Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Synthetic Biology Rolls Along

First a synthetic genome, and now plastic antibodies: Scientific American's Observations blog reports that researchers from Japan, Stanford University, and University of California, Irvine, have develop plastic antibodies that work like real antibodies, latching onto antigens. The nanoparticles are "barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair," the blog's Katie Moisse says. The researchers used molecular imprinting to create melittin-shaped craters in small plastic dots, Moisse writes. After injecting mice with a lethal dose of melittin, the researchers then injected the mice with the plastic antibodies, which diminished the toxicity of the melittin. The researchers suggested the plastic antibodies could also be used to fight many different antigens, Moisse adds.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.