Fat? Sick? Blame Your Grandparents' Bad Habits. Toward the end of World War II, the Nazis blocked all food and fuel supplies to the Netherlands, leading to famine. Many babies born during this famine suffered long-term effects, including a higher incidence of a variety of conditions such as heart disease, obesity, glucose intolerance, and obstructed airways.
Severe trauma altered the victims’ gene code for life, even if the victim had yet to be born. But here’s the weird part: The effects didn’t stop with a child or with a generation. Postwar and post-famine, later-born siblings were also affected. And it appears to linger a long time. If our gene code can change in real time because of our surrounding environment, and if these changes can be passed on, then a long-discredited biologist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, may not have been 100 percent wrong. In other words, Lamarck was saying that evolution isn’t the very slow and apparently haphazard process Darwin described. The Case of the Voodoo Tomatoes The Book of Life. A Genetic Fog Machine That Tags Criminals | Popular Science. Super Teeny 3-D Printed Livers Go On Sale. DNA survives sub-orbital trip on the exterior of a rocket. DNA molecules smeared onto the exterior of a sub-orbital test rocket are capable of surviving a 13-minute trip into space and a scorching re-entry, European researchers say.
The scientists' surprising finding, which was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, suggests that genetic material is hardier than previously thought and may have the potential to stow away on robotic landers bound for other worlds, or within meteors, the report said. "It is conceivable that life exists independently from our planet even under the very hostile conditions prevailing on our neighbors like Mars," wrote senior study author Dr. Oliver Ullrich, a molecular biologist at the University of Zurich, and his colleagues. "Already on Earth we are able to identify some extreme life forms which can survive physically and/or geochemically harsh conditions, such as very high or low temperatures, intense radiation, pressure, vacuum, desiccation, salinity and pH. Follow @montemorin for science news. Can bacteria make you smarter? Exposure to specific bacteria in the environment, already believed to have antidepressant qualities, could increase learning behavior according to research presented today at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.
"Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breath in when they spend time in nature," says Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, who conducted the research with her colleague Susan Jenks. Previous research studies on M. vaccae showed that heat-killed bacteria injected into mice stimulated growth of some neurons in the brain that resulted in increased levels of serotonin and decreased anxiety. "Since serotonin plays a role in learning we wondered if live M. vaccae could improve learning in mice," says Matthews.
Matthews and Jenks fed live bacteria to mice and assessed their ability to navigate a maze compared to control mice that were not fed the bacteria. Bioengineer: the heart is one of the easiest organs to bioprint, we'll do it in a decade. A team of cardiovascular scientists has announced it will be able to 3D print a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade. "America put a man on the Moon in less than a decade. I said a full decade to provide some wiggle room," Stuart K Williams told Wired.co.uk.
Don't miss: Study: 3D-printed ear made from calf cells and silver 'hears' Williams is heading up the hugely ambitious project as executive and scientific director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the University of Louisville. Some 70 plus years after the publication of that book, Williams' predictions shouldn't sound all that incredulous, but he admits it's been met with resistance. "For bioprinting it is the end of the beginning as bioprinted structures are now under intense study by biologists. " Don't miss: Bioengineers 3D print tiny functioning human liver But why print the parts, when you can print the whole in one go? "The big issue is money," Shakesheff tells Wired.co.uk. A Genome Testing Device That Looks as Cool as a Jambox. This is made possible through a cartridge (that uses microscopic plumbing to separate DNA molecules) created by Fluidigm, and a touchscreen created by fuseproject.
Courtesy of fuseproject Prior to Juno, it could take several days and manual steps to prep and analyze genomic material. This machine automates everything, and goes from prep to results in three hours. Juno, a slick new machine designed by Yves Béhar for biotech startup Fluidigm, makes it easier than ever for lab technicians to analyze DNA molecules. The pattern on the casing, designed by fuseproject, shows the grooves created during CNC milling. The field of production genomics has led to some remarkable findings. Up until now, the technology used to isolate those cells could require days of manual prep time before results can be found. Since launching in 1999, Fluidigm has rolled out a slew of technologies and tools that all made genomic testing incrementally easier.
Mussels Inspire A Glue That Works Underwater. There's a new prototype glue that sticks like mussels to a rock—literally. The glue, which works underwater, incorporates proteins that mussels normally use to adhere to rocks, jetties, and larger sea critters. But the manmade adhesive isn't an exact replica of mussel glue. Its ingredients also include proteins that E. coli produce when they make slime colonies. The result is the strongest bio-inspired adhesive that works underwater, according to the glue's engineers. It might also be the grossest-sounding adhesive ever, but we're not here to judge.
In the future, adhesives that work underwater might be used to repair ships or undersea structures. The researchers chose their glue's proteins from a database of animal- and plant-made sticky molecules that scientists have compiled over decades of research. To check the glue's properties, its makers tested how well it stuck to silica, gold, and polysterene, a manmade material that goes into Styrofoam. Test tube milk the latest to hit the engineered food scene. "Got (synthetically bioengineered plant-based) Milk? " may not have the punch of the famous California dairy industry advert, but the founders of a Silicon Valley-based biotech startup are hoping their genetically engineered yeast will produce a dairy alternative as good or better than the cow version.
Joining a growing field of recent plant-based alternative meat and dairy startups, Muufri (pronounced “moo free”) was founded in May of 2014 and is taking a somewhat different approach to developing its product. View all Soy, almonds and other nuts have long been a popular base for alternative meat and dairy items, but few diners have been fooled into believing their veggie burger or soy milk tastes like the animal version. The recent push by plant-based food startups seeks to produce alternatives in the lab that replicate the taste, texture, mouthfeel, look, flavor and cooking properties of the real thing, so diners will be fooled. Source: Muufri Share. Genecoin. Flavr Savr - Wikiwand. Flavr Savr (also known as CGN-89564-2; pronounced "flavor saver"), a genetically modified tomato, was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption.
It was produced by the Californian company Calgene, and submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992. On May 18, 1994, the FDA completed its evaluation of the Flavr Savr tomato and the use of APH(3')II, concluding that the tomato "is as safe as tomatoes bred by conventional means" and "that the use of aminoglycoside 3'-phosphotransferase II is safe for use as a processing aid in the development of new varieties of tomato, rapeseed oil, and cotton intended for food use. " It was first sold in 1994, and was only available for a few years before production ceased in 1997. Calgene made history, but mounting costs prevented the company from becoming profitable, and it was eventually acquired by Monsanto Company. Characteristics Tomato paste. 10 Insane Cases of Genetic Engineering. Animals You’re probably familiar with South Korea’s glow-in-the-dark cats (if not, here’s a video).
They’re genetically modified cats with fluorescent pigmentation in their skin that causes them to glow red under UV light. The researchers then cloned them, successfully carrying the fluorescent gene to the next generation of kitty clones. For better or for worse, it looks like genetic engineering is here to stay, which begs the question: How will we know when we’ve gone too far? What’s the line between scientific progress and irreversibly changing the DNA of a life form? If that sounds extreme, just check out these 10 insane cases of genetic engineering. Spider silk has approximately a million and a half uses, and we’re finding more every day.
So researchers are turning to goats, the only animal in the world that could possibly improve by having more spider DNA. All that’s left to do now is milk the goats and filter out the spider silk, maybe fight a little crime on the side. Close. Ebola puts focus on drugs made in tobacco plants. It's an eye-catching angle in the story of an experimental treatment for Ebola: The drug comes from tobacco plants that were turned into living pharmaceutical factories.
Using plants this way—sometimes called "pharming"—can produce complex and valuable proteins for medicines. That approach, studied for about 20 years, hasn't caught on widely in the pharmaceutical industry. But some companies and academic labs are pursuing it to create medicines and vaccines against such targets as HIV, cancer, the deadly Marburg virus and norovirus, known for causing outbreaks of stomach bug on cruise ships, as well as Ebola. While most of the work in this area uses a tobacco plant, it's just a relative of the plant used to make cigarettes. "It's definitely not something you smoke," said Jean-Luc Martre, a spokesman for Medicago, a Canadian company that's testing flu vaccines made with tobacco plants. Medicago has a new production facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Spirulina (dietary supplement)
Spirulina tablets Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals and is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is available in tablet, flake and powder form. It is also used as a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium and poultry industries. Spirulina thives at a pH around 8.5 + , which will get more alkaline, and a temperature around 86 deg. F. They are able to make their own food, and do not need a living energy or organic carbon source. Spirulina was a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans until the 16th century; the harvest from Lake Texcoco and subsequent sale as cakes were described by one of Cortés' soldiers. The Aztecs called it "tecuitlatl". Spirulina has also been traditionally harvested in Chad.
Dried spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein. The U.S. Scientists discover living power cables made from bacteria. Laboratory-grown beef: meat without the murder, but would you eat it? | Science | The Observer. Last summer you unveiled the world's first lab-grown – or "in vitro" hamburger. How did it feel when you had it fried up, and you gave it to the first person to test? What if they had spat it out and said: "Ugh, this is awful"?
Well, yes. We'd selected food critics who said they wanted to taste synthetic meat at some point. But still, they are food critics, so they have to live up to their own standards. So, it was a nerve-racking moment. It's a paradox, isn't it? Exactly. Could it be that people think – because you haven't bashed it over the head and slit its throat – that it can't have that same degree of deliciousness? Right. So do you think there is as much of a philosophical hurdle to overcome as a technological one? Absolutely. I heard there's a very scientific term for this, the "yuck factor". Yes, it's extremely scientific. I was told that you're now working on a steak…? It's going to take longer. Artisan-crafted, I think they call it in the food world. He approached me. What? Yes. More than bread and beer: The National Collection of Yeast Cultures. Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people. The earliest known written words in human history document recipes for making bread and beer, both of which are made using yeast, as well the price of bricks – it seems our fancy for food and drink while discussing the price of property has remained unchanged over the years.
Brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae, features widely in products we consume daily in our billions across the world, but these ancient unicellular fungi are poised to become a defining organism of the modern era. Yeast can be used in biorefineries to make biofuels for transport as well as platform chemicals for a variety of medical and industrial processes. Moreover, yeast are a key model organism in the emerging field of synthetic biology, and engineered or even reconstructed artificial strains may be manufacturing the fuels, food and pharmaceuticals of the future. "What we're looking for is yeast as an enabling technology. BioSteel. BioSteel was a trademark name for a high-strength based fiber material made of the recombinant spider silk-like protein extracted from the milk of transgenic goats, made by Nexia Biotechnologies, and later by the Randy Lewis lab of the University of Wyoming and Utah State University. It is reportedly 7-10 times as strong as steel if compared for the same weight, and can stretch up to 20 times its unaltered size without losing its strength properties.
It also has very high resistance to extreme temperatures, not losing any of its properties within -20 to 330 degrees Celsius. The purified silk proteins could be dried, dissolved using solvents (DOPE formation) and transformed into microfibers using wet-spinning fiber production methods. The spun fibers were reported to have tenacities in the range of 2 - 3 grams/denier and elongation range of 25-45%. The "Biosteel biopolymer" had been transformed into nanofibers and nanomeshes using the electrospinning technique. At the Printer, Living Tissue. Play video By Jeffery DelViscio, Pedro Rafael Rosado, Kriston Lewis, Abe Sater, Robin Lindsay and David Corcoran Being Printed, Living Tissue: At labs around the world, researchers have been experimenting with bioprinting, but there are many formidable obstacles to overcome. Dr. D’Lima, who heads an orthopedic research lab at the Scripps Clinic here, has already made bioartificial cartilage in cow tissue, modifying an old inkjet printer to put down layer after layer of a gel containing living cells.
He has also printed cartilage in tissue removed from patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery. There is much work to do to perfect the process, get regulatory approvals and conduct clinical trials, but his eventual goal sounds like something from science fiction: to have a printer in the operating room that could custom-print new cartilage directly in the body to repair or replace tissue that is missing because of injury or arthritis. Dr. That gut feeling. 10 Bioengineered Body Parts That Could Change Medicine. UK joins project to create synthetic organism from scratch | Science. Scientists breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits | World news. World's first lab-grown burger is eaten in London. World's first lab-grown burger to be cooked and eaten. Transgenic Goats Producing Human Breast Milk Enzyme May Help Stop GI Infections Wordwide (w/video)
Genomes of 201 microbes sequenced. BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - Home. Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation. The BioBricks Foundation. Neuroligin 3 (Nlgn3) Knockout Rat | SAGE® Labs - Knockout Rat and Knockout Mouse Models. Scientists building the world's first synthetic yeast. Sea urchin nickel 'trick' could be key to capturing carbon. Study: plants 'talk' via funghi to warn about impending dangers. Salmon steak from GM fish could soon be on your plate. Leprosy bacteria use 'biological alchemy' Artificial jellyfish built from rat cells. New Coating Makes Silicon Circuits Implantable in Human Tissue.
Computers Made Out of DNA, Slime and Other Strange Stuff | Wired Science. London in Motion [HD version coming soon!] DNA 'perfect for digital storage' Researchers Demonstrate Reliable DNA Data Storage in Work Published in Nature. Glowing bacteria biopixels: The sensor displays of the future. Scientists make 'laboratory-grown' kidney. Scientists Make Progress in Tailor-Made Organs. 'Bioprosthetic' artificial heart combines synthetic materials and cow tissue. Surgeons at Duke University Hospital Implant Bioengineered Vein. Skin cells turned into healthy heart muscle cells.
– USATODAY.com. Edinburgh scientists use 3D printing to produce stem cells. Print me some skin. Cornell Bioengineers 3D Print Replacement Ears. Lab-engineered muscle implants restore function in animals. User:Cathalgarvey/Books/A Beginner's Guide to Biotechnology. Draft DIYbio Code of Ethics from European Congress. US supreme court rules human genes cannot be patented | Law. DIY BioPrinter. Microbial Factories. Our Secret Universe. Systems & Synthetic Biology. Modern Meadow aims to print raw meat using bioprinter. Mad Scientists Offer $1,500 Shoes Made From Genetically Engineered Stingrays. Studies of Human Microbiome Yield New Insights. In pictures: Biotechnology is engineering the world.
UK government backs three-person IVF. How E. coli cells work in the human gut. Afterlife: Making Rotten Food Beautiful | Wired Science. Hypernature.