Professor Jay Keasling and collaborators have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients—mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD—as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself. Feeding only on sugar, the yeast are an easy and cheap way to produce pure cannabinoids that today are costly to extract from the buds of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.
Published this week in Nature Public Journals: Digital Medicine, Professor Mohammad Mofrad’s lab introduces “Deep Echocardiography” by applying deep learning towards clinical classifications and diagnostics of cardiac diseases.
Prof Niren Murthy’s lab, led by postdoc Tara deBoer, has developed a new cheap and simple point-of-care assay for diagnosing bacterial drug resistance. Termed DETECT, the technology can identify bacterial drug resistance directly from patient urine samples. The study appears on the Oct. 18 cover of the journal ChemBioChem.
Using a massive set of 244,000 synthetic sequence experiments, Adam Arkin and his collaborators disentangled some of the complex determinants for how bacterial genes are translated. Published today in Nature Biotechnology, their work has made it possible to identify general rules for optimizing protein expression, a fundamental step in understanding living systems, and takes another step toward the efficient design of engineered bacterial gene expression systems.
Learn more about Million Hands, a team-based project that has been making progress in developing 3D-printed prosthetic hands with more robust capability. Four bioengineering MEng students, Aastha Shah, Sina Dabiri, Jose Ramirez, and Aashish Bhardwaj, are members of the team.
To develop useful in vitro model systems for identifying the correlation between genetic deficiencies and environmental stress for cardiomyopathy, Professor Kevin Healy and his lab teamed up with molecular biologists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases to combine cutting edge tissue engineering and genome editing techniques to create a “diseased heart micro-tissue” model to mimic both the genetic and physical components of cardiomyopathy.
Researchers led by BioE PhD student Shakked Halperin, working in the laboratories of David Schaffer and John Dueber at UC Berkeley, have described yet another creative application for CRISPR: a platform to spur evolution of specific genes inside cells.
Macrophages are the body’s immune attack force, but how do they recognize their target particles? Fletcher Lab investigators have shown how macrophage target recognition is controlled by the height of the antibody above the target cell surface. They found that the gap created between the target cell and macrophage by the antibody, which bridges an antigen on the target cell surface and the macrophage’s receptors, must be small enough to exclude a molecule that turns off the receptor. This has broad implications for development of therapeutic antibodies because it establishes a size threshold for effective cell surface antigen targets.
New research from Prof Niren Murthy’s lab uses his CRISPR-Gold nanoparticle delivery technique to lessen some autism symptoms in mice with a form of fragile X syndrome, the most common known single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Published in Nature Biomedical Engineering June 25, 2018.