Category Archives: Animal Gate

Biochemists devise snappy new technique for blueprinting cell membrane proteins

Biochemists have devised a new technique that will make the job of blueprinting certain proteins considerably faster, cheaper and easier. The breakthrough will make a big splash in the field of drug discovery and development, where protein blueprints help researchers understand how individual proteins work and allow drug developers to draw up specific battle plans in the fight against diseases and infections.

Researchers edit plant DNA using mechanism evolved in bacteria

Researchers have used a gene editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas to modify the genome of a tree species for the first time. Their research opens the door to more rapid and reliable gene editing of plants. By mutating specific genes in Populus — a genus of deciduous trees that includes poplar, aspen and cottonwood — the researchers reduced the concentrations of two naturally occurring plant polymers.

Programming DNA to reverse antibiotic resistance in bacteria

New research introduces a promising new tool to combat the rapid, extensive spread of antibiotic resistance around the world. It nukes antibiotic resistance in selected bacteria, and renders other bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics. The research, if ultimately applied to pathogens on hospital surfaces or medical personnel’s hands, could turn the tide on untreatable, often lethal bacterial infections.

Avian ecologists combine bird survey data to ID vulnerable boreal species

Continent-wide bird surveys play an important role in conservation, says an avian ecologist, but they can miss rare or isolated species whose habitat is off the beaten path, such as at high elevation or in a dense bog. Now the researchers are combining data from local point counts to know how birds in hard-to-reach habitats are faring report for the first time how birds in hard-to-reach habitats are faring.