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Extra amino acid could work wonders

September 30, 2019

There are 20 amino acids in the standard genetic code. A Rice University professor wants to know what one can…
Researchers build microscopic biohybrid robots propelled by muscles, nerves

September 18, 2019

Researchers have developed soft robotic devices driven by neuromuscular tissue that triggers when stimulated by light – bringing…
Cyborg heart could help scientists better understand the human organ

August 23, 2019

In The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man famously sang, “If I only had a heart . . .…
Rice University postdoctoral researcher Sara Molinari and graduate student Shyam Bhakta illuminate a colony of E. coli bacteria. The researchers and their colleagues discovered a technique to prompt bacteria to mimic stem cells’ ability to differentiate when they divide. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Bacteria made to mimic cells, form communities

August 13, 2019

Rice University synthetic biologists prompt dividing bacteria to differentiate like stem cells. Rice University scientists have found a…
Researchers reverse engineer the ‘fireworks of life’

August 8, 2019

Imagine standing in a lumberyard and being asked to build a house — without blueprints or instructions of…
Synthetic biology enables protein origami

July 26, 2019

The ancient art of paper folding known as origami is used to make intricate birds or other shapes.…
Designed switch allows unprecedented control over cells

July 25, 2019

Scientists have created the first completely artificial protein switch that can work inside living cells to modify—or even…
Do plant cells hold the roadmap for surviving climate change?

July 22, 2019

Do plant scientists hold the key to saving vulnerable populations in a changing climate? How should plant researchers…
‘Semi-synthetic’ bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

July 18, 2019

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are…
Artificial cells can deliver molecules better than the real thing

July 17, 2019

From pills to vaccines, ways to deliver drugs into the body have been constantly evolving since the early…
Labs give ancient proteins new purpose

July 3, 2019

Electrons are common currency in biological systems, supplying the power to live. Scientists at Rice and Rutgers universities…
Scientists chart course toward a new world of synthetic biology

June 20, 2019

Genetically engineered trees that provide fire-resistant lumber for homes. Modified organs that won’t be rejected. Synthetic microbes that…
Synthetic E. coli pushes the limits of gene synthesis

May 28, 2019

Designing and building organisms from scratch could be the Holy Grail of synthetic biology. It therefore comes as…
Scientists use molecular tethers and chemical ‘light sabers’ to construct platforms for tissue engineering

May 22, 2019

Tissue engineering could transform medicine. Instead of waiting for our bodies to regrow or repair damage after an…
Synthetic biologists hack bacterial sensors

May 21, 2019

Rice University synthetic biologists have hacked bacterial sensing with a plug-and-play system that could be used to mix-and-match…
Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

May 13, 2019

Known for their ability to remove methane from the environment and convert it into a usable fuel, methanotrophic…
Researchers grow cells in ‘paper organs’

May 3, 2019

Long before scientists test new medicines in animals or people, they study the effects of the substances on…
Caleb Bashor (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Bioengineers program cells as digital signal processors

April 19, 2019

Synthetic biologists have added high-precision analog-to-digital signal processing to the genetic circuitry of living cells. The research, described online in…
Scientists program proteins to pair exactly

December 20, 2018

Proteins have now been designed in the lab to zip together in much the same way that  DNA molecules…
Members of the Devaraj Research Group stand by for direction from Professor Neal Devaraj (far right). Photo by Michelle Fredricks, UCSD
Copycat Cells Command New Powers of Communication

December 10, 2018

From kryptonite for Superman to plant toxins for poison ivy, chemical reactions within the body’s cells can be…
‘Focused Research Teams’ take on emerging opportunities in biotechnology and robotics

October 23, 2018

The school has named three initial teams, two in emerging areas of biotechnology and one in robotics and…
Scientists create synthetic prototissue capable of synchronised beating

October 18, 2018

The discovery, published in Nature Materials, is the first chemically programmed approach to producing an artificial tissue. The findings,…
Scientists develop mouse ‘embryo-like structures’ with organisation along body’s major axes

October 4, 2018

A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has developed an artificial mouse embryo-like structure capable of…
Synthetic Organelle Shows How Tiny Puddle-Organs in our Cells Work

September 24, 2018

A couple of sugars, a dash of enzymes, a pinch of salt, a splash of polyethylene glycol, carefully…
Models give synthetic biologists a head start

August 20, 2018

Synthetic biologists have the tools to build complex, computer-like DNA circuits that sense or trigger activities in cells,…
Scientists generate key life event in artificial mouse ‘embryo’ created from stem cells

July 24, 2018

The creation of artificial embryos has moved a step forward after an international team of researchers used mouse…
UCLA researchers develop synthetic T cells that mimic form, function of human version

June 26, 2018

Discovery could be a step toward developing treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. UCLA researchers have developed synthetic…
On the path to an artificial cell

June 21, 2018

It is hoped that cells created in a test tube can answer some of the major questions in…
New DNA synthesis technique promises rapid, high-fidelity DNA printing

June 21, 2018

Scientists at the UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have invented a new way to synthesize DNA…
Artificial biosynthesis yields superior steroid antibiotics

June 19, 2018

Researchers at the University of Tokyo discovered that they had obtained supernatural analogs of steroid antibiotics from a…
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