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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Nov 25, 2021

New research suggests CRISPR can destroy virus that causes COVID-19

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

Scientists have discovered a way to stop the COVID-19 virus from replicating in infected human cells, marking major progress towards a definitive treatment for the deadly illness and accentuating the potential of genetic engineering to cure viral diseases.

The study explores the use of CRISPR, a genome editing tool, and builds on research that started at Australia’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in 2019, when Dr. Mohamed Fareh and Prof. Joe Trapani showed that CRISPR could be used to eliminate abnormal RNAs that drive children’s cancers.

At the beginning of the pandemic, and in collaboration with Director Prof. Sharon Lewin and Dr. Wei Zhao from the Doherty Institute, the scientists reprogrammed the same CRISPR tool to suppress replication of the RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 — and importantly, its “variants of concern” — in a test tube model. SARS-CoV-2, which is short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, is the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Nov 25, 2021

Science, industry team up in Italy to zap virus with laser

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, particle physics, science

ROME, July 2 (Reuters) — A United Nations-backed scientific research centre has teamed up with an Italian tech firm to explore whether laser light can be used to kill coronavirus particles suspended in the air and help keep indoor spaces safe.

The joint effort between the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) of Trieste, a city in the north of Italy, and the nearby Eltech K-Laser company, was launched last year as COVID-19 was battering the country.

They created a device that forces air through a sterilization chamber which contains a laser beam filter that pulverizes viruses and bacteria.

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Nov 25, 2021

Scientists produce new antibiotics

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Scientists have discovered a new route to produce complex antibiotics exploiting gene editing to re-program pathways to future medicines urgently required to combat antimicrobial resistance, treat neglected diseases and tackle future pandemics.

Researchers from The University of Manchester have discovered a new way of manipulating key assembly line enzymes in bacteria which could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotic treatments.

New research published today in Nature Communications, describes how CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can be used to create new nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) enzymes that deliver clinically important antibiotics. NRPS enzymes are prolific producers of natural antibiotics such as penicillin. However, up until now, manipulating these complex enzymes to produce new and more effective antibiotics has been a major challenge.

Nov 25, 2021

This Synthetic DNA Factory Is Building New Forms of Life

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

In this DNA factory, organism engineers are using robots and automation to build completely new forms of life.
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Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston company specializing in “engineering custom organisms,” aims to reinvent manufacturing, agriculture, biodesign, and more.

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Nov 24, 2021

Enhancing the workhorse: Artificial intelligence, hardware innovations boost confocal microscope’s performance

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

Since artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky patented the principle of confocal microscopy in 1957, it has become the workhorse standard in life science laboratories worldwide, due to its superior contrast over traditional wide-field microscopy. Yet confocal microscopes aren’t perfect. They boost resolution by imaging just one, single, in-focus point at a time, so it can take quite a while to scan an entire, delicate biological sample, exposing it light dosages that can be toxic.

To push confocal imaging to an unprecedented level of performance, a collaboration at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has invented a “kitchen sink” confocal platform that borrows solutions from other high-powered imaging systems, adds a unifying thread of “Deep Learning” artificial intelligence algorithms, and successfully improves the confocal’s volumetric resolution by more than 10-fold while simultaneously reducing phototoxicity. Their report on the technology, called “Multiview Confocal Super-Resolution Microscopy,” is published online this week in Nature.

“Many labs have confocals, and if they can eke more performance out of them using these artificial intelligence algorithms, then they don’t have to invest in a whole new microscope. To me, that’s one of the best and most exciting reasons to adopt these AI methods,” said senior author and MBL Fellow Hari Shroff of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Nov 21, 2021

Lifeboat Foundation Books

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, existential risks, genetics, government, lifeboat, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, singularity

Read our 3 books at.

The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.

Lifeboat Foundation is pursuing a variety of options, including helping to accelerate the development of technologies to defend humanity, such as new methods to combat viruses, effective nanotechnological defensive strategies, and even self-sustaining space colonies in case the other defensive strategies fail.

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Nov 20, 2021

ISS Anniversary: Here’s How (And Why) Humans Have Lived in Space For Over Two Decades

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, space

Happy birthday, ISS.

The first components of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched on November 20, 1998, roughly 12 years after the first Soviet MIR-2 module was launched and a full 25 years after Skylab.

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Nov 19, 2021

Novel artificial genomic DNA can replicate and evolve outside the cell

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

Professor Norikazu Ichihashi and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo have successfully induced gene expression from a DNA, characteristic of all life, and evolution through continuous replication extracellularly using cell-free materials alone, such as nucleic acids and proteins for the first time.

The ability to proliferate and evolve is one of the defining characteristics of living organisms. However, no artificial materials with these characteristics have been created. In order to develop an artificial molecular system that can multiply and evolve, the information (genes) coded in DNA must be translated into RNA, proteins must be expressed, and the cycle of DNA replication with those proteins must continue over a long period in the system. To date, it has been impossible to create a reaction system in which the genes necessary for DNA replication are expressed while those genes simultaneously carry out their function.

The group succeeded in translating the genes into proteins and replicating the original circular DNA with the translated proteins by using a circular DNA carrying two genes necessary for DNA replication (artificial genomic DNA) and a cell-free transcription-translation system. Furthermore, they also successfully improved the DNA to evolve to a DNA with a 10-fold increase in replication efficiency by continuing this DNA replication cycle for about 60 days.

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Nov 9, 2021

Synthetic Biology, Artificial Microbes, and Bio-Organic Weapons

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological

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Nov 8, 2021

Yuval Noah Harari on The Future of Humanity

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, climatology, genetics, information science, internet, military, robotics/AI, sustainability

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, macro-historian, Professor, best-selling author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus,” and one of the world’s most innovative and exciting thinkers, has a few hypotheses of his own on the future of humanity.

He examines what might happen to the world when old myths are coupled with new godlike technologies, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.

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