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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 5

May 7, 2019

Cryptic mutation is cautionary tale for crop gene editing

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

Even in this “age of the genome,” much about genes remains shrouded in mystery. This is especially true for “cryptic mutations”—mutated genes that are hidden, and have unexpected effects on traits that are only revealed when combined with other mutations. Learning from one infamous cryptic mutation in particular, researchers from CSHL share important lessons for breeding or gene editing in crops.

This story starts with the Campbell Soup Company and a field of tomatoes in the mid 20th century. One particular tomato plant had an unexpected beneficial trait: the fruits separated from the vine right where the green cap and stem touch the rest of the fruit. It turned out that this spontaneous natural mutant was ideal for large-scale production.

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May 7, 2019

Ekaterina Bereziy, CEO of ExoAtlet, a Russian company developing medical exoskeletons to enable people walk again — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, automation, bioengineering, bionic, biotech/medical, business, cyborgs, disruptive technology, robotics/AI, science

May 4, 2019

Anti-CRISPR molecules discovered that can block the gene editing technology

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

As we dive into the brave new world of gene editing, CRISPR technologies are undoubtedly becoming increasingly precise, but alongside enhanced precision is also the necessity for developing ways to inhibit or block the process – an anti-CRISPR molecule, if you will. New work from the Broad Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has presented a study that homes in on small molecules that may have the ability to safely block the CRISPR gene editing process.

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May 2, 2019

Ira S. Pastor — CEO, Bioquark Inc. — Midnight In The Desert Show — Dave Schrader

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

Apr 29, 2019

An Interview with Jose Cordeiro

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, finance, life extension, lifeboat, space

Jose Cordeiro is promoting the development of rejuvenation biotechnologies in Spain and the integration of Latin American immigrants into Spain’s aging society to maintain the country’s productivity. He was at the recent Undoing aging conference in Berlin and gave us an interview about his political goals.


At Undoing Aging 2019, jointly organized by SENS Research Foundation and Forever Healthy Foundation, there was a session focused on the ways to make healthy life extension and medical progress a greater part of the global agenda. Among the speakers there was Jose Cordeiro, the vice chair of Humanity Plus, director of The Millennium Project, fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, and board member of the Lifeboat Foundation.

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Apr 28, 2019

The promise and perils of synthetic biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

To understand them well, look to the past.

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Apr 24, 2019

Genetically modified virus may shrink incurable brain cancers

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

By Michael Le Page

People with incurable melanomas and brain or breast cancers are to get injections of tumour-fighting viruses.

The trial will test the safety of a virus that has been engineered to shrink tumours – an approach that holds promise for a range of cancers, including deadly brain tumours.

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Apr 24, 2019

A first in medical robotics: Autonomous navigation inside the body

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Bioengineers at Boston Children’s Hospital report the first demonstration of a robot able to navigate autonomously inside the body. In an animal model of cardiac valve repair, the team programmed a robotic catheter to find its way along the walls of a beating, blood-filled heart to a leaky valve—without a surgeon’s guidance. They report their work today in Science Robotics.

Surgeons have used robots operated by joysticks for more than a decade, and teams have shown that tiny robots can be steered through the body by external forces such as magnetism. However, senior investigator Pierre Dupont, Ph.D., chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering at Boston Children’s, says that to his knowledge, this is the first report of the equivalent of a self-driving car navigating to a desired destination inside the body.

Dupont envisions assisting surgeons in complex operations, reducing fatigue and freeing surgeons to focus on the most difficult maneuvers, improving outcomes.

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Apr 24, 2019

Secret to lab-on-a-chip breakthrough: Matte black nail polish

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

BYU electrical engineering students have stumbled upon a very unconventional method that could speed up lab-on-a-chip disease diagnosis.

When someone goes to the hospital for a serious illness, if a bacterial infection is suspected, it can take up to three days to get results from a bacteria culture test. By then, it is often too late to adequately treat the infection, especially if the bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics.

BYU students are working on a project to diagnose antibiotic resistant bacteria, or superbugs, in less than an hour. Their method relies on extracting bacteria from a blood sample and then pulling DNA from that . If specific genetic codes indicating antibiotic resistance are present in the DNA, fluorescent molecules can be attached to these sites. Laser light can then be shined on the DNA samples and the molecules will light up.

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Apr 23, 2019

Welding with stem cells for next-generation surgical glues

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Scientists at the University of Bristol have invented a new technology that could lead to the development of a new generation of smart surgical glues and dressings for chronic wounds. The new method, pioneered by Dr. Adam Perriman and colleagues, involves re-engineering the membranes of stem cells to effectively ‘weld’ the cells together.

Cell membrane re-engineering is emerging as a powerful tool for the development of next generation cell therapies, as it allows scientists to provide additional functions in the therapeutic , such as homing, adhesion or hypoxia (low oxygen) resistance. At the moment, there are few examples where the is re-engineered to display active enzymes that drive extracellular matrix production, which is an essential process in wound healing.

In this research, published in Nature Communications today, the team modified the membrane of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) with an enzyme, known as thrombin, which is involved in the wound healing process. When the modified cells were placed in a solution containing the blood protein fibrinogen, they automatically welded together through the growth of a natural hydrogel from the surface of the cells. The researchers have also shown that the resulting 3D cellular structures could be used for .

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