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Microbes for Biofuels

This Scientificblogging news story recounts the work of Arizona State University researchers' efforts to engineer cyanobacteria to excrete fatty acids through their cell walls — a key step to developing the microbes as a source of biofuel. First, the researchers inserted thioesterase to remove the fatty acids from their carriers and then they altered S and peptidoglycan layers of the cell wall to better allow secretion. "The results to date are encouraging and we are confident of making further improvements to achieve enhanced productivity in strains currently under construction and development," Roy Curtiss says. "In addition, optimizing growth conditions associated with scale-up will also improve productivity."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.