Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 15

Jan 16, 2019

Scientists grow perfect human blood vessels in a petri dish

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

The breakthrough engineering technology, outlined in a new study published today in Nature, dramatically advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes, identifying a key pathway to potentially prevent changes to blood vessels — a major cause of death and morbidity among those with diabetes.

An organoid is a three-dimensional structure grown from stem cells that mimics an organ and can be used to study aspects of that organ in a petri dish.

“Being able to build human blood vessels as organoids from stem cells is a game changer,” said the study’s senior author Josef Penninger, the Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics, director of the Life Sciences Institute at UBC and founding director of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA).

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Jan 16, 2019

NASA May Decide This Year to Land a Drone on Saturn’s Moon Titan

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, drones, space

The spacecraft that have peered through the yellowish haze surrounding Saturn’s moon Titan discovered a strange, yet strangely familiar world where life could theoretically take root. Now, scientists want to return — this time buoyed by Earth’s fascination with drone technology.

That’s precisely what a team of scientists working on a proposed mission called Dragonfly want to do: combine terrestrial drone technology and instruments honed by Mars exploration to investigate the complex chemical reactions taking place on Saturn’s largest moon. Later this year, NASA will need to decide between that mission and another finalist proposal, which would collect a sample from a comet.

“At first blush, I think a lot of people think [Dragonfly] sounds like the literal meaning of incredible,” Melissa Trainer, a deputy principal investigator with the mission, told “Not only is this an incredibly exciting concept with amazing, compelling science, but also, it is doable — it’s feasible from an engineering standpoint.” [Landing on Titan: Pictures from Huygens Probe on Saturn Moon].

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Jan 13, 2019

Fujifilm plans $20M U.S. facility for burgeoning interest in stem cell treatments

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

A host of companies are developing regenerative treatments that lean on stem cells. Seeing an opportunity, Japan’s Fujifilm will build a U.S. stem cell manufacturing facility not only for its own efforts but also as a CDMO.

The company said today that its Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics Inc. (FDCI) subsidiary will invest about $21 million to build a facility in Madison, Wisconsin, to “industrialize” induced pluripotent stem cell technologies for its pipeline of regenerative drugs and to manufacture iPS cells for others. It expects the facility to be ready by March 2020.

“To meet the growing demand for FCDI’s iPS cell platform, the state-of-the-art production facility will have a flexible cell culturing design to serve production requirements of both industrial quantities of cells, and small, diverse batches,” Seimi Satake, FCDI CEO, said in a statement. “By combining Fujifilm’s experience gleaned from the intricate process of manufacturing photographic film along with FCDI’s knowledge of cell reprogramming, genetic engineering and cell differentiation, the facility is poised to address the complex manufacturing processes of cell therapies.”

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Jan 12, 2019

Bioquark Inc. — Creatively Speaking Radio — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, cryonics, futurism, genetics, health, life extension, singularity, transhumanism

Thanks so much to Luanna Helena for having me on Creatively Speaking Radio to discuss Bioquark Inc. ( and nature’s clues for human regeneration, disease reversion, and age rejuvenation -

Also got to introduce our new mosquito / “ectocrinome” research program — (…nefit.html) —

Jan 10, 2019

Giving Cas9 an ‘on’ switch for better control of CRISPR gene editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

CRISPR-Cas9 is a revolutionary tool in part because of its versatility: created by bacteria to chew up viruses, it works equally well in human cells to do all sorts of genetic tricks, including cutting and pasting DNA, making pinpoint mutations and activating or inactivating a gene.

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Jan 7, 2019

Bill Gates warns that nobody is paying attention to this state-of-the-art scientific technology that could make inequality even worse

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Gene editing is one of the most promising new approaches to treating human diseases today.

It also raises “enormous” ethical questions, Bill Gates recently warned, and “could make inequity worse, especially if it is available only for wealthy people.”

“I am surprised that these issues haven’t generated more attention from the general public,” he said in a December blog post, adding that “this might be the most important public debate we haven’t been having widely enough.”

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Jan 7, 2019

Scientists could engineer a spicy tomato. Is it worth it?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics

Spicy food is popular the world over, but the active ingredient that makes food taste “hot”—capsaicinoids, a group of chemical compounds has useful properties beyond making food taste delicious. However, the plants that make them (the chili pepper family, or Capsicum) are small and have relatively low yields. A new paper published today in the journal Trends in Plant Science proposes an alternative: engineering tomato plants to produce capsaicinoids. If all goes well, someday, you could enjoy a spicy tomato, or even be treated with capsaicinoids extracted from one.

The paper, written by a group at Brazil’s Federal University of Viçosa, builds on recent work that showed the tomato has all the genetic information it needs to produce capsaicinoids. “We know that all the genes are there, but in the tomato they are silent,” study author Agustin Zsӧgӧn says. His paper proposes a method for using gene-editing techniques to activate the genetic machinery in the tomato that tells it how to produce capsaicinoids, transforming the plant into both a “biofactory” that could produce larger amounts of the chemicals than it’s currently possible to grow and a spicy snack.

Tomatoes have capsaicinoid genetic pathways like peppers because the two South American plants are related. “In our lab, we work with both species,” Zsӧgӧn says. Last year, his team used gene editing to “domesticate” a wild tomato in just a few generations, engineering the strain to produce larger fruit, and greater quantities of it, than in the wild. This kind of process is how we ended up with the crops we eat today—early farmers planted the offspring of the most fruitful plants of each generation, enabling their genetic survival. CRISPR-Cas9 is just a shortcut.

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Dec 28, 2018

AP-NORC Poll: Most support gene editing to protect babies

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans say it would be OK to use gene-editing technology to create babies protected against a variety of diseases — but a new poll shows they’d draw the line at changing DNA so children are born smarter, faster or taller.

A month after startling claims of the births of the world’s first gene-edited babies in China, the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds people are torn between the medical promise of a technology powerful enough to alter human heredity and concerns over whether it will be used ethically.

Jaron Keener, a 31-year-old exhibit designer at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said he’s opposed to “rich people being able to create designer babies.”

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Dec 28, 2018

Ira Pastor — Authority Magazine — Bioquark Inc.

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, biotech/medical, business, cryonics, DNA, health, life extension, science

Thanks to Authority Magazine and Fotis Georgiadis for the interview — Bioquark inc. ( — Regeneration, Disease Reversion, Age Rejuvenation —…cc6dc8ebf1

Dec 27, 2018

Nucleus-specific X-ray stain for 3D virtual histology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, nanotechnology

Histology is used to identify structural details of tissue at the microscale in the pathology lab, but analyses remain two-dimensional (2D) as they are limited to the same plane. Nondestructive 3D technologies including X-ray micro and nano-computed tomography (nanoCT) have proven validity to understand anatomical structures, since they allow arbitrary viewing angles and 3D structural detail. However, low attenuation of soft tissue has hampered their application in the field of 3D virtual histology. In a recent study, now published on Scientific Reports, Mark Müller and colleagues at the Department of Physics and Bioengineering have developed a hematein-based X-ray staining method to specifically target cell nuclei, followed by demonstrations on a whole liver lobule of a mouse.

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