strong association France Biotech.
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The age of predictive biology « Florida Biotechnology News

A collaboration between Iowa State University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has uncovered the function of three plant proteins, a discovery that could help plant scientists boost seed oil production in crops, ...
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What is life? Follow the bits

What is life? Follow the bits | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The debate over the definition of life is getting messier and messier, but one of the pioneers on the biochemical frontier is suggesting a method to tell whether scientists are actually looking at a new form of life - measuring the number of bits of information required for the life form to replicate and evolve. Good article - learn more...

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Separating signal from noise in living cells

Separating signal from noise in living cells | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A mathematician from the University of Bristol has teamed up with a biologist from the University of Edinburgh to address a major problem in molecular biology. The team have constructed a generalised signal-to-noise measure from the variance components to quantify the efficacy of information flow through a biochemical network. To this they created rigorous connections between the concept of intrinsic noise in systems biology, the notion of information capacity used in communications engineering, and a correlation ratio introduced in the 1950s by Alfréd Rényi.   Learn more...

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Thinking Big: Synthetic Biology

The investment industry view of Synthetic biology from Fidelity Investments. 

 


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Data.gov

Data.gov | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the executive branch of the federal government.
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Nvidia Bioinformatics Analyzes Plants, E. coli, and Giant Pandas | Dr Dobb's

Nvidia Bioinformatics Analyzes Plants, E. coli, and Giant Pandas | Dr Dobb's | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Sppeding up BioInformatics  apps with Cloud-based GPU-driven service for analyzing and integrating biological and genetic information...

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Computers may predict drugs’ side effects - The Boston Globe

Scientists at a biotech laboratory in Cambridge have developed a computer model to test drugs for adverse side effects before they are given to people in clinical trials. In the study, published Sunday in the journal Nature, the researchers started by creating a database of 73 proteins that were associated with adverse side effects. They used a computer program that could rapidly analyze drug molecules to predict whether a library of 656 approved drugs were likely to interact with any of the proteins linked to side effects. They made more than 1,000 predictions and verified them by doing extensive searches of published materials and conducting new tests in the laboratory. About half of the predictions were correct, and 151 of the interactions were previously unknown. Learn more...

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NSF grant supports work in systems biology of cells in engineered environments - University of Delaware

NSF grant supports work in systems biology of cells in engineered environments - University of Delaware | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
University of DelawareNSF grant supports work in systems biology of cells in engineered environmentsUniversity of DelawareIn this case, a group of University of Delaware faculty have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant under the...
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Cellular Computing - Google+

Cellular Computing - Google+ | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Cellular Computing

is a new page on G+ where you can discuss exiting concepts and publication around cellular computer. Have a look! Really cool material.....

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/106140549977596536572/


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Robert Sapolsky lecture on emergence and complexity.

Professor Robert Sapolsky gives a lecture (May 2010) on emergence and complexity.  Robert is Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University and is a research associate with the National Musuems of Kenya. Essential watching for those just starting to learn about complex systems and system properties such as emergence and guided formation rules.  Worth watching.

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Microfluidics-based diagnostics of infectious diseases in the developing world

Microfluidics-based diagnostics of infectious diseases in the developing world | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

This paper from 2010 gives a background on development of microfluidics-based diagnostics of infectious diseases.  So called Mchip technologies offer the promise of  portable advanced disease assay methods for less than $100. This paper covers the background of how the devices work. If you do not have a subscription to Nature you will have to pay for full access. Read more...

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Meet Basit Chaudhry, M.D., Ph.D. « A Smarter Planet Blog

Meet Basit Chaudhry, M.D., Ph.D. « A Smarter Planet Blog | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

interesting blog from the IBM smarter plant folks. As a medical student in a large public hospital in New York City, Basit Chaudhry, M.D., first experienced one of the most vexing problems facing doctors today: How do you discover and deal with all the information that’s required to provide optimal care? Learn more...

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Ecological complexity breeds evolutionary complication

Ecological complexity breeds evolutionary complication | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Without doubt 'Nothing In Biology Makes Sense' is one of my favourite biology blogs.  Their Ecological complexity breeds evolutionary complication is a great overview of species level interaction in a common ecosystem impacts evolutionary development. Worth reading - learn more...

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GEN | Application Notes: Accelerating 3D Microtissue Production

GEN | Application Notes: Accelerating 3D Microtissue Production | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Preclinical drug development relies on advanced in vitro models with a high degree of standardization to achieve maximal predictivity for an efficient compound de-risking strategy. in Integra Biosciences AG (Switzerland) white paper the authors describe how scaffold-free organotypic three-dimensional (3D) microtissue spheroids fulfil these requirements as they can be produced and assayed by standard automated liquid handling systems. Results are shown demonstrating how the Integra Viaflo 96 Channel Electronic Hand-Held Pipette can be used to produce 3D microtissues in InSphero's GravityPLUS™ hanging drop plate and to further culture and process them in the GravityTRAP™ platform. Learn more..

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Cell membrane is patterned like a patchwork quilt

Cell membrane is patterned like a patchwork quilt | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

(Phys.org) -- As the interface between the cell and its environment, the cell membrane, which consists of fats and proteins, fulfils a variety of vital functions. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich have performed the first comprehensive analysis of the molecular structure of this boundary layer, and revealed precisely how it is organised. In yeast cells, the entire membrane is made up of independent domains, each containing just one or a few protein types. If a protein is relocated to an inappropriate domain, it may even fail to function. The study shows that the membrane is a kind of patchwork quilt and should help scientists to gain a better understanding of basic cellular processes. Learn more...

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PhD research position : animal social networks

PhD research position : animal social networks | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

ETH Zuerich is looking for a PhD student for a 3-year project in collaboration with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zurich to study the incentives of social interaction and social bond formation. The project will combine the analysis of a large data set on social interactions and individual fitness in a population of wild house mice with formal models of network formation in economic and social systems. Learn More...

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Amazon.com: Honeybee Democracy (9780691147215): Thomas D. Seeley: Books

Amazon.com: Honeybee Democracy (9780691147215): Thomas D. Seeley: Books | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A must for the reading list -. Thomas' Seeley's Honeybee Democracy.  World-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals how  honeybees  faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a distributed decision process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus. Learn more...

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Penn Scientists Develop Large-scale Simulation of Human Blood | Penn News

Penn Scientists Develop Large-scale Simulation of Human Blood | Penn News | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A team of biomedical engineers and hematologists at the University of Pennsylvania have made large-scale, patient-specific simulations of blood function under the flow conditions found in blood vessels, using robots to run hundreds of tests on human platelets responding to combinations of activating agents that cause clotting. Their work was published in the journal Blood.

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