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Researchers engineer human bone marrow tissue

06-Jun-2018

Every day in the bone marrow several billion blood cells are formed. This constant supply is ensured by blood stem cells located in special niches within the marrow. These stem cells can multiply and mature into red and white blood cells, which then leave the bone marrow and enter the ...

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Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

A new kind of chemistry in living organisms

24-May-2018

Complex reaction cascades can be triggered in artificial molecular systems: Swiss scientists have constructed an enzyme than can penetrate a mammalian cell and accelerate the release of a hormone. This then activates a gene switch that triggers the creation of a fluorescent protein. The findings ...

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Malaria detectable in olfactory cocktail

17-May-2018

ETH researchers have discovered odour profiles typical of people infected with acute or asymptomatic malaria. This is a first promising step towards a low-cost diagnostic test that can be used in the field in developing countries. Malaria is still a deadly disease in tropical and subtropical ...

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New tool for structural biology

New method of crystallising large membrane proteins

08-Mar-2018

ETH researchers have developed a new method of crystallising large membrane proteins in order to determine their structure. This will be of benefit to biological research and the pharmaceutical industry. Membrane-embedded proteins are an essential part of cells and any form of life. They not only ...

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A protein that self-replicates

01-Mar-2018

Long regarded as a biological aberration, amyloids are fibrous aggregates of short protein fragments. Amyloids have a bad reputation because they are thought to be the cause of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It was only ...

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Sticking sugar to protein

Researchers clarified the 3D structure of an important enzyme that links sugar to proteins – a breakthrough

09-Feb-2018

Whenever cells receive signals, interact with other cells or identify viruses and bacteria, the process involves not only proteins but also sugar chains attached to their surface. The subject of relatively little attention until now, these structures differ widely in composition and branching, ...

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Brain signals for drug screening

02-Feb-2018

An international team led by ETH researchers has developed a technique that uses electrical brain signals to more precisely evaluate the effect of drugs on the brain. It could be of particular use in the early development phase of anti-epilepsy medication. There are still comparatively few ...

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Measuring molecular interactions

Previously unknown interactions between proteins and small metabolic molecules discovered

02-Feb-2018

ETH researchers have used a new approach to discover previously unknown interactions between proteins and small metabolic molecules in bacterial cells. The technique can also be used to test the effect of medications. Science now has a new “omics” – an interactomics, which deals with the ...

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3D-printed minifactories

05-Dec-2017

ETH researchers have developed a biocompatible ink for 3D printing using living bacteria. This makes it possible to produce biological materials capable of breaking down toxic substances or producing high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications. There will soon be nothing that cannot be ...

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Neutrophil-inspired propulsion

04-Dec-2017

When white blood cells are summoned to combat invasive bacteria, they move along blood vessels in a specific fashion, i.e., like a ball propelled by the wind, they roll along the vascular wall to reach their point of deployment. Since white blood cells can anchor themselves to the vasculature, ...

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