CBS NewsStudy says genetically modified corn causes tumors, but other scientists ...CBS News19 in Food and Chemical Toxicology, revealed that mice who were fed either a diet of Monsanto's genetically modified maize sprayed with Roundup - the company's...
Our brains give us the remarkable ability to make sense of situations we've never encountered before—a familiar person in an unfamiliar place, for example, or a coworker in a different job role—but the mechanism our brains use to accomplish this has...
"As biologists continue the decades-long race to map the genomes of living things, a group of forward-thinking BU engineers is asking the kind of questions that engineers can’t help but ask: what if we built a different genome?
Known as synthetic biologists, they believe that with some skillful genomic tweaks, living organisms, such as cells and microbes, can be put to work doing things that are too dangerous or not even possible for higher life-forms like ourselves.
“There are so many possibilities,” says Douglas Densmore, the Richard and Minda Reidy Family Career Development Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering electrical and computer engineering department. “Some are biotherapeutic. For example, we use chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, which is horribly damaging to the body. We may be able to noninvasively use bacteria that are already in your body to kill cancer cells. Or we can use bacteria to make clean energy.”
In the last few years, as computing power has multiplied and the cost of decoding and synthesizing DNA has nose-dived, synthetic biological possibilities have started to look more like probabilities. Oil spill cleanup is also high on the things-to-do list for customized microbes. So is weapons detection, which may explain why the Office of Naval Research is funding a $7.5 million project called Utilizing Synthetic Biology to Create Programmable Micro-Bio-Robots. The project, which involves Densmore and two other BU engineers as well as researchers from Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and the University of Pennsylvania, intends to create a dynamic trio of humans, robots, and genetically engineered bacteria, all of which will work together to detect whatever the bacteria are programmed to detect. That could be explosives or toxins or heat or light. The customized bacteria will talk to one another, and they will report to miniature “chaperone robots,” a mere 10 to 100 centimeters long, that will each control thousands of microbes. Finally, the chaperone robots will wirelessly report back to humans. ......." http://bit.ly/WqKa13
Practising genetic engineers are challenging the scientific basis for applying genetic engineering to food and animal feed. One of the three-strong Earth Open Source team, Dr Michael Antoniou of King's College London ...
The twisting path to becoming less dumb has led to many stops.
Back when Shakespeare said you were the paragon of animals, both noble in reason and infinite in faculties, he did so during a time when physicians believed the body was filled with black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, and all sickness and health depended on the interaction of those fluids. Lethargic and lazy? Well, that’s because you are full of phlegm. Feeling sick? Maybe you’ve got too much blood and should go see a barber to get drained. Yes, the creator of some of the greatest works of the English language believed you could cure a fever with a knife.
A potential application for generating human cerebral organoids (brainlike structures) will be the ability to study brain development, model disease, and gain a better understanding of actual brain physiology.
I wish I could take credit for the title of today’s blog post, but it actually derives from a talk given by Mark Boguski of Harvard Medical School at a recent healthcare conference in Boston. Before you read any further, you should look up Mark’s...
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