Monthly Archives: October 2016

Rebuilding the Building Blocks of Life

Rather than redesigning naturally occurring sequences, researchers employing protein de novo design use peptides that assemble and fold into protein-like structures, relying on two self-assembly principles: The first is peptide-based [1] and incorporates a coiled coil where the resulting folding profile is much easier to predict, helping scientists overcome a common headache in protein design.

The second principle utilizes oligonucleotides (ON),which are widely used in nanotechnology to generate higher-level structures [2], for example in DNA origami. What would happen if researchers combined both principles in the same design? In a new proof-of-concept paper recently published in Nature Communications, Wengel’s team answered this question while designing a novel class of artificial proteins [3]. Rest

Tiny Creatures May Hold Clues to Bolstering Health of Human Cells

Microscopic creatures called tardigrades are among the most resilient animals on Earth, able to survive against extreme temperatures, dehydration and even the harsh conditions of space.

A paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications offers new clues to tardigrades’ toughness and addresses a continuing debate over how these unusual animals evolved. Rest (WSJ paywall)

Project on Genome Editing (OECD BNCT)

The genome editing project of the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies (BNCT) aims to produce a forum conducive to evidence-based discussion aross countries on the many issues of shared concern. The initiative aims to help guide policy at the national and international levels and promote — where appropriate — cooperative governance approaches. Rest