These Artificial Blood Platelets Could One Day Save Lives
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
2w ago
(Wired) – When donated blood is in low supply, platelets are even scarcer. These cell fragments, which are essential for blood clotting, have a short shelf life. Whereas whole blood can be refrigerated for up to a month, platelets last for just a week at most. “Even if you have a ton of donations, you can’t bank them for long,” says Ashley Brown, an associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To address this problem, Brown and her team have created an artificial substitute that could b ..read more
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Scientists Are Trying to Get Cows Pregnant with Synthetic Embryos
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
3w ago
(MIT Technology Review) – The experiment, at the University of Florida, is an attempt to create a large animal starting only from stem cells—no egg, no sperm, and no conception. A week earlier, “synthetic embryos,” artificial structures created in a lab, had been transferred to the uteruses of all eight cows. Now it was time to see what had grown. About a decade ago, biologists started to observe that stem cells, left alone in a walled plastic container, will spontaneously self-assemble and try to make an embryo. These structures, sometimes called “embryo models” or embryoids, have gradually ..read more
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Borderlands 3 Community Scores a Big Win for Science
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(PC Gamer) – When Borderlands Science was announced back in 2020 I thought it all sounded a little silly. Science? In my Borderlands? It struck me as a lot less likely than Dr. Mayim Bialik seemed to think. But it turns out that I was the silly one all along, because McGill University, the institution leading the project, says the project was in fact a massive success that will “substantially advance our knowledge of the microbiome and improve on the AI programs that will be used to carry out this work in future.” (Read More) The post Borderlands 3 Community Scores a Big Win for Science fi ..read more
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CRISPR’s Next Advance Is Bigger Than You Think (Jennifer Doudna)
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(TED) – You’ve probably heard of CRISPR, the revolutionary technology that allows us to edit the DNA in living organisms. Biochemist and 2023 Audacious Project grantee Jennifer Doudna earned the Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking work in this field — and now she’s here to tell us about its next world-changing advancement. She explains how her team at the Innovative Genomics Institute is pioneering a brand new field of science — precision microbiome editing — that uses CRISPR in an effort to solve seemingly insurmountable problems like asthma, Alzheimer’s and climate change. This ambitious ide ..read more
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The Danger of ‘Invisible’ Biolabs Across the U.S.
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(TIME) – To summarize: bio labs in the U.S. fall through the cracks of government oversight if they are privately operated (i.e., not academic or government), do not receive funding from the government, and are not working with select agents. These “invisible” labs have much more leeway to work with pathogens that are not select agents but could still cause outbreaks, severe illness, and death—a category that includes some of the ones that the Reedley lab acquired. A forthcoming report by Gryphon Scientific, the biosafety and public health consultancy where one of us works, estimates that abou ..read more
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Scientists Grow Whole Model of Human Embryo, Without Sperm or Egg
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(BBC) – Scientists have grown an entity that closely resembles an early human embryo, without using sperm, eggs or a womb. The Weizmann Institute team say their “embryo model”, made using stem cells, looks like a textbook example of a real 14-day-old embryo. It even released hormones that turned a pregnancy test positive in the lab. (Read More) The post Scientists Grow Whole Model of Human Embryo, Without Sperm or Egg first appeared on bioethics.com ..read more
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AI Is Building Highly Effective Antibodies That Humans Can’t Even Imagine
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(Wired) – In nature, antibodies are the body’s response to disease and serve as the immune system’s front-line troops. They’re strands of protein that are specially shaped to stick to foreign invaders so that they can be flushed from the system. Since the 1980s, pharmaceutical companies have been making synthetic antibodies to treat diseases like cancer, and to reduce the chance of transplanted organs being rejected. But designing these antibodies is a slow process for humans—protein designers must wade through the millions of potential combinations of amino acids to find the ones that will fo ..read more
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The Viruses That Could Cure Cancer (or Wipe Out Humanity)
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(Wired) – ON THIS WEEK’S episode of Have a Nice Future, Gideon Lichfield and Lauren Goode talk to Andrew Hessel, a scientist, writer, and entrepreneur, who is working to push forward the field of synthetic biology—the science of genetically modifying organisms for everything from vaccines to food production. They discuss how modified viruses can be used to treat a range of cancers, plus the wide ranging, science-fiction-like implications of the field. (Listen here) The post The Viruses That Could Cure Cancer (or Wipe Out Humanity) first appeared on bioethics.com ..read more
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Scientists Create ‘Biological Camera’ That Stores Images in DNA
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(Vice) – Scientists have created a “living digital camera” that captures and stores images in DNA, the genetic code of all living things, reports a new study. The technique offers a novel approach to encoding digital information into biological material, an endeavor that has a host of potential future applications in computing and nanotechnology. (Read More) The post Scientists Create ‘Biological Camera’ That Stores Images in DNA first appeared on bioethics.com ..read more
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This Artificial Muscle Moves Stuff on Its Own
Bioethics.com » Synthetic Biology
by Bioethics Pundit
1M ago
(Wired) – The cucumber-mimicking experiment is the first demonstration of plant-like tropism in an actuator, and it’s part of a move toward “soft” robotics, which use actuators built from fluid materials like cloth, paper, fibers, and polymers, rather than rigid metal joints, to prioritize versatile motion. Softness would improve robots in situations where flexibility and low-profile design are important, such as during surgery. And an autonomous soft robot could operate in places where there’s no electrical power supply—and no people. (Read More) The post This Artificial Muscle Moves Stuff on ..read more
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