Researchers who have been working on fine tuning the mass production of quality E. coli that can be used to obtain pure DNA that is used in developing vaccines, medicines, and in synthesizing other things we commonly see. Some of the examples given in the article that are synthesized by using DNA obtained from this strain of E. coli are laundry detergents and plastic which is lab-made. The strain they talk about in this article is DH5α had been initially altered to purify the DNA into a useable format but in doing this they also slowed the growth of the microorganism. Further research which has been done by scientists at U of I, in which they found the gene they altered. The gene they altered affected an enzyme in the biosynthesis pathway, once this was corrected the DH5α strain grew as quickly as the other strains typically grown in a lab setting.
December 2010 Archives
Scientists have been able to reprogram amniotic fluid cells into stem cells. Researchers in Berlin at the Max Planck institute were the people in this article who had devised a way to change the amniotic cells to resemble the pluripotent stem cells. The problem with the amniotic derived cells is that they have cell memory from where they came from, researchers are not sure if this will affect their usefulness in medical treatments if they are used. If these cells are viable then the benefit of being easily harvested and widely available. Also in amniotic fluid there are sometimes stem cells from the unborn child that are still present, which makes the conversion of amniotic cells to stem cell copies much quicker. Another positive of using amniotic cells would be the possible testing of tolerance of drugs by the unborn child before birth.