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U-M scientist to talk about tissue engineering at AAAS

Scientists have a pretty good handle on how to teach human cells to do tricks in a laboratory---things like getting soft cells from the mouth's lining to form bone. .. .. "It's not just a question of whether we can make new tissue in a perfect condition. Now we're mimicking what can really happen in a person, and we don't know if th...

Ants Genetic Engineering Leads To Species Interdependency

Findings reported last week reveal how an.evolutionary innovation involving the sharing of genes between two ant.species has given rise to a deep-seated dependency between them for the.survival of both species populations..The new work illustrates how genetic exchange through interbreeding.between two species can give rise to a system of interdependence at a.high level of biological organization...

Supercomputer Dedicated To Bioengineering, Computational Biology Installed

The University of California, San Diego, with support from the National Institutes of Health and the Whitaker Foundation, has installed a supercomputer dedicated to solving a wide range of challenging biological problems. The 210-node Dell PowerEdge Linux cluster capable of 2.6 trillion mathematical operations per second, the second most powerful computer cluster on campus, will be used to analyz...

Programmable cells: Engineer turns bacteria into living computers

.. .. The feat, accomplished in a biology lab within the Department of Electrical Engineering, represents an important proof-of-principle in an emerging field known as "...

Duke engineers develop new 3-D cardiac imaging probe

Biomedical engineers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have created a new three-dimensional ultrasound cardiac imaging probe. Inserted inside the esophagus, the probe creates a picture of the whole heart in the time it takes for current ultrasound technology to image a single heart cross section. . .. A peer-re...

UCSD medical/bioengineering reseachers show titanium debris satobtage artificial joints

Microscopic titanium particles weaken the bonding of hip, knee, and other joint replacements, according to research published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Jacobs School of Engineering. The team demonstrated that titanium implants are safe in large blocks, but at the microscopic...

Chemical Engineer Kao Explores Antibiotic Synthesis With DNA Chips

Ask Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Camilla Kao to describe a bacterium, and she'll compare it to a factory capable of producing antibiotics, immunosuppressants and anti-cancer drugs that no chemist can synthesize. Bacteria normally produce antibiotics to inhibit other bacterial strains competing for resources. Pharmaceutical companies exploit this property to manufacture drugs, but t...

Engineers improve plastic's potential for use in implants by linking it to biological material

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have found a way to modify a plastic to anchor molecules that promote nerve regeneration, blood vessel growth or other biological processes. .. In the study led by Dr. Christine Schmidt, the researchers identified a piece of protein from among a billion candidates that could perform the unusual feat of attaching to polypyrrole, a synthetic polymer (p...

MIT engineers an anti-cancer smart bomb

Imagine a cancer drug that can burrow into a tumor, seal the exits and detonate a lethal dose of anti-cancer toxins, all while leaving healthy cells unscathed. .. . .. .. "We brought together three elements: cancer biology, pharmacology...

Disease diagnosis, bioengineering covered at state nano summit

Research into the evolution of protein design by a University of Houston professor will be featured among nearly 20 presentations at the 2005 Nano Summit Research Conference July 28. . .. Sponsored by the Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas, the 2005 Nano Summit is a daylong forum for Texas natural science, engineering and medical researchers to meet and exchange information on their respective ar...

Insects develop resistance to engineered crops

Genetically modified crops containing two insecticidal proteins in a single plant efficiently kill insects. But when crops engineered with just one of those toxins grow nearby, insects may more rapidly develop resistance to all the insect-killing plants, report Cornell University researchers. . .. Bt crops were first commercialized in 1996, and scientists, critics and others have been concern...

Engineered molecule amplifies body's immune response

By altering a molecule called Stat1, which is involved in cellular immune signaling, scientists have succeeded in making the molecule more responsive and thus more efficient. This old protein with a new twist may eventually be used to improve the body's defense against infection. . Stat1 is involved in immune responses that are initiated by proteins called interferons. These proteins are produc...

Engineered skin offers clues to melanoma development

When it comes to the deadly skin cancer melanoma, studying functional tissue rather than cell lines may better provide insight into the disease's development, according to new research from a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. . Though multiple genetic alterations are associated with melanoma development, scientists have not been able to...

Genetically engineered animals help in scientific research that may benefit children

The recent use of genetically modified mice and rats in combination with an animal model of obstructive nephropathy, a type of renal disease, has given researchers new insight in the development of kidney disease. This research is published in the September issue of Kidney International. . "Chronic kidney disease is difficult to study since it takes a fair amount of time to install," states Joos...

Scientists and engineers apply nature's design to human problems

Copying the ideas of others is usually frowned upon, but when it comes to the work of Mother Nature, scientists are finding they can use nature as a template. . An interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently formed the Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID) with the goal of capitalizing on the rich source of design solutions present...

Cells from amniotic fluid used to tissue-engineer a new trachea

Pediatric surgeon looks to fetal cells to repair birth defectsResearchers at Children's Hospital Boston report using tissue engineering to reconstruct defective tracheas (windpipes) in fetal lambs, first using cells from the amniotic fluid to grow sections of cartilage tube, and then implanting these living grafts into the lambs while still in the womb. . The tracheal repair technique is one of s...

Engineered Stem Cells Show Promise For Sneaking Drugs Into The Brain

One of the great challenges for treating Parkinson's diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders is getting medicine to the right place in the brain. . .. But now scientists have found a new way to sneak drugs past the blood-brain barrier by engineering and implanting progenitor brain cells derived f...

Nano springs eternal; Protozoan 'engine' posts nano records

Looking through his handmade microscope in 1702, it was Anton van Leeuwenhoek who first described the workings of a nano machine. He observed the rapid contraction of a stalk tethering the cell body of a tiny protozoan, Vorticella convallaria, to the surface of a leaf. Little did van Leeuwenhoek imagine that more than 300 years later, the biological spring that drives Vorticella would set records...

Engineers discover why toucan beaks are models of lightweight strength

As a boy growing up in Brazil 40 years ago, Marc A. Meyers marveled at the lightweight toughness of toucan beaks that he occasionally found on the forest floor. Now a materials scientist and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering, Meyers said makers of airplanes and automobiles may benefit from the first ever detailed engineering analysis of touca...

Bioengineers create stable networks of blood vessels

Yale biomedical engineers have created an implantable system that can form and stabilize a functional network of fine blood vessels critical for supporting tissues in the body, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . For body tissue to survive it must receive oxygen delivered through the finest of blood vessels. Led by Erin Lavik, assistant professor of Bi...

Rice bioengineers pioneer techniques for knee repair

A breakthrough self-assembly technique for growing replacement cartilage offers the first hope of replacing the entire articular surface of knees damaged by arthritis. The technique, developed at Rice University's Musculoskeletal Bioengineering Laboratory, is described in this month's issue of the journal Tissue Engineering. . "This has significant ramifications because we are now beginning to ta...

Successful cell engineering may lead to mad cow prevention, say researchers

Researchers at Texas A&M University have successfully "knocked down" the expression of possible disease-causing genes in a cloned goat fetus, perhaps paving the way for breeding disease resistance in other animals, even those genes that might cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow Disease. . Researchers Mark Westhusin and Charles Long in Texas A&M's Colleg...

New University of Toronto research a 'pore' excuse for engineering

A new study by chemists and engineers at the University of Toronto describes a nanoscale material they've created that could help satisfy society's never-ending hunger for smaller digital devices and cellphones, and could even lead to new methods for delivering medications via skin patches. . The material, known as periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO), is a thin film interspersed with pores jus...

UW-Madison engineers squeeze secrets from proteins

Proteins, one of the basic components of living things, are among the most studied molecules in biochemistry. Understanding how proteins form or "fold" from sequenced strings of amino acids has long been one of the grand challenges of biology. . A common belief holds that the more proteins are confined by their environment, the more stable - or less likely to unfold - they become. Now, as report...

Engineered mouse mimics cognitive aspects of schizophrenia

Researchers have developed a mouse strain in which the abnormal activity of the dopamine machinery in a specific part of the brain causes cognitive and behavioral impairments mimicking those in human schizophrenics. . .. Dr.s Christoph Kellendonk, Eleanor H. Simpson, Eric R. Kandel and colleagues reported their development of the mouse model...

NJIT engineer poised to take stem cell research a step forward

Treena Arinzeh, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) who is one of the nation's leading stem cell researchers, has received two grants that will help her bring the promise of stem cell research a step closer to reality. . Arinzeh received a $700,000 grant from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research, a state agency that funds s...

Scientists re-engineer a well-known antibiotic to counter drug resistance

The scientists replaced a single atom from the molecular structure of vancomycin aglycon, a glycopeptide antibiotic that attacks the bacteria by inhibiting cell wall synthesis, significantly increasing the drug's spectrum of activity. In recent years, a number of the most common strains of enterococci have become resistant to vancomycin and use of the antibiotic has been under scrutiny. This re-e...

Genetically engineered mosquitoes show resistance to dengue fever virus

Researchers have successfully created a genetically engineered mosquito that shows a high level of resistance against the most prevalent type of dengue fever virus, providing a powerful weapon against a disease that infects 50 million people each year. . Anthony James, a UC Irvine vector biologist, is one of a team of researchers who injected DNA into mosquito embryos, creating the first stable t...

Hopkins researchers discover genetic switch that turns off an oxygen-poor cell's combustion engine

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a previously unrecognized role played by the gene HIF-1 as it helps cell survive when a lack of oxygen decreases production of an energy-rich molecule called ATP and increases production of toxic molecules. ATP supplies energy the cell needs to perform each of its many chemical reactions and tasks, and in this way acts as the "currency" for the cell's en...

Engineered heart tissue offers insights into irregular heartbeats, defibrillator failure

Engineers who have induced heart cells in culture to mimic the properties of the heart have used the tissue to gain new insight into the mechanisms that spawn irregular heart rhythms. Studies of the engineered cardiac tissue revealed that while electric shocks such as those delivered by defibrillators usually stopped aberrant waves, in some cases they cause them to accelerate and multiply. . The...

A more powerful and efficient engine for rice: the C3-C4 challenge

A major international scientific effort was launched last week to develop and use a radical new approach to boost rice production and avoid potential rice shortages, or even future famine. . .. "If you think of the rice plant as a car, what...

Scientists tie several cancers to common 'oncogene engine'

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that a common "oncogene engine" ?a small family of malfunctioning cell growth switches ?drives several seemingly unrelated, lethal forms of cancer, including malignant melanoma. The finding suggests that it may be possible to attack these different cancers with the same therapy. . Reporting in the June issue of Cancer Cell, the scientists showed...

Bioengineered tissue implants regenerate damaged knee cartilage

Knee cartilage injuries can be effectively repaired by tissue engineering and osteoarthritis does not stop the regeneration process concludes research led by scientists at the University of Bristol. . The study, "Maturation of tissue engineered cartilage implanted in injured and osteoarthritic human knees", published in the July 2006 (Volume 12, Number 7) issue of Tissue Engineering, demonstrates...

MIT engineers probe spiders' polymer art

A team of MIT engineers has identified two key physical processes that lend spider silk its unrivaled strength and durability, bringing closer to reality the long-sought goal of spinning artificial spider silk. . .. In a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, Gareth H. McKinley, professor of mechanical engineering, and colleagues examined how spiders spin th...

UGA scientists engineer root-knot nematode resistance

University of Georgia professor Richard Hussey has spent 20 years studying a worm-shaped parasite too small to see without a microscope. His discovery is vastly bigger. Hussey and his research team have found a way to halt the damage caused by one of the world's most destructive groups of plant pathogens. . .. They attack nearly every food and fiber crop...

Boston University biomedical engineers win major grant for pursuit of the '$1,000 Genome'

Two Boston University biomedical engineers have won a major National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to continue groundbreaking research aimed at reducing the cost of sequencing individual human genomes to about $1,000. . Boston University Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics Amit Meller was among nine researchers chosen for the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute...

New engineered drug may offer prolonged arthritis relief

Researchers at Duke University have devised a new way to significantly prolong the effects of an anti-inflammatory drug, potentially making it useful for providing longer-lasting treatment for osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. . .. In their study, the researchers modified a drug called interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RA). They found that the drug, which is a protein, could...

Engineer ramps up protein production, develops versatile viral spheres

Scientists are taking the amazing protein-making parts out of cells and putting them into systems to mass-produce designer proteins for a wide variety of medical uses. At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Sept. 13 in San Francisco, Stanford engineering Professor James Swartz will discuss advances in such "cell-free" protein synthesis, including production of versatile, nan...

Engineered yeast speeds ethanol production

Scientists from Whitehead Institute and MIT have engineered yeast that can improve the speed and efficiency of ethanol production, a key component to making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply. . .. By manipulating the yeast genome, the re...

Genome archaeology illuminates the genetic engineering debate

Genome Research's cover story for Oct. 2 tells a tale of "genome archaeology" by genetic researchers who dug deeply into the long history of maize and rice. Their resulting insights into plant genomic evolution may well fuel the fires of the genetically modified organism (GMO) controversy. . "Our findings elucidate an active evolutionary process in which nature inserts genes much like modern bio...
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