Breakthrough A.I. Makes Huge Leap Toward Solving 50-Year-Old Problem in Biology | Smart News

Life on Earth relies on microscopic machines called proteins that are vital to everything from holding up the structure of each cell, to reading genetic code, to carrying oxygen through the bloodstream. With meticulous lab work, scientists have figured out the precise, 3-D shapes of about 170,000 proteins—but there are at least 200 million more to go, Robert F. Service reports for Science magazine.

Researchers have been trying to find efficient ways to estimate the shape of proteins since at least the 1970s, reports Will Douglas Heaven for MIT Tech Review. Now, the artificial intelligence company DeepMind, which is owned by the same company that owns Google, has developed a tool that can predict the 3-D shapes of most proteins with similar results to experiments in the lab, Cade Metz reports for the New York Times. While lab experiments can take years to tease out a protein structure, DeepMind’s

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Biology Prof. Lue, Visionary in Life Sciences Pedagogy, Dies at 56 | News

In the sixteen years Gregory A. Llacer worked alongside Robert A. Lue, Llacer never knew Lue to be anything less than “an indefatigable advocate for science education,” “a blue-sky thinker,” and “a tireless humanist.”

“Rob was one of the first Harvard faculty members I got to know,” Llacer wrote in a Nov. 12 email to his staff at the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, which he directs. “Even in the throes of declining health due to cancer he was fighting throughout the summer, we still were working on ideas and projects, collaborations I intend to see through.”

Lue, an innovator in life sciences education, died on Nov. 11 at 56 of a fast-moving cancer.

Lue’s footprint at Harvard stretches wide. In addition to his role as a Molecular and Cellular Biology professor of practice, he served as founding faculty director of Harvard’s online education platform, HarvardX; the first faculty

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Study revealing the secret behind a key cellular process refutes biology textbooks

RNA
A hairpin loop from a pre-mRNA. Highlighted are the nucleobases (green) and the ribose-phosphate backbone (blue). Note that this is a single strand of RNA that folds back upon itself. Credit: Vossman/ Wikipedia

New research has identified and described a cellular process that, despite what textbooks say, has remained elusive to scientists until now—precisely how the copying of genetic material that, once started, is properly turned off.


The finding concerns a key process essential to life: the transcription phase of gene expression, which enables cells to live and do their jobs.

During transcription, an enzyme called RNA polymerase wraps itself around the double helix of DNA, using one strand to match nucleotides to make a copy of genetic material—resulting in a newly synthesized strand of RNA that breaks off when transcription is complete. That RNA enables production of proteins, which are essential to all life and perform most of the

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Cell biology finding may lead to better techniques aimed at tissue regeneration and anti-cancer therapies. — ScienceDaily

A basic science discovery by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals a fundamental way cells interpret signals from their environment and may eventually pave the way for potential new therapies.

The finding involves a signaling pathway in cells, called the Hippo pathway, which normally constrains cell division and regulates the size of organs, and also plays a role in tissue growth and development as well as tumor suppression. The Hippo pathway is so fundamental that it is found in species ranging from humans to flies.

The Bloomberg School researchers clarified the working of this signaling pathway by solving a long-standing mystery of how one of its core components, an enzyme called MST2, can be activated by multiple signaling inputs.

The discovery is reported in a paper on November 20 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

“We knew that this pathway could be activated by

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BioBits Is Changing The Way We Teach Biology

Hundreds of AP (Advanced Placement) Biology students across eight Boston public schools could be finding a silver lining in online high school. Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, their curriculum now includes cutting-edge, hands-on biotechnology kits that are being delivered to their doorstep. 

Born from a collaboration between MIT and Northwestern University, BioBits is the latest product by miniPCR bio, which specializes in making low-cost biotech equipment for students and scientists alike. Realizing the drastic need for online methods of instruction, they partnered with Mass Insight to develop a BioBits take-home lab activity that teaches AP biology students the central dogma of biology: transcription

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Melding biology and physical sciences yields deeper understanding of cancer — ScienceDaily

An evolving understanding of cancer that incorporates the physical properties of tumors and their surrounding tissues into existing biologic and genetic models can direct cancer researchers down previously uncharted avenues, potentially leading to new drugs and new treatment strategies, say investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Ludwig Center at HMS.

“We believe that progress in cancer research relies on close collaboration between cancer biologists, oncologists, physical scientists and engineers. A comprehensive understanding of the physical hallmarks of cancer requires a rigorous and broad perspective spanning the physical and biological sciences,” says Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, an investigator in the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories in the Department of Radiation Oncology at MGH and HMS.

In a review published in the journal Science, Jain and Steele Laboratories colleagues Hadi T. Nia, PhD, and Lance L. Munn, PhD, describe four distinct physical hallmarks of cancer that

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Sai Life Sciences to significantly expand biology capabilities at its integrated R&D campus

– Commences construction of new 75,000 sq. ft. facility in Hyderabad

– Augmenting India team to 170 biologists

HYDERABAD, India, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sai Life Sciences, one of India’s fastest growing Contract Research, Development & Manufacturing Organizations (CRDMO), today announced plans to significantly expand its biology capabilities at its integrated R&D campus in Hyderabad, India with a dedicated 75,000 sq. ft. facility and an augmented team of 170 biologists. The new facility will house expanded in vitro and in vivo biology services, DMPK and toxicology capabilities with the first set of labs scheduled to open in March 2021.

Upcoming Discovery Biology facility of Sai Life Sciences in Hyderabad, India
Upcoming Discovery Biology facility of Sai Life Sciences in Hyderabad, India

Making the announcement, CEO & Managing Director of Sai Life Sciences, Krishna Kanumuri said, “We aspire to deliver over 100 development candidates for our innovator partners by 2025. Our growing discovery biology team co-located with our teams

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