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Alternative in Biological News

GEN reports on alternative feedstocks for ethanol production

New Rochelle, NY, June 19, 2009Scientists say they are forging ahead in developing replacements for petrochemical fuels that will be cost-competitive and renewable while having a minimal impact on the environment, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). A consensus is emerging th...

Capillary mats labor-saving, economical alternative to hand watering

TUCSON, AZCapillary mats are popular in the retail nursery industry and with many home gardeners. The uniquely designed mats provide automated irrigation to a variety of plants, conserve water, and reduce the need for labor-intensive hand-watering. Made with absorbent fabric lined with polyethy...

A natural, alternative insect repellent to DEET

Lanham, MD; February 5, 2009 Isolongifolenone, a natural compound found in the Tauroniro tree ( Humiria balsamifera ) of South America, has been found to effectively deter biting of mosquitoes and to repel ticks, both of which are known spreaders of diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and ...

Vidalia onions: Alternative to hand-transplanting proven effective

STATESBORO, GAGrowers in southeastern Georgia have the perfect combination of climate and soil to produce some of the world's best onions: the famous Vidalia sweet onions. Prized for their mild taste and sweetness, Vidalia onions are shipped throughout North America for use in recipes and relishes...

CSHL team traces extensive networks regulating alternative RNA splicing

Two professors at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have succeeded in tracing intricate biochemical networks involving a class of proteins that enable genes to express themselves in specific tissues at particular moments in development. Michael Q. Zhang, Ph.D. and Adrian R. Krainer, Ph.D.,...

Researchers create safer alternative to heparin

Troy, N.Y. Robert Linhardt has spent years stitching together minuscule carbohydrates to build a more pure and safer alternative to the commonly used and controversial blood thinner heparin. At the national conference of the American Chemical Society on August 17, 2008, Linhardt announced that h...

New text highlights role of microorganisms in alternative energy development

As the demand for and price of oil and other sources of energy continues to rise scientists are increasingly looking for abundant, cost-effective alternative sources of energy. One of the least studied and most promising sources, microorganisms, is the focus of a new book by ASM Press, Bioenergy....

Protein fibrils as alternative plastics?

This release is available in German . Amyloid deposits in tissues and organs are linked to a number of diseases, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, type II diabetes, and prion diseases such as BSE. However, amyloids are not just pathological substances; they have potential as a nanomat...

Synthetic molecules may be less expensive alternative to therapeutic antibodies, researchers find

DALLAS April 4, 2008 Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a simple and inexpensive method to screen small synthetic molecules and pull out a handful that might treat cancer and other diseases less expensively than current methods. In one screen of more than 300,000 suc...

Bear spray a viable alternative to guns for deterring bears, BYU study shows

PROVO, Utah Hikers and campers venturing into bear country this spring may be safer armed with 8-ounce cans of bear pepper spray than with guns, according to a new study led by a Brigham Young University bear biologist. Thomas S. Smith, associate professor of wildlife science, has conducted fie...

The race for biofuels driving alternative sources of biomass

Researchers have been studying fuels from biomass for years. Now, with growing dependency on foreign oils and an energy-conscious society emerging, biofuels are fast becoming part of a fuel revolution that could reach pumps all across America. Ethanol blends are already available at some gas s...

Iowa Corn Promotion Board, NJIT to license breakthrough, safe bio-plastic alternative

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), NJIT and University of Sao Paulo today announced a joint agreement for licensing four pending patents on a safe, building block chemical derived from corn known as isosorbide to chemists. The agreement marks a step forward in developing applications and marke...

RNA map provides first comprehensive understanding of alternative splicing

It's biology's version of the director's cut. In much the same way that numerous films could be stitched together from a single reel of raw footage, a molecular process called alternative splicing enables a single gene to produce multiple proteins. Now a new RNA map, created by a team of researcher...

Stem cells found in adult hair follicles may provide alternative to embryonic stem cells

Having recently identified the molecular signature of these epidermal neural crest stem cells in the mouse, their research resolves conflicting scientific opinions by showing that these cells are distinctly different from other types of skin-resident stem cells/progenitors. Their work provides a v...

Protect patients from exploitation by alternative medicines industry

It is time to protect patients from “vile and cynical exploitation?by the alternative medicines industry, argues a cancer expert in this week’s BMJ. It is estimated that up to 80% of all patients with cancer take a complementary treatment or follow a dietary programme to help treat their cancer, ...

Jumping gene could provide non-viral alternative for gene therapy

A jumping gene first identified in a cabbage-eating moth may one day provide a safer, target-specific alternative to viruses for gene therapy, researchers say. They compared the ability of the four best-characterized jumping genes, or transposons, to insert themselves into a cell's DNA and pr...

Rhesus monkeys in Nepal may provide new alternative for HIV/AIDS research

Scientists investigating the genetic makeup of rhesus macaque monkeys, a key species used in biomedical research, have found the rhesus in Nepal may provide a suitable alternative to alleviate a critical shortage of laboratory animals used in work to develop vaccines against diseases such as HIV/AI...

Common alternative treatment for liver disease is found to be ineffective

Results of high-quality randomized clinical trials have determined that milk thistle extract, a widely used alternative medication, may not have any significant influence on the course of patients with alcoholic liver disease or hepatitis B or C liver disease. These findings are published in The A...

Drug Offers Alternative to Surgical Treatment After Miscarriage

A drug first used to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers in people taking certain types of painkillers offers an alternative to surgery after miscarriage, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and other...

Discovery of New Dopamine Action May Yield Alternative Psychiatric Drugs

Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered a new mechanism by which chronically high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine exert their effects on the brain. Normally associated with triggering feelings of pleasure, excess concentrations of dopamine underlie schizophrenia, attentio...

Products containing specific probes for detecting alternative splice forms protected

ExonHit Therapeutics, today announced the grant of a major patent, US # 6,881,571, by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on microarray products allowing the specific detection of mRNAs produced by alternative splicing, covering microarrays optimised for the discovery of alternative RNA s...

New Insights Into HIV Immunity Suggest Alternative Approach to Vaccines

New insights by Duke University Medical Center researchers as to how HIV evades the human immune system may offer a new approach for developing HIV vaccines. The findings suggest some HIV vaccines may have failed because they induce a class of antibodies that a patient's own immune system is progra...

Methods for gene transfer in stem cells featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

... are highly efficient, their use can raise concerns about recombination, immune responses and other safety issues. DNA transposons offer an effective, alternative method for nonviral gene transfer that avoids the safety concerns associated with viral vectors. Use of the "Sleeping Beauty Transposon System for Sta...

New stem cell research could reduce number of animal experiments

...lp understand the mechanisms underlying the disease, but will also reduce the numbers of animals used in research. "There is a real need to develop alternative methods for studying these diseases that are more robust and better simulate how the disease develops in humans." The grant will fund a teaching re...

New hope for fisheries

...ted. Particularly outside wealthy industrialized nations, prospects for reducing fishing mortality are often more limited unless fishers get access to alternative sources of food and income. Therefore the authors highlight the need for a more global perspective on rebuilding marine resources. "Fisheries manag...

New computer simulation helps explain folding in important cellular protein

...to any study of biological systems, such as the folding process of soluble proteins, polymers, DNA or protein complexes. Therefore, it is an excellent alternative to other simulation methods used traditionally in the field of protein-folding thermodynamics." In the current study, the team discovered something...

Nottinghamshire Police First Law Enforcement Agency to Deploy ForensicSoft in United Kingdom

...pin of Nottinghamshire Police. One of the key advantages of the ForensicSoft product is the speed at which it captures digital evidence as compared to alternative hardware solutions. "Whilst we still image straightforward cases with hardware write blockers, we are seeing more and more devices with storage that i...

DOE-funded research projects win 46 R&D 100 Awards for 2009

...rial-sized electromagnetic data. This technology offers oceanic subsurface mapping at a scale and resolution previously unavailable to find sources of alternative energy and in guiding environmental remediation. It will allow scientists to determine if an energy source exists before drilling for it, which could ...

Stop and smell the flowers -- the scent really can soothe stress

...t inflammation and depression, and induce sleep. Aromatherapy, the use of fragrant plant oils to improve mood and health, has become a popular form of alternative medicine today. And linalool is one of the most widely used substances to soothe away emotional stress. Until now, however, linalool's exact effects o...

Slotted buses keep passengers cool

...all fraction (less than 5%) of inter-city vehicles are air-conditioned. They add that air-conditioning is not a commercially or environmentally viable alternative to simply opening the side windows and even the doors. Opened windows are supposed to improve airflow and keep passengers cool while the bus moves....

Healing power of aloe vera proves beneficial for teeth and gums, too

...e abrasive elements typically found in commercial toothpaste, it is a great alternative for people with sensitive teeth or gums. But buyers must beware. Not all al...esperson Eric Shapria, MS, DDS, MAGD, MA. "If they are interested in a more alternative approach to oral hygiene, they should speak with their dentist to ensure th...

Wood stoves -- a viable home heat source?

... -- The stress of rising natural gas prices is leading many consumers to rethink how they heat their homes. For some this means moving towards modern alternative energy options, while others have been turning to a more traditional method for a solution to these rising costs. In Canada and the United States, wo...

Contaminated site remediation: Are nanomaterials the answer?

...plications; and possible future directions for nanoremediation. The authors conclude that the technology could be an effective and economically viable alternative for some current site cleanup practices, but potential risks remain poorly understood. According to Dr. Kuiken, "Despite the potentially high perf...

Explosive growth of life on Earth fueled by early greening of planet

...nature.com ). Their paper, "The Precambrian greening of Earth," presents an alternative view of published data on thousands of analyses of carbon isotopes found in... trigger of the Cambrian explosion of life. "Our work presents a simple, alternative view of the thousands of carbon isotope measurements that had been taken as...

US-Mexico border wall could threaten wildlife species

...n the fence that are sufficient to allow passage of animals, while at the same time meeting security needs," Epps said. "A 'virtual' fence could be an alternative to a solid wall in some places, especially in steep terrain that is ideally suited for bighorn sheep. The use of cameras, radar, satellite monitoring ...

Female human embryos adjust the balance of X chromosomes before implantation

...rposes. "If the current human ES cell lines are in fact isolated too early, before X chromosome reactivation happens in the human blastocyst, then alternative strategies for generating human ES cell lines need to be developed. Obviously, an important step is to investigate exactly when and how reactivation o...

Singapore nanotechnology combats fatal brain infections

...e infected areas of the brain that require treatment. The ability of IBN's peptide nanoparticles to traverse the blood brain barrier offers a superior alternative to existing treatments for brain infections. The brain membrane is impenetrable to most conventional antibiotics because the molecular structure of mo...

Study finds DNA barcoding requires caution without closer examination

...cies. The COI region fails completely for plants because it evolves at a slower rate in plants and has a much more variable sequence. The search for alternative barcoding regions in plants is especially problematic. Although several gene sequences have been proposed for plants, none of them serves as a univers...

Waste water treatment plant mud used as 'green' fuel

...ts have shown that using mud from waste water treatment plants as a partial alternative fuel can enable cement factories to reduce their CO 2 emissions and comply...ersity (URV) have analysed the environmental and human health impacts of an alternative fuel that solves various problems simultaneously. This is the solid waste f...

Energy-saving method checks refrigerant level in air conditioners

...n the system, you have to remove all of the refrigerant and weigh it, a procedure that requires a vacuum pump and is quite time consuming." The new alternative works by using sensors to monitor the temperature of refrigerant at various points along the tubing in an air-conditioning unit. The technique is easy...
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