Recent Biotechnology Breakthrough

I’m posting late today due to Unisel’s WiFi servers under maintenance for 24 hours since yesterday. Less talk more writing, here we go.


Oil-eating bacteria

As we all know oil spillage causes great harm to the environment and contributes to water pollution, killing massive amounts of marine life every year. Luckily for us, scientists never rest unless they’re in their final place of course. Back in 1989 in attempt to clean up 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska.  Close but no cigar. Although we do get something important from those times. A blueprint for the oil-eating bacteria, Alcanivorax borkumensis having the ability to consume hundreds of million of oil in the waters each year.

Immune cells that attack cancer

Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have created a large, well-armed troop of tumor-seeking immune system cells to locate and attack dangerous melanomas. Dr. Antoni Ribas, the senior author of the study says: “We’re trying to genetically engineer the immune system to become a cancer killer and then image how the immune system operates at the same time.

Haven run various test on mice….they said that about one billion of it needed to fight the cancerous cell. If it goes well, it may be available in a few years….or so they say….

Stem cell culturing without using animal substance

Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, one of Europe’s largest medical universities, have managed to produce human stem cells without the use of other cells or substances from animals, in a completely chemically-defined environment. Embryonic stem cells have, up to this point, been cultured with the help of proteins from animals, ruling out the possibility of using them for treatment on humans. Now, they are cultured on a matrix of a single human protein: laminin-511, a part of our connective tissue that acts as a matrix that our cells can attach to. The possibilities are tremendous thanks to this scientific breakthrough that will give scientists the ability to develop different types of cells, which can be tested for the treatment of various human diseases. Meh…sounds good really but I wonder if there’s going to be problems with the ethical issues as we all know….pretty common these days….


Genome sequencing technology

Personalized healthcare is increasingly being applied to develop more effective treatments for disease and prevent a wider variety of conditions. Genome sequencing is one the most critical tools for personalized medicine, as it provides the individual genetic information necessary for the effective diagnosis and targeted treatment of particular diseases. Last month, a new collaborative agreement between Roche, a leader in biotechnology and research-focused healthcare, and IBM, one of the world’s largest technology companies, has them joining forces to develop a nanopore-based sequencer that will directly read and decode human DNA quickly, efficiently and affordably.

For the price…..ha ha ha….yeah, affordable really in these times of economic crisis…really….I think you should buy a Lamborghini instead…..



Finally putting tobacco plants to good use, researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have identified a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, with the aim of using it as biofuel. This is a promising prospect, one, because it offers an alternative to exploiting plants that are used in food production, and two, because tobacco plants generate biofuel more efficiently than other agricultural crops.

The challenge researchers faced was that this precious oil is mostly found in tobacco seeds, and tobacco plants only produce about 600 kg of seeds per acre. However, they have now found ways to genetically engineer the plants so that their leaves express more oil. According to one of the project’s researchers, Dr. Andrianov, they have been able to modify plants to produce 20-fold more oil in the leaves. Andrianov says “”Based on these data, tobacco represents an attractive and promising ‘energy plant’ platform, and could also serve as a model for the utilization of other high-biomass plants for biofuel production.”

Nicely done I say….at least if people stop smoking for good, we can still have tobacco for our cars. But wouldn’t our car smells like smoke….or maybe they’re gonna add chemicals to remove the odour…causing more harm than it already does….


D.F.J….watching Fourze 08……if it finishes tonight…I’m outta here…



About Dark Fent

............( The lines itself is enough right, no one bothers to know anyway) That is an enigma......

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Academics, Enigma of Science. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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