Biology Biotechnology

News

Red perilla cultivar Hoko-3
11 Jan 2023
A team of Japanese researchers created a high-quality genome assembly of red perilla, a step toward harnessing the plant’s potentially useful bioactive chemicals — and its medicinal properties.
Aspergillus aculeatus
10 Jan 2023
An Osaka Metropolitan University research team analyzed the regulatory mechanisms of carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzyme production in Aspergillus aculeatus, a filamentous fungus that produces enzymes with an excellent ability to degrade plant biomass. The team found that UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (Uge5), an enzyme known for its involvement in galactose metabolism, also regulates the expression of degrading enzyme genes in A. aculeatus. This is the very first report of Uge5’s roles in selective gene expression in response to different types of inducing sugars in filamentous fungi.
22 Dec 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University scientists discovered the principle of light-induced acceleration of antigen–antibody reaction, allowing for simple, ultrafast, and highly sensitive detection of proteins. The researchers introduced target proteins and probe particles with modified antibodies selectively binding to the target proteins into a small channel and applied irradiation with infrared laser light. They achieved, for the first time, the rapid measurement of trace amounts of attogram-level target proteins after only 3 minutes of laser irradiation. These findings will potentially contribute to breakthroughs in the development of systems for ultra-early diagnosis of various diseases.
Micrometre-scale multicompartmental structures of aquabots
15 Dec 2022
A research team led by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has invented an all-water robotic system that resolves the constraints of bio-inspired robots through revolutionary scientific advances.
30 Nov 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University researchers introduced seven proteins, thought to let bacteria swim by switching the direction that their helical bodies spiral, into a strain of synthetic bacterium with minimal genetic information. As a result, they confirmed that the synthetic bacterium named syn3, which is normally spherical, formed a helix that could swim by spiraling. Further investigation revealed that only two of these newly added proteins were required to make syn3 capable of minimal swimming. This swimming synthetic bacterium can be said to be the smallest mobile lifeform genetically, as it contains the fewest number of genes.
25 Nov 2022
A research group at the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Science has revealed a new system that allows them to control the behavior of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, using two different animal opsins, a type of light-sensitive protein. The first opsin was expressed in the worms’ sensory cells responsible for triggering avoidance behavior, making the worms move. This opsin was found to be approximately 7,000 times more sensitive to white light than the commonly used optogenetic protein channelrhodopsin-2. Likewise, a UV-sensitive opsin was expressed in the worms’ motor neurons, causing the worms to stop when exposed to UV light and start moving again when exposed to green light. Both opsins tested can be switched on and off repeatedly without breaking down, making them robust tools for future research, including the field of drug discovery.
08 Nov 2022
In a study recently published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers from Kanazawa University use a method called “lasso-grafting” to design therapeutics with enhanced longevity and brain penetration.
 Integrated tactile sensors of various sizes were demonstrated. Electrical and mechanical properties were excellent and implementing complex circuits in combination with various sensors appears possible.
27 Sep 2022
- A research team led by Professor Lee Sungwon from DGIST succeeded in developing the world’s first mesh (nanomesh) structured electronic skin device (organic field-effect transistor) - An electronic skin device comprising only a mesh (nanomesh) structure that can measure and process bio-signals for a prolonged period indicates a big step toward integrated systems for electronic skin devices.
25 May 2022
Researchers at Kanazawa University in collaboration with teams from Toyama Prefectural University and BioSeeds Corporation report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the identification of a molecule with enhanced antiproliferative activity in cancer cells. The underlying biomolecular mechanism is the inhibition of an enzyme that is overproduced in several types of cancer.
Experimental approaches
26 Apr 2022
Researchers set out to find new ways to artificially induce mRNA to respond in ways that could eventually lead to therapeutic outcomes, expanding on the success of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines and opening up new possibilities across a host of possible genetic therapies.
IMAGE
25 Apr 2022
Examination of endangered species’ stem cells unveils ancient genetic links between mammals.
Dendrimers in T cells
16 Feb 2022
This is a novel study that attempted to construct a pH-sensitive delivery system into T cells and their subsets using carboxy-terminal Phe- and CHex-modified dendrimers with different structures, i.e. PAMAM-CHex-Phe and PAMAM-Phe-CHex. The findings contribute to the development of nanoplatforms for direct delivery to T cells to control the functions of T cells, which play key roles in cancer immunotherapy. This is the first report on direct delivery into T cells using pH-sensitive DDS.
Chemoenzymatic synthesis and physico-chemical and biological functions of monocyclic polyketide compound, lankacyclinone C
31 Jan 2022
Garden soil houses a variety of bacteria and their natural byproducts — including one that may help halt tumor growth. Lankacidins are molecules that can be isolated from Strepomyces rochei, a common bacterium in soil. In addition to antimicrobial properties, a type of lankacidins, called lankacidin C, can inhibit tumor activity in various cancer cell lines, including leukemia, melanoma, ovarian and breast cancers. Lankacidin C offers a potential foundation on which to design anticancer drugs, but its structure is complicated and difficult to manipulate, according to an international research group. The same group recently identified where antitumor activity is housed on the molecule and has now used that information to simplify lankacidin as a potential starting point to engineer treatments.
Hokkaido University
24 Jan 2022
Researchers from Hokkaido University have proposed a framework to assist in the demarcation between genetically modified organisms and genome-edited organisms, taking into account both scientific and socio-ethical considerations.
Figure 1. Mass Imaging.
06 Jan 2022
Enzymatic hydrolysis of planteose: α-Galactosidase is a promising molecular target for root parasitic weed control
Collecting coral probiotics from seawater instead of coral
13 Oct 2021
Coral reefs, comprising some of the most diverse and delicate ecosystems under water, are under immense stress. From global warming to pollution to pathogens, many of the reef-building coral species are listed as threatened or endangered. But, according to researchers in Japan, the corals may have an unlikely ally: bacteria.
30 Sep 2021
Geb Impact aims to scale up microalgae production to provide novel super food ingredient by cost-effective mass cultivation of microalgae
the optical clearing process of a brain tissue to visualize the 3D vascular network in fluorescence imaging
14 Sep 2021
When it comes to cancer, clarity is key. The ability to visualize cancerous tumors and metastatic tissue three dimensionally (3D) can help clinicians diagnose the precise type and stage of cancer, while also informing the best treatment methods. To obtain an even clearer tissue for imaging, a research team based in Japan has tested the effectiveness of specialized hydrogels. Acting as a 3D molecular network, these hydrogels can rapidly remove fats from tissues, which are a factor in tissue opacification, without losing their structure. The material is used in several biomedical devices, including contact lenses.
02 Sep 2021
Researchers at Kanazawa University describe in Scientific Reports the identification of small compounds that can regulate the cellular production of extracellular vesicles — nanocontainers transporting biomolecules between cells. Such compounds hold promise for use in therapies for various diseases.
26 Aug 2021
A multi-functional, small molecule can tag mutant genetic sequences inside mitochondria for removal.
20 Aug 2021
A microphysiological system (MPS) is a 3D organ construct using human cells. They show us how organs respond to drugs and environmental stimuli. Now, Tohoku University researchers have developed a new imaging tool for MPS using scanning probe microscopy.
Model of translation initiation and its control by 5MP
17 Aug 2021
Cells translate their genetic material at rapid rates with exquisite precision to reproduce, repair damage or even combat disease. But the process can deregulate and give rise to disease. Byproducts of errant processes can build up like gunk in the gears, especially around neurons, breaking down the repair mechanisms and causing further damage and even neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The fluorescence polarization immunoassay developed to detect and quantify antibodies against SARS-CoV-2
15 Jul 2021
Scientists have developed a rapid, highly accurate test to detect antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in human serum, opening a new avenue for understanding the full extent of the pandemic and evaluating the effectiveness of vaccines.
08 Jul 2021
Researchers at The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science use artificial intelligence to predict the size of cells over time without the need for simplifying assumptions, which may lead to a new understanding of microbiology principles and improved drug manufacturing from recombinant bacteria
Schematic view of hypoxic transcriptome meta-analysis
09 Jun 2021
Publication bias, or the tendency of researchers and journals to not publish uninteresting findings, plagues much of the natural sciences and especially biomedical research. Hiroshima University researchers have developed a meta-analytic technique exploiting publicly available transcriptome databases that avoids the problem—and in so doing, discovered four genes previously unknown to be associated with responding to low-oxygen stress.
CityU millirobots
13 May 2021
A spray-on magnetic coat turns any object into a robot controlled by a magnetic field. The biocompatible robots can walk, crawl and roll, and switch motions on demand.
UNIST UTI test
13 May 2021
A spinning toy meets hydrodynamics and sets point-of-care diagnostics in motion.
Novel thermophilic syngas fermentation process
12 May 2021
Acetone, a volatile solvent used for everything from removing nail polish and cleaning textiles to manufacturing plastics, could get a sustainability boost from a new strain of bacteria engineered by a research team based in Japan.
10 Mar 2021
Researchers at The University of Tokyo use the mathematics of adaptive learning and artificial intelligence to describe how T helper cells adjust the response of the vertebrate immune system, which may lead to new vaccines and treatments for infections
02 Mar 2021
Researchers at The University of Tokyo develop a method of culturing meat in the laboratory in the form of millimeter-scale contractile beef muscle that closely simulates steak meat

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Researchers

So Iwata
Dr. So Iwata is a Professor at the Graduate School of Medicine Kyoto University and the Group Director of the SACLA Science Research Group, RIKEN SPring-8 Center. He has investigated how specialized membrane channels remove antimicrobial drugs from inside bacterial cells.
Robert Mitchell of UNIST
Dr. Mitchell is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). His primary research interest is the study of bacterial strains that attack and prey on other bacteria, including antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.
Department of Microbiology / Biomolecular Sciences Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia
Dr. Wookbong Kwon
Dr. Wookbong Kwon is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Biotechnology of Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Krishna Institute of Allied Sciences Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences Deemed To Be University, Karad
Ana Carina Manjua
Ana Carina Manjua's current PhD work is in the design and fabrication of a biological inspired artificial microfluid platform for drug screening.
Frederico C. Ferreira
Frederico Castelo Ferreira's current research interest balances between fundamental and applied research, with potential translation into the market of sustainable products and processes.
Dr. Tengku Haziyamin Tengku Abdul Hamid
Dr. Tengku Haziyamin Tengku Abdul Hamid's recent discovery of a novel strain has enabled a new patent to be drafted and was awarded gold medal in Malaysian Technology Expo 2021 for his new probiotic prototype called ProAquaVcare.
Associate Professor Hajin Kim is a biomedical engineer at the Single Molecule Biophysics Laboratory, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea.
Yoon-Kyoung Cho is currently a group leader in the Center for Soft and Living Matter at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and a full professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in the Republic of Korea.
Aparna B. Gunjal is a microbiologist at Dr. D.Y. Patil, Arts, Commerce & Science College, India.
Michitaka Notaguchi is an assistant professor at the Bioscience and Biotechnology Center, Nagoya University, Japan.
Professor and Head of Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Lincoln University College (LUC) Malaysia.

Giants in history

Filipina chemist María Orosa (29 November 1892–13 February 1945) fought malnutrition and food insecurity in the Philippines by devising over 700 culinary creations including Soyalac, a nutrient rich drink made from soybeans, and Darak, rice cookies packed with Vitamin B1, which could prevent beriberi disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency. She was also a partisan of the guerrilla movement resisting Japanese occupation during World War II, and died after being struck by shrapnel while working in her laboratory during the Battle of Manila.
Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping (7 September 1930 – 22 May 2021) developed the first varieties of the high-yield, hybrid rice that brought food security to multiple countries including China, which had been ravaged by food shortages as recently as the mid-20th century.
A Japanese surgeon, Tetsuzo Akutsu (20 August 1922 – 9 August 2007) built the first artificial heart capable of keeping an animal alive.