Tiny types of soil bugs already make many of the products we use in washing detergents, foods, and waste treatment, but scientists now hope that similar bacteria will also make the vaccines and drugs of the future, according to new research presented today (Tuesday, 07 September 2004) at the Society for General Microbiology’s 155th Meeting at Trinity College Dublin.
Researchers from the Institute of Cell and Molecular Studies at Newcastle University have successfully produced small quantities of a promising new vaccine for anthrax using Bacillus bacteria which have been modified to produce human medicines. “Many people already use enzymes produced by these bacteria to wash their clothes,” says Professor Colin Harwood of Newcastle University. “But the bacteria which make these enzymes, so useful for digesting dirt, have very efficient quality control systems which spot rogue proteins and enzymes and destroy them. This control mechanism stops us using these bacteria to make large quantities of the pure proteins we need for use in vaccines and other medicines.”
The scientists have spent the last ten years, working with a Europe-wide group of 11 research laboratories, discovering how bacteria move enzymes and proteins from inside their cells, where they are made, to the outside world, where they are needed.
Faye Jones | alfa
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
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