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Science of Biotechnology

New discoveries and technology driving innovation in the biotechnology industry.
  1. Inside the Lab (29)

CRISPR: What's All the Excitement About?
Have you heard of CRISPRs--the new genetic engineering tool? Since the discovery of their ability to target and cut DNA, CRISPRs have become the latest rage for genomic researchers. Find out what all the excitement is about. (Posted: Sept 30, 2013)

The Microbiome, Our Health, and Other Poop
As the new fecal transplant therapy for gastrointestestinal infections has shown, the right mix of in our gut is essential for our health. As new research on the microbiome has shown, medical researchers and doctors need to pay much more attention the microbes living in and on us. (Posted: August 31, 2013)

The Battle against Death
Biomedical research is continually pushing back the boundaries of death. How far could this research eventually go? Immortality? Bringing back the dead? (Posted: Oct. 23,2013)

Prions, Alzheimer's, Protein Folding, and Mice
Recent research found a drug that can stop brain degeneration in mice with prion disease. The results have big implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Why? (Published: October 14, 2013)

RNA Interference (RNAi): From Drugs to GMOs
RNA interference (RNAi), discovered 15 years ago, has provided an essential tool for researchers trying to understand the function of genes. Therapeutics use of the technology has also finally made headway as the first RNAi drugs are being approved. Now, the technology is being used to make crops pest-resistant. (Posted: August, 27, 2013)

Mother's Immune System May Trigger Autism
Researchers recently published studies that lend credence to the idea that autism may at least partly be the result of fetal exposure to particular maternal antibodies present during pregnancy. (Published, June 15, 2013)

Recent Advances in Cancer Research Gives Us Some Hope
A rundown of some recent advances that are providing hope for new and more effective treatments of breast, lung, and gastrointestinal cancers by guest writer Zach Fisher. (Posted March 30, 2013)

What Is an Avatar Mouse?
An avatar mouse can be used to test how a patient's own tumor cells respond to various cancer treatments. Read more about tumor xenografts in mice and how they are starting to be used to guide treatment decision.

Getting at the Underlying Causes of Cancer
With recent technology, researchers can obtain much more data about particular changes in cells to produce cancer. Making sense of the massive amount of data, though, is the difficulty. Read how molecular science is changing how cancer is characterized.

The Challenges of Offering Diagnostic Genetic Analysis
It's anticipated that individual DNA sequencing will revolutionize how we practice medicine. However, there are real practical challenges associated with implementing this technology in the clinic. (Published: February 28, 2013)

Are Science Publications Too “Old School” for 21st Century Bioscience?
Discovery in biomedical research is accelerating, but increasing complex results only trickle slowly through peer review publications to the clinic. Is there a better way?

Systems Biology and Next Generation Technology
There is a shift in biomedical research from looking at a single molecule to looking at how tens and hundreds of thousands of biomolecules behave in cells. Read more about how systems biology and next generation analysis technology is changing life science research.

Broad-Scale System-Wide Protein Analysis with LC/MS
Living things are made of proteins, not DNA. However, advances in our understanding of biology has been hindered do to the inability to analyze proteins in a high-throughput broad-scale manner, similar to the way genes can be analyzed with generation DNA sequencing. Advances in LC/MS, though, are changing this situation.

Genetic Analysis Improves Medicine's Response to Infectious Outbreaks
The accessibility of high through DNA sequencing is changing the way healthcare workers track pathogen infections. See how advances in genetic analysis enables doctors to identify bacterial infection routes and halt outbreaks faster. (Published: January 31, 2013)

How Researchers Figure Out Which Genes Are Associated with Diseases?
How do researchers find the small differences in the 3 billion bases of a person's DNA that predispose someone to be obese, have ADHD, develop cancer, or have a sensitivity to some drug?

Has Biomedical Research Become Less Reliable?
Recent studies suggest much of published biomedical research is not reproducible. How reliable are published results?

Surveying the World's Marine Life
Eric Karsenti, who pioneered the Tara Oceans Expedition, discusses the ambitious endeavor to survey the enormous diversity of microbial marine life and plankton around the globe.

Looking for a Way to Cure Aging
Leading age researcher Linda Partridge's work shows that the genes controlling how cells sense and respond to key nutrients also appear to control the aging program.

Paul Nurse Discusses Challenges Facing Research and Drug Development
Dr. Paul Nurse's thoughts on life science research and new drug discovery based on an interview at the 2012 EMBO Meeting.

Making the Bird Flu More Pathogenic
The second of two controversial papers on the bird flu (avian influenza A/H5N1 virus) was published on June 22 in Science. There was a lot of concern whether these studies should be made public. Both studies provide important information about mutations make the bird flu more infectious and more deadly and could be conceivably be used to design...

Favorite Animal Models for Biomedical Research
Which animals are used the most for biomedical research and why? Here's a list of the most common biological models for medical research.

Tools that Make RFLP Possible
Essential Tools for RFLP Analysis

The Role of Proteasomes
The primary role of proteasomes in eukaryotic cells (and some archaebacteria), is to destroy other proteins.

Reasons E. coli is used for Gene Cloning
Five reasons the microorganism E. coli is so widely used in protein engineering and genetic research.

What do Fireflies Have to do With Biotechnology?
Fireflies are nocturnal flying beetles that generate light in their abdomen, via a chemical reaction. Find out how firefly luminescence has become a widely used tool in biotechnology.

Differences Between siRNA and miRNA
Is there a difference between small interfering RNA (siRNA) and micro RNA (miRNA)?

How does in vivo electroporation work?
How does in vivo electroporation work?

Discoveries that Make PCR Possible
Essential Tools for Amplifying Genes

Biotechnology and Space Research
Find out how biotechnology research is aiding space programs.

Elizabeth Iorns Explains the Reproducibility Initiative
Many, if not most, peer-reviewed biomedical studies cannot be replicated independently. This situation wastes time and money in the race to develop new cures. Elizabeth Iorns talks about how she started the Reproduciblity Initiative and what it hopes to accomplish. (Published: September 29, 2013)

Playing Around with Genes in Your Spare Time
The emerging trend of DIY biotechnology has some worried and others excited. Individuals are trying to put our ever advancing knowledge and capabilities in the life sciences to solve everyday problems. Who are these biohackers, what are they working on, and how do they support their efforts? (Posted: Nov. 27, 2013)

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