Genetics & Molecular Biology
An international research effort has resulted in an integrated physical, genetic and functional sequence assembly of the barley genome, which could lead to higher yields, improved pest- and disease-resistance and enhanced nutritional value of crops.
Even today, landmines planted as far back as World War II are still being discovered, posing a serious threat to civilians in 69 countries worldwide. Approximately 70 people are killed every day as a result of a landmine explosion in accidents that should be avoidable; a lack of efficiency in clearing out areas which have been covered with landmines and the difficulty of detecting hidden and buried landmines make them a persistent threat to innocent men, woman, and children.
In a landmark essay published in 1872, the physician George Huntington was the first to articulately describe a condition which he referred to as 'hereditary chorea'. Of his experience with hereditary chorea, which clearly left a strong impression on him, he wrote:
Scientists have used a three GeV synchrotron radiation facility to visualize an interaction between gluten and T-cells in the human immune system, providing insight into how celiac disease is triggered. And it will lead to a vaccine, they believe.
An increasingly diagnosed chronic inflammatory disorder, celiac disease affects the digestive process of the small intestine. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, their immune system triggers T-cells to fight the offending proteins, which damages the small intestine and inhibits absorption of important nutrients into the body. There are no treatments, apart from making sure to eat no foods with gluten.
Synthetic biology uses genes as interchangeable parts to design cellular circuits that can perform new functions, such as sensing environmental conditions. But their complexity is limited by a critical bottleneck: the difficulty in assembling genetic components that don't interfere with each other.
Unlike electronic circuits on a silicon chip, biological circuits inside a cell cannot be physically isolated from one another. Because all the cellular machinery for reading genes and synthesizing proteins is jumbled together, researchers have to be careful that proteins that control one part of their synthetic circuit don't hinder other parts of the circuit.
Biotechnology is not all about foods only. There is much more in store for future of mankind.
Even if we may or may not like Agricultural Biotechnology which is estimated to be $6 billion market (2005), including applications such as: Pest-resistant plants, Higher protein&vitamin content in foods,drugs developed and grown as plant products, drought-resistant, cold-tolerant, and higher-yielding crops biotechnology is going to stay and grow.
Five percent of men are affected by infertility and some new insights into sperms' swimming skills could shed light on why.
In a new study, researchers have shown how a protein called RABL2 affects the length of sperm tails, crippling their motility (or swimming ability), and decreases sperm production. In laboratory tests, the team found that a mutation in RABL2 resulted in sperm tails that were 17 per cent shorter than normal. Dysfunctioning RABL2 also negatively affected sperm production, resulting in a 50 per cent decrease.
The European Food Safety Authority has weighed in
with its assessment of the maize study by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his research team at France’s University of the Caen, which purportedly showed that rodents fed a strain of genetically modified corn with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready developed tumors and died.
Researchers have found a way to 'toggle' the intestinal enzymes responsible for processing starchy foods on and off, which could lead to better control of those processes in people with Type 2 diabetes.
This "toggling" was discovered in the lab of Simon Fraser University chemist Mario Pinto, who has designed inhibitors capable of regulating each of the four starch-digesting enzymes known as alpha-glucosidases. Three of those enzymes are responsible for generating glucose from starch, each in different ways. A fourth enzyme breaks down sucrose, also giving glucose. Occasionally one or more of the enzymes is missing, which also affects how glucose is created, Pinto explains.
Here is a missing link story that won't make evolutionary biologists crazy. Epigenetics is the most recent craze in science media discussions of biology, it analyzes specific patterns of chemical tags that overlay the DNA structure, determining how tightly the DNA is packaged and how accessible certain genes are to be switched on or off. Epigenetics shows us that the genetic code held within DNA represents only part of the blueprint of life. Because it is not understood, we even get speculation that voting preferences can be framed in termed of epigenetics, like in the brain.