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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 8

Aug 16, 2022

Engineering circular ribonucleic acids (circRNAs) for improved protein production

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Circular ribonucleic acids (circRNAs) are a promising platform for gene expression studies as a stable and prevalent ribonucleic acid in eukaryotic cells, which arise from back-splicing. In a new report now published in Nature Biotechnology, Robert Chen and a team of interdisciplinary researchers at Stanford University, California, U.S., developed a systematic approach to rapidly assemble and test features affecting protein production based on synthetic circular RNAs. The team maximized translation of the circRNA by optimizing fine elements to implement design principles to improve circular RNA yield by several hundred-fold. The outcomes facilitated an increased translation of the RNA of interest, when compared to messenger RNA (mRNA) levels, to provide durable translation in vivo.

Developing circular RNA (circRNA) in the lab

Therapeutics based on ribonucleic acids span across messenger RNA (mRNA), small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and microRNAs (miRNA) with expansion into modern medicine including small molecules, biologics and cell therapeutics. For example, the lately popular mRNA vaccines can be designed in the lab and developed at a rapid pace to respond to evolving and urgent medical crises. Coding RNAs can be circularized into circRNAs to extend the duration of protein translation, based on RNA molecules that covalently join head-to-tail. Bioengineers have also advanced the synthesis of circular long transcripts into circRNAs. However, the fundamental mechanisms of initiating translation to form circular RNA or messenger RNA differ due to the lack of a 7-methylguanylate (M7G) cap on the circular RNAs. As a result of this, researchers need to thoroughly examine the principles of circular RNA translation to build better therapies and potentially surpass the translational capacities of mRNA.

Aug 14, 2022

MIT researchers discover bacteria’s new antiviral defense system

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, life extension

Specific proteins in prokaryotes detect viruses in unexpectedly direct ways.

Bacteria use a variety of defense strategies to fight off viral infection. STAND ATPases in humans are known to respond to bacterial infections by inducing programmed cell death in infected cells. Scientists predict that many more antiviral weapons will be discovered in the microbial world in the future. Scientists have discovered a new unexplored microbial defense system in bacteria.

Researchers uncovered specific proteins in prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) that detect viruses in unexpectedly direct ways, recognizing critical parts of the viruses and causing the single-celled organisms to commit suicide to stop the infection within a microbial community, according to a press release published in the official website of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Thursday.

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Aug 14, 2022

Researchers develop bioengineered cornea that can restore sight to the blind and visually impaired

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Thor Balkhed/Linköping University.

Made of collagen protein from pig’s skin, the implant resembles the human cornea and is more than a pipe dream for an estimated number of 12.7 million people around the world who are blind due to their diseased corneas. The implant is a promising alternative to the transplantation of donated human corneas, which are scarce in under-developed and developing countries, where the need for them is greatest.

Aug 13, 2022

Bug eyes and bat sonar: Bioengineers turn to animal kingdom for creation of bionic super 3D cameras

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, transhumanism

A pair of UCLA bioengineers and a former postdoctoral scholar have developed a new class of bionic 3D camera systems that can mimic flies’ multiview vision and bats’ natural sonar sensing, resulting in multidimensional imaging with extraordinary depth range that can also scan through blind spots.

Powered by computational image processing, the camera can decipher the size and shape of objects hidden around corners or behind other items. The technology could be incorporated into autonomous vehicles or medical imaging tools with sensing capabilities far beyond what is considered state of the art today. This research has been published in Nature Communications.

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Aug 11, 2022

A bioengineered cornea can restore sight to blind people

Posted by in category: bioengineering


Researchers and entrepreneurs have developed an implant made of collagen protein from pig’s skin, which resembles the human cornea. In a pilot study, the implant restored vision to 20 people with diseased corneas, most of whom were blind prior to receiving the implant.

The study jointly led by researchers at Linköping University (LiU) and LinkoCare Life Sciences AB has been published in Nature Biotechnology. The promising results bring hope to those suffering from corneal blindness and low vision by providing a bioengineered implant as an alternative to the transplantation of donated human corneas, which are scarce in countries where the need for them is greatest.

Aug 8, 2022

Tiny Motors Take a Big Step Forward: First-Ever Solid-State Optical Nanomotor

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, nanotechnology, transportation

Motors are ubiquitous in our everyday lives — from cars to washing machines, even if we rarely notice them. A futuristic scientific field is working on the development tiny motors that could power a network of nanomachines and replace some of the power sources we currently use in electronic devices.

Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin created the first ever solid-state optical nanomotor. All previous iterations of these light-driven motors reside in a solution of some sort, which limited their potential for the majority of real-world applications. This new research was published recently in the journal ACS Nano.

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Aug 6, 2022

New Invention Restores Life-Saving Cells

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Stem cells that might save a baby’s life and be utilized to treat illnesses like lymphoma and leukemia are found in the umbilical cord of newborns. Because of this, many new parents decide to preserve (“bank”) the umbilical cord blood’s abundant stem cells for their child. However, since gestational diabetes destroys stem cells and makes them useless, parents are not given this choice in the 6 to 15% of pregnancies who are impacted by the illness.

In a study that will be published in the journal Communications Biology, bioengineers at the University of Notre Dame have now shown that a new approach may heal the injured stem cells and allow them to once again grow new tissues.

Specially-created nanoparticles are the key component of this new strategy. Each spherical nanoparticle may store medication and deliver it specifically to the stem cells by attaching it to the surface of the cells. These nanoparticles are about 150 nanometers in diameter or about a fourth of the size of a red blood cell. The particles deliver the medication gradually as a result of their unique tuning, which makes them very effective even at very low dosages.

Aug 4, 2022

New method mass-produces antitumor cells to treat blood diseases and cancer

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

A Purdue University chemical engineer has improved upon traditional methods to produce off-the-shelf human immune cells that show strong antitumor activity, according to a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports.

Xiaoping Bao, a Purdue University assistant professor from the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, said CAR-neutrophils, or chimeric antigen receptor neutrophils, and engraftable HSCs, or , are effective types of therapies for blood diseases and cancer. Neutrophils are the most abundant white cell blood type and effectively cross physiological barriers to infiltrate solid tumors. HSCs are specific progenitor that will replenish all blood lineages, including neutrophils, throughout life.

“These cells are not readily available for broad clinical or research use because of the difficulty to expand ex vivo to a sufficient number required for infusion after isolation from donors,” Bao said. “Primary neutrophils especially are resistant to genetic modification and have a short half-life.”

Aug 4, 2022

Yale-developed technology restores cell, organ function in pigs after death

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, ethics, life extension

Within minutes of the final heartbeat, a cascade of biochemical events triggered by a lack of blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients begins to destroy a body’s cells and organs. But a team of Yale scientists has found that massive and permanent cellular failure doesn’t have to happen so quickly.


The researchers stressed that additional studies are necessary to understand the apparently restored motor functions in the animals, and that rigorous ethical review from other scientists and bioethicists is required.

The experimental protocols for the latest study were approved by Yale’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and guided by an external advisory and ethics committee.

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Aug 3, 2022

Finally, an answer to the question: AI — what is it good for?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Got a protein? This AI will tell you what it looks like.


AlphaFold was recognized by the journal Science as 2021’s Breakthrough of the Year, beating out candidates like Covid-19 antiviral pills and the application of CRISPR gene editing in the human body. One expert even wondered if AlphaFold would become the first AI to win a Nobel Prize.

The breakthroughs have kept coming.

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