To confront climate change, US agriculture seeks hardier breeds that can survive long droughts

climateadaptation:

Some adaptation is going to freak people out. Actually, stupid, link-baiting reporting is going to freak people out…

Cattle are being bred with genes from their African cousins who are accustomed to hot weather. New corn varieties are emerging with larger roots for gathering water in a drought. Someday, the plants may even be able to “resurrect” themselves after a long dry spell, recovering quickly when rain returns.

Across American agriculture, farmers and crop scientists have concluded that it’s too late to fight climate change. They need to adapt to it with a new generation of hardier animals and plants specially engineered to survive, and even thrive, in intense heat, with little rain.

Adapt yo food: via WaPo

DARPA Launches Program to Industrialize Genetic Engineering
DARPA has launched a program called called “Living Foundries,”designed to apply the conventions of manufacturing to living cells, Wired Danger Room reports.
DARPA has awarded seven research grants worth $15.5 million to six different companies and institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Cal Tech, and the J. Craig Venter Institute. “Living Foundries” aspires to streamline genetic engineering for “on-demand production” of whatever bio-product suits the military’s immediate needs, starting with a library of “modular genetic parts.”
The agency wants researchers to come up with a set of “parts, regulators, devices and circuits” that can reliably yield various genetic systems. After that, they’ll also need “test platforms” to quickly evaluate new bio-materials to “compress the biological design-build-test cycle by at least 10X in both time and cost,” while also “increasing the complexity of systems that can be designed and executed.”

What could possibly go wrong?
(via DARPA, Venter launch assembly line for genetic engineering | KurzweilAI)

via joshbyard:

DARPA Launches Program to Industrialize Genetic Engineering

DARPA has launched a program called called “Living Foundries,”designed to apply the conventions of manufacturing to living cells, Wired Danger Room reports.

DARPA has awarded seven research grants worth $15.5 million to six different companies and institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Cal Tech, and the J. Craig Venter Institute. “Living Foundries” aspires to streamline genetic engineering for “on-demand production” of whatever bio-product suits the military’s immediate needs, starting with a library of “modular genetic parts.”

The agency wants researchers to come up with a set of “parts, regulators, devices and circuits” that can reliably yield various genetic systems. After that, they’ll also need “test platforms” to quickly evaluate new bio-materials to “compress the biological design-build-test cycle by at least 10X in both time and cost,” while also “increasing the complexity of systems that can be designed and executed.”

What could possibly go wrong?

(via DARPA, Venter launch assembly line for genetic engineering | KurzweilAI)

via joshbyard:

Miniature USB device can sequence DNA




If there are portable, diminutive devices designed to quickly diagnose infertility, HIV, melanoma and malaria, then why not to sequence DNA as well? Sure enough, UK-based Oxford Nanopore Technologies recently debuted the MinION, a new sequencer that’s the size of a USB memory stick. READ MORE…




via springwise:

Miniature USB device can sequence DNA

If there are portable, diminutive devices designed to quickly diagnose infertilityHIVmelanoma and malaria, then why not to sequence DNA as well? Sure enough, UK-based Oxford Nanopore Technologies recently debuted the MinION, a new sequencer that’s the size of a USB memory stick. READ MORE…

via springwise:

Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time | KurzweilAI
Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person’s genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques. The researchers have patented an early prototype technology that they believe could lead to an ultrafast commercial DNA sequencing tool within ten years. Their work is described in a study published this month in the journal Nano Letters and it is supported by the Wellcome Trust Translational Award and the Corrigan Foundation. The research suggests that scientists could eventually sequence an entire genome in a single lab procedure, whereas at present it can only be sequenced after being broken into pieces in a highly complex and time-consuming process. Fast and inexpensive genome sequencing could allow ordinary people to unlock the secrets of their own DNA, revealing their personal susceptibility to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer. Medical professionals are already using genome sequencing to understand population-wide health issues and research ways to tailor individualised treatments or preventions. 

Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time | KurzweilAI

Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person’s genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques. The researchers have patented an early prototype technology that they believe could lead to an ultrafast commercial DNA sequencing tool within ten years. Their work is described in a study published this month in the journal Nano Letters and it is supported by the Wellcome Trust Translational Award and the Corrigan Foundation. The research suggests that scientists could eventually sequence an entire genome in a single lab procedure, whereas at present it can only be sequenced after being broken into pieces in a highly complex and time-consuming process. Fast and inexpensive genome sequencing could allow ordinary people to unlock the secrets of their own DNA, revealing their personal susceptibility to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer. Medical professionals are already using genome sequencing to understand population-wide health issues and research ways to tailor individualised treatments or preventions. 

phdr:

DNA Passing Through Graphene Nanopore As sad as it sounds, I’m a big fan of graphene. This 1nm thick single layer of carbon atoms takes on interesting properties that graphite (which is made up of lots of layers of graphene) doesn’t have. Every week there seems to be advances in different applications: ultrafast transistors, chemical sensors  or touch screen technologies.
Over the past few months several papers have been detailing ways in which graphene can be used to translocate DNA, or to put it simply, pull it through a hole (as shown in the above picture). The latest work, published in Nature, started by using a layer of graphene as a membrane to separate two liquid reservoirs, demonstrating that the graphene  can stop the flow of ions across it when a voltage is applied. When a nanoscale hole is present ions can pass through the membrane, with flow increasing as the size of the hole increases, meaning an increase in electric current that can measured. (Imagine a bucket divided in two by a plastic sheet: if the top half of the bucket is filled with water, it cannot flow to the bottom half because of the sheet, but if the sheet has a puncture the water can flow to the bottom half and a bigger hole results in a bigger flow of water).
It’s this property that may allow cheap DNA sequencing, an area that is always looking for ways to bring the cost of the process down. DNA is negatively charged so would be dragged through the  hole, the same as other charged molecules. As it does the bases on the DNA partially blocks the hole meaning the rate of the smaller ions flowing through the hole changes. These changes in current  might be used to identify the bases passing through the hole: each base on a strand of DNA (A, C, G or T) blocks the hole to a different extent, therefore changing the current.
At the moment each base takes about 10 nanoseconds to pass through the hole, that is too quick to measure a change in current, so one of the next tasks is to slow DNA translocation down. Another task is to be able to measure the minute changes in current over background noise. If these can be solved, then it might be possible to achieve relatively cheap genome sequencing.
Read more at ScienceDaily or PhysicsWorld
‘Graphene as a subnanometre trans-electrode membrane’ S. Garaj et al. Nature 467, 190-193 (2010)
Find the paper here (subscription required)

phdr:

DNA Passing Through Graphene Nanopore As sad as it sounds, I’m a big fan of graphene. This 1nm thick single layer of carbon atoms takes on interesting properties that graphite (which is made up of lots of layers of graphene) doesn’t have. Every week there seems to be advances in different applications: ultrafast transistors, chemical sensors or touch screen technologies.

Over the past few months several papers have been detailing ways in which graphene can be used to translocate DNA, or to put it simply, pull it through a hole (as shown in the above picture). The latest work, published in Nature, started by using a layer of graphene as a membrane to separate two liquid reservoirs, demonstrating that the graphene can stop the flow of ions across it when a voltage is applied. When a nanoscale hole is present ions can pass through the membrane, with flow increasing as the size of the hole increases, meaning an increase in electric current that can measured. (Imagine a bucket divided in two by a plastic sheet: if the top half of the bucket is filled with water, it cannot flow to the bottom half because of the sheet, but if the sheet has a puncture the water can flow to the bottom half and a bigger hole results in a bigger flow of water).

It’s this property that may allow cheap DNA sequencing, an area that is always looking for ways to bring the cost of the process down. DNA is negatively charged so would be dragged through the hole, the same as other charged molecules. As it does the bases on the DNA partially blocks the hole meaning the rate of the smaller ions flowing through the hole changes. These changes in current might be used to identify the bases passing through the hole: each base on a strand of DNA (A, C, G or T) blocks the hole to a different extent, therefore changing the current.

At the moment each base takes about 10 nanoseconds to pass through the hole, that is too quick to measure a change in current, so one of the next tasks is to slow DNA translocation down. Another task is to be able to measure the minute changes in current over background noise. If these can be solved, then it might be possible to achieve relatively cheap genome sequencing.

Read more at ScienceDaily or PhysicsWorld

‘Graphene as a subnanometre trans-electrode membrane’ S. Garaj et al. Nature 467, 190-193 (2010)

Find the paper here (subscription required)

Sergey  Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure | Wired Magazine
High-Speed Science Can a model fueled by data sets and computational power compete with the gold standard of research? Maybe: Here are two timelines—one from an esteemed traditional research project run by the NIH, the other from the 23andMe Parkinson’s Genetics Initiative. They reached almost the same conclusion about a possible association between Gaucher’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but the 23andMe project took a fraction of the time.—Rachel Swaby

Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure | Wired Magazine


High-Speed Science Can a model fueled by data sets and computational power compete with the gold standard of research? Maybe: Here are two timelines—one from an esteemed traditional research project run by the NIH, the other from the 23andMe Parkinson’s Genetics Initiative. They reached almost the same conclusion about a possible association between Gaucher’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but the 23andMe project took a fraction of the time.—Rachel Swaby

poptech:

Synthetic Life (via ScienceChannel)

Creating Synthetic Life: Manmade DNA premieres June 3 at 8 PM on Science Channel.

World-renowned scientist Dr. J. Craig Venter announced on May 20 that he and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) became the first in history to synthetically create a living, self-replicating cell. The news holds groundbreaking potential for solutions to a host of global challenges, including generating new food sources, pharmaceuticals and vaccines; cleaning up pollution; creating new energy sources; producing clean water; and more.

Science Channel is exclusively bringing viewers inside Dr. Venters pioneering quest to produce life synthetically in CREATING SYNTHETIC LIFE.

Over the course of five years, only Science Channel cameras captured the failures, successes and breakthrough moments of Dr. Venter, Nobel Laureate Hamilton Smith, Dr. Clyde Hutchison and JCVI researchers as they meticulously sought to create a synthetic single-celled organism.

Our friends at Compass Light Productions are making a splash on the Science Channel with tonight’s world premier of “Creating Synthetic Life”.

Craig Venter will be answering questions following the film. Ask away.

Technology Review: The Human Genome in 3-D
New technology that makes it possible to assess the three-dimensional interactions among different parts of the genome has revealed how these molecules are packed into such a tiny space. The findings could also yield new clues to genome regulation—how specific genes are turned on and off.
)

Technology Review: The Human Genome in 3-D

New technology that makes it possible to assess the three-dimensional interactions among different parts of the genome has revealed how these molecules are packed into such a tiny space. The findings could also yield new clues to genome regulation—how specific genes are turned on and off.

)

IBM DNA Transistor: The Future of Genome Sequencing

In an effort to build a nanoscale DNA sequencer, IBM scientists are drilling nano-sized holes in computer-like chips and passing DNA strands through them in order to read the information contained within their genetic code.

(via IBMSocialMedia)

IBM bares next five tech innovations

SOLAR technology in clothes, “talking” to the Internet and personal “digital shopping assistants:” these innovations will take place in five years or less, IBM said.

Tech Addicts » IBM bares next five tech innovations