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Glowing Teeth Could Be a Fad

Researchers have engineered biofilms to be "bionic," writes Nadia Drake at Wired.

Using inducible genetic circuits and cellular communication circuits, Harvard University and MIT researchers were able to regulate Escherichia coli culi amyloid production and show that the cells could self-assemble the fibrils, as they report in Nature Methods. They also got those culi fibrils to interface with gold nanoparticles and quantum dots, giving the biofilms new properties.

"So aside from producing fluorescent tooth plaque (yuck), what good are these things?" Drake asks. "The team already turned one of their biofilms into an electrical switch. Scientists suggest uses in smart sensors or tissue engineering, solar cells and batteries, or in converting agricultural waste to biofuel."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.