This bacterium shoots wires out of its body to power itself

This bacterium has a lot in common with power companies. Power companies use copper wires to channel electricity (and therefore, electrons), and this bacterium developed a mechanism to do something similar: in the absence of oxygen, it grows nanowires from its own body through which it pushes electrons to nearby rocks. This is how it obtains energy, as opposed to

MIT cell circuit has its own memory

MIT engineers have created genetic circuits in bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions, but also remember the results, encode them in the cell’s DNA and pass it on for generations to come. Biotechnology The circuits, which are described in Nature Biotechnology could have a swarm of appplications, most notably long-term environmental sensors, efficient controls for biomanufacturing, or to

Micro-beads based system could allow for instant laboratory analysis

Harnessing the oscillation of magnetic microscopic beads, MIT scientists have carried out experiments which show that it’s possible to develop a tiny device capable of diagnosing biological samples instantly. Such a tiny lab would allow for fast, compact and versatile medical-testing. Tiny magnetic balls, in the micrometer scale or a millionth of a meter, embedded with biomolecules such as antibodies, allow for

Synthetic jellyfish made from rat heart cells can swim like the real deal

A team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Harvard University have built this remarkable display of modern bioengineering – a completely engineered jellyfish that blends both living and non-living parts, masterfully fitted together. Called the medusoid, this cyborg jellyfish was created using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart, and surprisingly, it can move

New method allows visualizing of protein self-assembly – paves way for nanotech against diseases

Be it a bacteria or a fully complex being, say a human, all living, biological organisms undergo lighting fast protein structure reassembly in response to environmnetal stimuli. For instance,  receptor proteins in the sinus are stimulated by various odor molecules, basically telling the organism that there’s food nearby or it’s in the vicinity of danger (sulphur, methane, noxious fumes). By studying these mechanisms,

Self-healing hydrogels open a new realm of bioengineering possibilities

Scientists at University of California have successfully managed to engineer a new kind of hydrogels, capable of self-healing, which can bind to each other in acidic conditions within seconds, forming a strong bond that allows for repeated streathching, similar to organic tissue, like the human skin. Hydrogels are made out of a network of hydrophilic polymer chains and are highly

Cellular operating system set to revolutionize synthetic biology

University of Nottingham researchers are currently involved in synthetic biology project, whose scope and prospects are so ambitious, that if successful it will completely revolutionize the field of science. Their aim – developing programmable cellular life which can work as an “operating system.” Currently, scientists are looking studying how to make the E. coli bacteria programmable, and if their trials

Transistor gates created out of E. Coli bacteria – huge biocomputing leap forward!

Scientists at London’s Imperial College have successfully managed to create biological logic gates, indispensible for the production of electronical devices, simply our of bacteria and DNA. Though the research detailed in a recently published study in the journal Nature Communications was anything but simple, it provides an incredible advancement in the field of biotechnology. “Logic gates are the fundamental building

Existing Biotechnology Could Save Energy And Cut Carbon Dioxide By 100 Percent

The carbon dioxide problem has been give much less attention than alternative fuel or biomass-derived energy production yet it is very important as chemical production creates billions of tons of carbon dioxide each year. But fear not – an analysis has concluded that use of existing biotechnology in the production of so-called bulk chemicals could reduce consumption of non-renewable energy