3D printing breakthrough with human embryonic stem cells

A team of researchers from Scotland has used a novel 3D printing technique to arrange human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for the very first time.

It is hoped that this breakthrough, which has been published today, 5 February, in the journal Biofabrication, will allow three-dimensional tissues and structures to be created using hESCs, which could, amongst other things, speed up and improve the process of drug testing.
Continue reading “3D printing breakthrough with human embryonic stem cells”

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Calcium Supplements May Raise Mens Death Risk From Heart Disease

Men taking calcium supplements may be running a nearly 20 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests.Both men and women take calcium supplements to prevent bone loss. In this study of calcium intake, the risk of dying from heart disease was higher for men but not for women.

via Calcium Supplements May Raise Mens Death Risk From Heart Disease – WebMD.

Researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

There’s a wobbly new biochemical structure in Burckhard Seelig’s lab at the University of Minnesota that may resemble what enzymes looked like billions of years ago, when life on earth began to evolve – long before they became ingredients for new and improved products, from detergents to foods and fuels.

Seelig created the fledgling enzyme by using directed evolution in the laboratory. Working with colleague Gianluigi Veglia, graduate student Fa-An Chao, and other team members, he subsequently determined its structure, which made its debut December 9 as an advance online publication in Nature Chemical Biology. Lab tests show that the enzyme (a type of RNA ligase, which connects two RNA molecules) functions like natural enzymes although its structure looks very different and it is flexible rather than rigid. Seelig speculates the new protein resembles primordial enzymes, before their current structures evolved.

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3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota) Continue reading “Researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube”

Alya Red: A Computational heart

Alya Red is a project of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center for simulating a human heart. In this video we explain the scientific background of the project, and show scientific visualizations of simulations using the computational electromechanical model applied to a rabbit heart.

Mapping the living cell

To get a clear picture of what’s happening inside a cell, scientists need to know the locations of thousands of proteins and other molecules. MIT chemists have now developed a technique that can tag all of the proteins in a particular region of a cell, allowing them to more accurately map those proteins.

“That’s a holy grail for biology — to be able to get spatially and temporally resolved molecular maps of living cells,” says Alice Ting, the Ellen Swallow Richards Associate Professor of Chemistry at MIT. “We’re still really far from that goal, but the overarching motivation is to get closer to that goal.”

Mapping the living cell

MIT chemists have devised a way to identify which proteins are present in different compartments of the mitochondria. 
IMAGE: JEFF MARTELL, HYUN-WOO RHEE AND PENG ZOU

via Mapping the living cell – MIT News Office.