biotechnology

RoboEars

© ACS

© ACS

The story

I come across a lot of science news stories (as you can imagine) and  have noticed that journalists are attracted to certain topics – ones that they think have a certain ‘sexy’ appeal to their readers I imagine. Bionic body parts seems to be one of them – conjuring imagery of a future where we are all enhanced by ultra-efficient prosthetic body parts like RoboCop.

One of these stories that hit the press recently was the news that researchers in Princeton have created a ‘bionic’ ear. More

Nobel news

The winners of the 2012 Nobel prizes were announced last week.

I thought I would post some videos that explain the work of the winning scientists which you can use to inspire the next generation of scientists.

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Cell alchemy

Credit: Karin Pierre, Institut de Physiologie, UNIL, Lausanne.

The story

Researchers in California have successfully converted mouse skin cells into brain cells, eliminating the need for stem cells.

It is hoped that the same procedure could be carried out on human cells, bringing the possibility of stem cell therapy for conditions such as Alzheimer’s closer to reality.

This is a great story to use in a GCSE lesson on stem cells. Students could discuss why this is a better alternative to using those from embryos.

Weblinks

BBC news story

Great stem cell teaching resources from the Learn Genetics website.

 

Spider-goat, spider-goat…

Credit: the prodigal untitled13 @ Flickr

…does whatever a spider-goat does.

Can she swing

from a web?

No she can’t

she’s a goat…

…however, she can produce spider silk proteins in her milk.

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Fertility treatments

A couple of links and short lesson ideas based on recent news stories to use in lessons on fertility treatments.

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Baby scientists

The story

I received an interesting letter in the post last week inviting my two year old daughter to take part in an international research study.

Feeling rather proud that scientists have realised her potential so early, I read on wondering what research they would exactly need her to carry out. More

Mending broken hearts

The story

Hope has arrived in the UK – hope that is for the thousands of people who suffer from heart failure.

You may have seen the British Heart Foundation’s new campaign on TV recently

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Who’s the Daddy?

The story

It was announced on Tuesday that Boots will be selling home paternity testing kits in all of its stores.  These kits have been available over the counter at a few other chemists and online but this is the first time that they have been exposed to potentially millions of people.

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Building with BioBricks

The story

BioBricks are DNA sequences which have defined functions and can easily be transferred into the genome of living cells such as E.Coli in order to produce genetically modified organisms. More

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