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BioBits™: Making Hands-on Biology Experiences Accessible for Everyone

Molecular biology is difficult to teach in schools, since the concepts can't be seen and are instead represented with abstract diagrams in textbooks. Some schools have introduced hands-on activities, such as growing cells that glow green, to illustrate these ideas in real life and facilitate... click to read more

  • Ally Huang | PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biological Engineering, USA
  • Jessica Stark | PhD student at Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, USA
  • Peter Nguyen | Wyss Technology Fellow at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, USA
Views 497
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Feb 22, 2019
DNA G-Quadruplexes: ‘knot’ that simple!

Known as the "molecule of life", DNA is found in every cell in our body, providing a set of instructions for the function and organization throughout our bodies. These instructions are encoded by only four structural variations, abbreviated to A, C, G and T. While... click to read more

  • Mateus Webba da Silva | Professor at School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK
  • Scarlett Dvorkin | PhD Student at School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK
Views 505
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Feb 20, 2019
How to transcribe the untranscribable

Despite consisting only of one single cell, the microorganism Paramecium has an amazingly complex life cycle. It has a period of infancy and of old age, it learns, defends itself from prey, has sex, responds to different sensory cues - all things we can relate... click to read more

  • Sarah Allen | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Institut für Zellbiologie, Universität Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • Mariusz Nowacki | Professor at Institut für Zellbiologie, Universität Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Views 920
Reading time 4.5 min
published on Oct 19, 2018
Ancient Egyptian mummies give up the last of their secrets

Our group together with an international team of scientists successfully recovered and analyzed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BC to 400 AD, establishing ancient Egyptian mummies as a reliable source for genetic material to study the ancient past. The study, published... click to read more

  • Johannes Krause | Professor at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Kahlaische Straße 10 07745, Jena, Germany
Views 1507
Reading time 3.5 min
published on May 15, 2018
The ancient origin of some modern Asian populations revealed by ancient DNA

The origin and the evolution of today's diverse populations is a complex process to study and clarify. Nevertheless, the recovery of genetic material from old remains such as bones, the so-called ancient DNA (aDNA), adds a new important source of information. aDNA can provide information on... click to read more

  • Veronika Siska | PhD student at Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, David Attenborough Building, The Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
  • Andrea Manica | University Reader at Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, David Attenborough Building, The Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
Views 1257
Reading time 3 min
published on Apr 25, 2018