This new technology is being called biofabrication and its ultimate aim is the 3-D printing of entire human organs. Traditional 3-D printing is a machine process in which an ultra-fine nozzle extrudes particles - usually of plastic or metal - and micro-layer by micro-layer creates a 3-D object. Biofabrication adopts this process but uses living cells rather than plastic or metal as its building blocks.
Biofabrication scientists have already 3-D-printed human blood vessels using stem cells first cultured in a lab to grow into blood vessel cells and loaded them into a 3-D bioprinter. Because the stem cells are taken from the patient who will receive the blood vessels, it’s hoped that rejection of the new vessels will be unlikely. Now scientists plan to put the blood vessels through human clinical trials to prove that it is functional and able to grow, paving the way to a future in which damaged blood vessels can be treated with 3-D-printed replacements.
Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/archived/lifestyle/need-a-new-heart-then-print-it-out#ixzz2QToVjbEb
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Soon after learning that his son had autism, Hollywood producer Jon Shestack (“Air Force One”) tried to get researchers investigating the genetic causes of the disorder to pool their DNA samples, the better to identify genes most likely to cause that disorder. But his approach to scientists at…
Historic DNA Letter Sells for More Than $5 M
A letter that scientist Francis Crick wrote to his son about his Nobel Prize-winning DNA discovery was sold to anonymous buyer at a New York City auction for a record-breaking $5.3 million.
The price, which far exceeded the $1 million pre-sale estimate, topped $6 million when the commission is included, according to Christie’s. The price was a record for a letter sold at auction, Christie’s said, eclipsing an Abraham Lincoln letter that sold in April 2008 for $3.4 million including commission.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/04/historic-dna-letter-sells-more-5-m
Scientists have found a genetic mutation they say protects against Alzheimer’s disease and holds promise for a possible treatment for this form of dementia. More than five percent of people over the age of 60 in the Western world are believed to suffer from dementia, about two-thirds of which is due to Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists in the United States and Europe reported in the journal Nature that they had found a gene coding mutation, A673T, that protects against both Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline in elderly people who do not have the disease.
Researchers Breed Two New Raspberry Varieties
With its two newest raspberry releases, Big Red is going gold and crimson. Double Gold and Crimson Night offer small-scale growers and home gardeners showy, flavorful raspberries on vigorous, disease resistant plants.
“Both varieties have attracted a lot of interest from small-scale growers because they are looking for varieties with intense flavor and a different look from the supermarket varieties,” says Courtney Weber, Cornell small fruits breeder and associate professor of horticulture. “If consumers get a taste of these, they will buy them.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Researchers-Breed-2-New-Raspberry-Varieties-050212.aspx
Researchers Hijack Repair Mechanism for Better Plants
Crop plants have always been adapted to the needs of man by breeding for them to carry more fruit, survive droughts, or resist pests. Green biotechnology now adds new tools to the classical breeding methods for a more rapid and efficient improvement of plant properties. A biotechnological technique developed by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) botanists to more precisely and reliably install or modify genetic information in the plant genome is now presented by the expert journal PNAS.
The new method is based on the natural repair mechanism of plants. So-called homologous recombination repairs the genome when the genome strands in the cell break. “Using an appropriate enzyme, i.e. molecular scissors, we first make a cut at the right point in the genome and then supply the necessary patch to repair this cut,” says Friedrich Fauser from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who is the first author of the PNAS publication. “A part of this patch is the new gene piece we want to install. The rest is done by the repair service of the cell.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Researchers-Hijack-Repair-Mechanism-for-Better-Plants-042512.aspx
Collage of wildtype and transgenic Drosophila embryos at blastoderm stage and the onset of gastrulation. (via Cell)