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image: Designing Genetic Circuits

Designing Genetic Circuits

By | October 1, 2011

Near the turn of the millennium, James Collins and Stanislas Leibler independently undertook rather similar projects: design what would become synthetic biology’s seminal genetic circuits. And they came up with strikingly similar action plans.

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image: The Right Sort

The Right Sort

By | August 1, 2011

Isolating specific cell types from a mass of plant or animal tissue is laborious and tricky. 

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image: Repainting Ancient Birds

Repainting Ancient Birds

By | July 1, 2011

Using synchrotron rapid scanning X-ray fluorescence to map the distribution of trace metals in avian fossils over 120 million-year-old, researchers reconstruct the pigment patterns of their feathers—revealing some of the extinct birds' long-lost colors.

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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image: Meet the Crystal Smasher

Meet the Crystal Smasher

By | July 1, 2011

Take a tour of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), whose ultra-powerful X-ray beam is being used to solve the structures of proteins that are notoriously hard to crystallize.

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image: Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

Optogenetics: A Light Switch for Neurons

By | July 1, 2011

This animation illustrates optogenetics—a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. 

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image: Smashing Crystals

Smashing Crystals

July 1, 2011

A powerful new X-ray–generating laser is imaging smaller crystals than ever before.

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image: New Blood for Gene Therapy

New Blood for Gene Therapy

By | June 13, 2011

Follow the success story of a young boy who, with the help of the Care for Rare Foundation, underwent stem cell therapy for Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome.

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