“Wheat is tremendously important” says Dr Graham Moore (project leader at the JIC), “it is a staple crop for a large proportion of the world’s population as well as the most important crop in North European agriculture. Unfortunately, the genome of wheat is very complex and that makes both studying its biology and using genetics to improve the quality of the crop, very difficult. The comprehensive genetic libraries that we are making available will help scientists and breeders who are seeking to improve the performance of wheat in agricultural systems around the world”.
The genome of wheat is 5x larger than that of humans and includes a total of 150,000 genes. The BAC libraries are collections of fragments of the wheat genome. Each fragment on average carries 1 or 2 genes and in total there are over 1.2 million fragments in the libraries. After years of work, exchange visits between laboratories and at a cost of millions of Euros, the combined efforts of British and French researchers have reduced the complex genetics of wheat to two large freezers full of tiny test-tubes. Pooling the British and French research efforts has had two major benefits. Firstly, it has dramatically shortened the time taken to produce a complete gene library. Secondly, it has resulted in several slightly different libraries, providing the researchers with some additional information not available from a single library.
“The USA would like a copy of the British/French library and China, Japan, and Australia have expressed interest in using it” says Dr Boulos Chalhoub (project leader at INRA). “This shows just how valuable a resource we have developed and in time we expect to see these libraries helping researchers and breeders in their continuing pursuit of both global food security and environmentally sustainable agriculture. We would like to see this collaboration set the pattern for the future, with major international cooperative efforts on a wide variety of crops, developing genetic resources that are openly accessible to academic and commercial organisations”.
Ray Mathias | alfa
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Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
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Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
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