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iGEM 2021: Designing better enzymes to break down plastic

[ ] Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is a type of plastic that is widely used for packaging food and beverages, including soft drinks, juices, and water. Although PET is the most…

$2.4M NIH grant will develop biomaterials to repair skulls, promote regeneration

[ ] A new research project led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign aims to develop biomaterials that are strong, malleable, and support stem cell growth to transform skull…

Should the government implement a vaccine passport system?

[ ] Vaccine passports strike the right balance between letting life go on for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 while still being realistic about the ongoing public…

New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice

[ ] A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain,…

How does the structure of cytolysins influence their activity?

[ ] Although Enterococcus faecalis is usually an innocuous member of the bacterial community in the human gut, it can also cause several infections, including liver disorders. The…

New grant awarded to develop better in vivo DNA-editing techniques

[ ] The National Institutes of Health have awarded a $2.2 million grant to researchers at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. The four-year grant will be used to develop…

U.S. corn and soybean maladapted to climate variations, study shows

[ ] U.S. corn and soybean varieties have become increasingly heat and drought resistant as agricultural production adapts to a changing climate. But the focus on developing crops for…

Chemical reactions break free from energy barriers using flyby trajectories

[ ] A new study shows that it is possible to use mechanical force to deliberately alter chemical reactions and increase chemical selectivity – a grand challenge of the field.   The…

Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds

[ ] The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, according to a new study. The tests can achieve 98%…

Ting Lu jointly presented with €1 million Future Insight Prize

[ ] Ting Lu (BCXT/BSD/CABBI/MME), a professor of bioengineering at The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, received the 2021 Future Insight…

Researchers overcome winking, napping pigs to prove brain test works

[ ] If you've ever been to an eye doctor, there's a good chance you've felt the sudden puff of air to the eye that constitutes a traditional test for glaucoma. It's no one's favorite…

Program increases underrepresented groups in biomedical data science, quantitative biology

[ ] FUTURE-MINDS-QB, a bridge program streamlining a path from a master’s degree at Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, to a doctoral degree at University…

Energycane produces more biodiesel than soybean at a lower cost

[ ] Bioenergy from crops is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. New crops such as energycane can produce several times more fuel per acre than soybeans. Yet, challenges remain…

New markers for coronary microvascular disease identified

[ ] Although cardiovascular disease is the main cause of illness among women in the U.S., certain conditions such as coronary microvascular disease (CMD) cannot be easily diagnosed.…

Protein ‘big bang’ reveals molecular makeup for medicine and bioengineering

[ ] Proteins have been quietly taking over our lives since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We’ve been living at the whim of the virus’s so-called “spike” protein, which has mutated…

Magnets intensify electrolysis, utilize carbon dioxide more efficiently

[ ] For decades, researchers have been working toward mitigating excess atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. One promising approach captures atmospheric CO2 and then, through…

Researchers develop a new technique to treat middle ear infections

[ ] Middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, affect more than 80% of the children in the U.S. In a new study, researchers have designed a miniaturized 3D-printed device to…

DNAzymes could outperform protein enzymes for genetic engineering

[ ] Move over, gene-editing proteins – there’s a smaller, cheaper, more specific genetic engineering tool on the block: DNAzymes – small DNA molecules that can function like protein…

New health benefits of red seaweeds unveiled

[ ] Red seaweeds have been prevalent in the diets of Asian communities for thousands of years. In a new study, published in Marine Drugs, researchers have shown how these algae confer…

Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles

[ ] Scientists working to understand the cellular processes linking high cholesterol to breast cancer recurrence and metastasis report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism…