Do you have a rare blood group or are you concerned about contracting a disease such as HIV from a blood transfusion? The first ever European Blood Substitutes project (‘EuroBloodSubstitutes’) is designing molecules which will be able to replace the need for blood during transfusions in the future. Researchers are modifying the genes of the oxygen-carrying part of the blood (haemoglobin) and using cell factories to mass produce artificial molecules which will be able to oxygenate the body’s cells as efficiently, but without the possibility of contamination with disease.
Dr Ken Lowe (University of Nottingham, UK) who is coordinating the project says “We are using genomics to modify the haemoglobin as well as looking at ways to attach it to large molecules so that it stays in the body longer during transfusions. We are aiming to find the optimum molecules for oxygen-binding and transport as well as the best culture conditions for mass producing it for the future.” Dr Lowe will be reporting his results at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Barcelona on Tuesday 12th July [session E3.2].
This initiative is set to revolutionise blood transfusions which will become largely safe especially in emerging countries such as Eastern Europe and Africa where there are still relatively high risks of contamination.
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy