Human artificial chromosomes bypass centromere roadblocks

Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) could be useful tools for both understanding how mammalian chromosomes function and creating synthetic biological systems, but for the last 20 years, they have been limited by an inefficient artificial centromere. In the journal Cell on July 25th, researchers announce that they have made progress on…

Scientists unlock new role for nervous system in regeneration: Researchers were able to explain, predict, and even manipulate regeneration of the flatworm body

Biologists at Tufts University have developed a computational model of planarian (flatworm) regeneration that explains how fragments of planaria determine which end should form a tail and which should form a head. The development begins to answer an important question in regeneration research — what are the signals that determine…

Scientists generate functional, transplantable B cells from mice

Functional B-1 cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells are capable of long-term engraftment and secrete natural antibodies after transplantation in mice, researchers report February 7th in the journal Stem Cell Reports. Scientists are interested in B-1 cells generated from pluripotent stem cells because they could be tested as a…

New yeast model of metabolic disorders may lead to life-saving therapies: Unicellular organism mimics pathology and symptoms of congenital diseases, researchers say

There are hundreds of metabolic disorders — including phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia, maple syrup urine disease and homocystinuria. These disorders lead to congenital diseases that produce a critical enzyme deficiency that interferes with the body’s metabolism. The pathologies and symptoms vary among the diseases, but all of them are usually fatal and…