Bacteria in frog skin may help fight fungal infections in humans

In the past few decades, a lethal disease has decimated populations of frogs and other amphibians worldwide, even driving some species to extinction. Yet other amphibians resisted the epidemic. Based on previous research, scientists at the INDICASAT AIP, Smithsonian and collaborating institutions knew that skin bacteria could be protecting the animals by producing fungi-fighting compounds. However, this time they decided to explore these as potential novel antifungal sources for the…

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Researchers Create ‘Rat Cyborgs’ That People Control With Their Minds

I’ll just come right out and say it: Scientists have created human-controlled rat cyborgs. Lest you think this is some media sensationalism at work, here’s the actual title of the paper under discussion, which came out last week in Scientific Reports: “Human Mind Control of Rat Cyborg’s Continuous Locomotion with Wireless Brain-to-Brain Interface.” That pretty much says it all. Some of this tech — such as brain-brain interfaces (BBIs) and…

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Key differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA silencing Argonaute enzyme unveiled

Enzymes have clearly defined active sites to allow the substrate molecule to fit intricately. This is often coupled with an enzymatic conformational change prior to the occurrence of the catalysis reaction. For Ago, the catalysis step requires insertion of a “glutamate finger” to form the catalytic plugged-in conformation, which can be stabilized through hydrogen-bonding networks provided by two symmetric positively-charged residues. Figure : The substrate-assisted target DNA cleavage mechanism. (A)…

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Simplified method makes cell-free protein synthesis more flexible and accessible

Researchers have radically simplified the method for cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS), a technique that could become fundamental to medical research. Synthesizing proteins is essential for multiple types of pharmaceutical and genetic research. For years, proteins could only be synthesized within live cells. CFPS provides the novel ability to biosynthesize proteins in a test tube in a matter of hours without the need for living cells. This process provides a new…

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These 3 Electroceuticals Could Help You Heal Faster

Electricity helps the heart beat, the muscles twitch, and the body communicate with the brain. Now scientists are increasingly using electricity to promote healing. Unlike previous inventions that were often quite bulky, new “electroceutical” devices are easier to wear, and some can even biodegrade inside the body. Here are a few designs that could someday aid patients in recovery. Biodegradable Implant Research has found that electric fields can accelerate the…

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Face-Scanning AI Identifies Rare Genetic Disorders

The photograph is cropped close on the face of four-year-old Yael, who is smiling and looking as healthy as can be. But a computer analysis of her features says something’s not right. She has MR XL Bain Type, the computer predicts—a very rare syndrome that causes a wide range of health problems. It turned out that the computer was right.  Yael is one of thousands of children who have contributed to the development of an artificial…

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CRISPR technology creates pluripotent stem cells that are ‘invisible’ to the immune system

UC San Francisco scientists have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to create the first pluripotent stem cells that are functionally “invisible” to the immune system, a feat of biological engineering that, in laboratory studies, prevented rejection of stem cell transplants. Because these “universal” stem cells can be manufactured more efficiently than stem cells tailor-made for each patient — the individualized approach that dominated earlier efforts — they bring the promise…

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Study examines how compound damaged DNA to understand its connection to cancer

For more than a decade, scientists have worked to understand the connection between colibactin, a compound produced by certain strains of E. coli, and colorectal cancer, but have been hampered by their inability to isolate the compound. So Emily Balskus instead decided to focus on the mess it leaves behind. A Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Balskus and colleagues are the authors of a new study that seeks to…

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Sleep deprivation linked with DNA damage

Sleep deprivation was associated with DNA damage in a new Anesthesia study. In the observational study on 49 healthy full-time doctors who had their blood analyzed at different time points, on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than participants who did not work overnight. In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks…

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Scientists discover new blood vessels in bone

Researchers at University Duisburg-Essen, Germany have discovered new blood vessels in the long bones of mice, as well as similar new vessels in human long bones. sciencepics | Shutterstock The vessels, which the scientists have called “trans-cortical vessels” (TCVs), were found to have originate in the bone marrow and traverse cortical bone perpendicularly along the shaft and connect to the periosteal circulation. The finding, which was recently published in the…

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