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Editors: Judy Peng /jp; Lucie Kalvodova /lk

biotecvisions@wiley.com

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Contributors: Danny Asling /da; Bill Mullen /bm; Fran Harding /fh; Frédérique Belliard /fb; Joanna Cipolla /jc; Meghana Hemphill /mh; Vera Köster /vek; Gillian van Beest /gvb; Loes van de Pasch /lp;

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February 2013

Cover story

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES

Cancer stem cells isolated from kidney tumours

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Scientists have isolated cancer stem cells that lead to the growth of a type of cancer found in the kidneys of children. The researchers have used these cancer stem cells to test a new therapeutic approach that one day might be used for treatment. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

“In earlier studies, cancer stem cells were isolated from adult cancers [...] but so far much less is known about stem cells in paediatric cancers, ” remarked Prof Benjamin Dekel. “Cancer stem cells contain the complete genetic machinery necessary to start, sustain and propagate tumor growth and they are often referred to as cancer-initiating cells. As such, they not only represent a useful system to study cancer development but they also serve as a way to study new drug targets and potential treatments designed to stop the growth and spread of different types of cancer.”

Conventional chemotherapy is toxic to all cells in the body and if given to children may lead to the development of secondary cancers when they become adults. Scientists are looking for ways to ensure that drugs are targeted specifically to the “right” tumor cells (some cells may be more important to eradicate than others). The researchers were able to remove parts of the tumors of cancer patients, graft them into mice and identify cancer stem cells. Only the cancer stem cells and not the other cancer cells led to the development of new tumors. Several biomarkers distinguishing the cancer stem cells from other cells were identified. “In further experiments, we were able to show that an antibody drug that targets one such biomarker [...] was able to either almost completely or in some cases completely eradicate the tumors that we induced in mice, ” added Dekel. [1]

WIREs

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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“Interdisciplinarity” has been the driving force behind many of the latest innovations – to serve the community of scientists whose research are at the boundaries of existing disciplines and the leading edge of new disciplines, the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews, or WIREs, provide a unique perspective like no other. The in-depth, authoritative reviews are written by experts, providing comprehensive and diverse coverage of various topics.

Biomedical applications of multifunctional plasmonic nanoparticles

Plasmonic nanoparticles can serve as optically stable bioimaging agents, be employed in biosensor devices for early diagnosis of diseases, and exhibit promising results in vivo as therapeutic agents. Multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures combine these properties with other functionalities. Through rational design and engineering, 'smart' multifunctional nanomaterials will lead to nano-theranostics in the future. [2]

Promise of personalized omics to precision medicine

Individual omes as well as the integrated profiles of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, antibodyome, and other omics information are expected to be valuable for health monitoring, preventative measures, and precision medicine. Moreover, omics technologies have the potential to transform medicine from traditional symptom-oriented diagnosis and treatment of diseases toward disease prevention and early diagnostics. [3]

See also “Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine” special issue of Biotechnology Journal, edited by Leroy Hood and Charles Auffray.

Getting Published

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES

Steps in manuscript preparation

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In short, the preparation of a scientific paper has less to do with literary skill than with organization. A scientific paper is not literature. The preparer of a scientific paper is not an author in the literary sense.

Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel

First-time writers of a scientific manuscript make one common mistake – writing the manuscript in the same order as the paper appears in published form. While this approach may eventually result in a completed paper, it may have caused, inadvertently, much more pain in the writing process than necessary. The problem to the approach lies in the focus, or lack thereof, when one tackles the writing process in this way.

In Getting Published in the Life Sciences, by Gladon, Graves, and Kelly, the authors advocate an “inside-out” approach. By starting with two to four take-home scientific messages, you will have a basis/focus on which all parts of the manuscript hinges. Not only would this provide a firm psychological support (i.e. you know that you have solid data that are of interest to the scientific community), writing around these messages will ensure that you are able to write a lean-and-mean manuscript that hits all the right notes without beating around the bush.

In summary, the writing order can be summarized as:

Develop take-home messages

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Develop provisional title

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Results (figures and tables)

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Materials and methods

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Introduction

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Discussion

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Abstract

[DOWNWARDS ARROW]

Title, keywords, etc.

Once a draft has been completed, it is time to take some time away from the manuscript so that you can see it from a clearer perspective. After polishing the manuscript, it is time to check that the data presented do support the take-home messages, the references demonstrate that you indeed understand the background of the study, and importantly, attention to details such as accurate labelling of figures and tables.

For more information on getting published in the life sciences, refer to the book of the same title by Richard J. Gladon, William R. Graves, and J. Michael Kelly. /jp

A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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The new marker module amdSYM is an excellent tool for consecutive genetic modifications in the yeast S. cerevisiae and a good alternative to URA3, MET15 or LYS2 with the additional substantial advantage that it is not limited to specific strain backgrounds or to the cerevisiae species. amdSYM was successfully used as selection marker to perform deletions in the newly discovered wild species of S.eubayanus and in S. cerevisiae and S. pastorianus brewing strains. This later success in deleting genes from the aneuploid and hybrid genome of S. pastorianus, amdSYM is expected to considerably contribute to the functional analysis of genes in strains with complex genome architecture. amdSYM opens the door to fast and easy genetic manipulation in Saccharomyces laboratory, wild and industrial strains. /fb [4]

Rock solid?

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Multiple factors, including land management, influence soil stability. This article reviews how soil microorganisms respond to disturbance or environmental change. The authors conclude that there is no general response to disturbance because stability is particular to the disturbance and soil history. Soil stability results from a combination of biotic and abiotic soil characteristics and so could provide a quantitative measure of soil health that can be translated into policy advice and improved land management practice. Further, stability measurements could also provide an indirect indication of 'critical slowing down' and the approach of ecosystem tipping points. In particular monitoring soil responses to stochastic natural disturbances may be a useful early indicator of an impending ecological state change. /gvb [5]

Herd immunity in the meningitis belt

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Image in public domain Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Herd_Of_Goats.jpg

Epidemic meningococcal meningitis is a severe public health problem, in particular in the 'meningitis belt' of sub-Saharan Africa. Control of meningitis epidemics has relied so far on reactive vaccination strategies with polysaccharide vaccines. A serogroup A conjugate vaccine is currently being introduced in the meningitis belt. This study compares outer membrane protein sequences in a number of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A disease and carriage isolates from a defined region of sub-Saharan Africa between 2002 and 2008. It concludes that there is a remarkable antigenic stability in this population and that results indicate that while herd immunity may be responsible for the disappearance of meningococcal clones over time, it is not a strong driving force for antigenic diversification. /gvb [6]

What we can learn from sushi

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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If there is one thing we can learn from sushi, it is that seaweed-associated bacteria can have unexpected beneficial effects. For instance, the carbohydrate active enzyme porphyranase from the marine Bacteroidetes bacterium Zobellia galactanivorans breaks down the sulphated polysaccharide porphyran from the red alga Porphyra (nori) traditionally used to prepare sushi, which ultimately allows people to digest the algae that wrap sushi rolls. The study of seaweed-bacterial interactions has a long history, which is summarized in this review. The authors describe 161 studies, covering a wide range of bacteria that have adapted to life on seaweed surfaces in highly diverse ways. /lp [7]

Chocolate benefits platelet function

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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An intriguing strategy to counteract rising rates of cardiovascular disease has been presented in Mol. Nutr. Food Res. Activated blood platelets play a central role in the formation of artery blockages. Platelet activation is responsive to levels of polyphenols, including flavan-3-ols, in the diet. Cocoa and chocolate are especially rich in these compounds. Platelet activation and function were assessed in healthy subjects after ingestion of white chocolate, dark chocolate and flavan-3-ol enriched dark chocolate. Eating flavan-3-ol enriched chocolate beneficially modified platelet function up to six hours after consumption. Surprisingly, several measures of platelet activity indicated differences in the response of men and women to chocolate consumption. In particular, white chocolate (which does not contain flavan-3-ol) improved platelet function profiles in men, but not women. /fh [8]

Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Optogenetics uses light to control basic cellular functions. Light excitation of modified photosensitive proteins is harnessed to create tools to control gene expression. Building on conventional chemical-genetic strategies in which small molecules are used to induce changes in gene expression, these tools have the added advantages of very fine spatial and temporal resolution and reversible switching. Molecular processes can be controlled with subcellular precision. A recent review in Biology of the Cell outlines progress in this new and rapidly expanding field. Basic concepts behind conditional optogenetic control of gene expression and limitations in the current technology are described. Expansion of the optogenetics toolkit to encompass photoreceptors with tunable kinetic and photoresponsive properties is highlighted as key to the uptake of these exciting methods across biological and biotechnological fields. /fh [9]

Recycling coffee for cosmetics

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Thanks to the high content of lipids, spent coffee grounds have a potential for use in the cosmetic industry. In European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, researchers from Portugal and Brazil report the development of new cosmetic formulation with improved skin lipids (sebum) and good hydration properties from spent coffee grounds. The developed coffee oil cream was tested with a group of volunteers for a month. The cream was well accepted by the test persons and it increased the barrier properties of their skin. /lk [10]

Smart food packaging

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Authors from the University of Massachusetts review innovative technologies in the control of lipid oxidation in a recent Feature article in Lipid Technology. They cover advances in food formulations including the use of additives and food microstructuring as well as food packaging. A new concept of active packaging in which metal ions, which can promote oxidative degradation, are removed by the packaging materials themselves is introduced. In this approach, active agents such as radical scavengers, metal chelators and singlet oxygen quenchers are incorporated directly in the packaging material. /lk [11]

Chemical additives for protein refolding

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Are you at a loss as to what to do with inactive protein aggregates in your project? In laboratories and manufacturing settings, protein production from aggregates through refolding is a critical bottleneck. Rapid and inexpensive protein refolding is hindered by the fact that effective conditions tend to be protein-dependent and therefore difficult to select in a rational manner. Yamaguchi and colleagues (Tokyo University, Tokyo, Japan) discuss synthetic refolding additives and describes the concepts underlying the development of chemical additives and chemical additive-based methods. This review contributes to the advancement of efficient refolding conditions in protein science and engineering fields, and additionally gives researchers in other disciplines the incentive to start new studies in the development of a universal refolding method. [13]

Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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The interaction between nanoparticles (NPs) and DNA is an important research topic with broad applications and implications. On one hand, understanding the NP-DNA interaction is conducive to the rational design of nanobioconjugates for biomedical and therapeutic applications. On the other hand, in terms of safety concerns, NPs are likely to enter cells, and cause adverse effects on the stability and biological functions of DNA. Li et al. (Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA) employ atomic force microscopy to examine NP-DNA interactions at the single-molecule level. They observe that DNA conformation is changed after interacting with NPs, which may lead to subsequent changes in DNA function. This work is anticipated to benefit the future design of the NP-DNA bioconjugates and the evaluation of the genotoxicity of NPs. [14]

Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Society relies heavily on mineral oil for both energy and petrochemical needs. Plant lipids are uniquely suited to serve as a renewable source of high-value fatty acids for use as chemical feedstocks and as a substitute for current petrochemicals. This review covers new insights based on metabolic flux and reverse engineering studies that have changed our view of plant oil synthesis from a mostly linear process to instead an intricate network with acyl fluxes differing between plant species. These insights are leading to new strategies for high-level production of industrial fatty acids and waxes. Furthermore, progress in increasing the levels of oil and wax structures in storage and vegetative tissues has the potential to yield novel lipid production platforms. The challenge and opportunity for the next decade will be to marry these technologies when engineering current and new crops for the sustainable production of oil and wax feedstocks. [15]

Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Replacing fossil fuel with bioenergy is expected to increase energy security and independence, and reduce environmental and climate impacts. However, the expansion of biofuel crop cultivation has increased demand for land, resulting in land use change which could cause substantial greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental impacts of land use change could be minimized by harvesting existing mixed grassland for bioenergy production. It has been demonstrated that CRP grassland has potential as a bioenergy feedstock resource if the appropriate management practices are followed. Harvest timing is flexible depending on species composition. Adequate nitrogen fertilizer application is crucial to obtaining high yields. Furthermore, because they responded differently, combining both warm- and cool-season grasses at a regional scale for feedstock production systems could result in a consistent supply of biomass. [16]

Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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During the production and assessment of transgenic plants resistant to quarantine viruses, the need to contain genetically modified plants and pathogens severely limits working options. Moreover, in the case of fruit trees, acclimatisation and viral inoculation are very time-consuming, thus a quick and safe method to assess the resistance to quarantine viruses, such as Plum pox virus (PPV), is desirable. This article focuses on the production of transgenic plums together with a contained and rapid evaluation in vitro for PPV resistance. The results are of practical interest not only developing plum clones that are highly resistant to PPV, but also for setting up quick and contained inoculation test procedure. [17]

Current Protocols

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Dengue virus

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Dengue is a disease caused by infection with one of the four dengue virus serotypes, and is transmitted to humans by Aedes sp. mosquitoes. Clinical manifestations of dengue can have a wide range of outcomes varying from a mild febrile illness to a life-threatening condition. New techniques have largely replaced the use of DENV isolation in disease diagnosis. However, virus isolation still serves as the gold standard for detection and serotyping of DENV and is common practice in research and reference laboratories where clinical isolates of the virus are characterized and sequenced, or used for a variety of research experiments. Isolation of DENV from clinical samples can be achieved in mammalian and mosquito cells or by inoculation of mosquitoes. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe the most common procedures used for the isolation, serotyping, propagation, and quantification of DENV. /bm [18]

Embryoid body differentiation of hESCs

Serum-free human pluripotent stem cell media offer the potential to develop reproducible clinically applicable differentiation strategies and protocols. The vast array of possible growth factor and cytokine combinations for media formulations makes differentiation protocol optimization both labor and cost-intensive. 96-well plate, 4-color flow cytometry–based screening assay can be used to optimize pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocols. This is used both to differentiate human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into the three primary germ layers, ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm, and to utilize flow cytometry to distinguish between them. This assay exhibits low inter-well variability and can be utilized to efficiently screen a variety of media formulations, reducing cost, incubator space, and labor. /bm [19]

BiotecBooks

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES

Career Planning for Research Bioscientists

by Sarah Blackford

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9670-3

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An essential careers guide for bioscience doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. It contains a wealth of information and resources specifically targeted at research bioscientists, with practical strategies to enhance career success in an increasingly competitive job market.

The Handbook of Plant Metabolomics

edited by Wolfram Weckwerth and Günter Kahl

ISBN: 978-3-527-32777-5

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The Handbook of Plant Metabolomics provides an excellent overview of different approaches and techniques in plant metabolomics with contributors from ivy-league research institutions and companies developing new technologies in this dynamic and fast-growing field.

BiotecBookReviews

Biotechnology Journal provides comprehensive reviews to the latest books in biotechnology.

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Essential Guide to Reading Biomedical Papers: Recognising and Interpreting Best Practice

Philip D. Langton

ISBN: 978-1-1199-5997-7

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This concise, easy-to-follow text enables readers to develop the necessary skills to properly evaluate research articles. The book provides gives insight into core techniques in biomedical research and how, when and why a technique should be used and presented in the literature.

BiotecCareers

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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PhD and then? An interview with a customer support specialist

Maria (alias) did her PhD in molecular biology – after 6 years of postdoctoral training, Mara became a customer support specialist at a pharmaceutical/biotech company.

Q: Please tell us about what you do

A: My daily work consists of giving scientific support to researchers who use “XYZ” Applied Science products all over Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America. The inquiries come via telephone or email. We help them design experiments, interpret data or choose the most suitable product. We also assist them with using our software or equipment, and facilitate with trouble shooting when experiments do not work. In order to be up-to-date with the newest technology, apart from being continuously trained, we have a laboratory where we can use instruments and perform experiments. In addition to working in the office, we often give customer trainings, either onsite or in our lab.

Q: What do you enjoy most about the job?

A: That we are an international team and give our support in different languages. I enjoy very much that the team is multicultural, and we deal with scientists and colleagues from many different countries. In addition, it gives me the opportunity to work partly in my mother tongue, which is an advantage.

Q: Why or how did you decide to move from academia to this sector?

A: Although I enjoyed science very much, I preferred to dedicate my life to something broader, where communicating with people plays a big role.

Q: What aspects of your PhD/postdoc have been useful in getting and doing the job?

All aspects. In order to give support to scientists, it is essential that we are scientists ourselves. On one hand, our research experience makes us competent on the technical aspects. On the other hand, to know how a scientist feels and what he/she expects is one of the key success factors in customer support. The previous years dedicated to research are extremely useful for this work; I would say not only useful, but also necessary.

Q: What is your one tip for scientists who might be considering a move to this sector?

A: I would suggest keeping an eye open for positions available in your research fields. If your technique is difficult or rare, even better. If you speak another language, use it as differentiating factor.

Interview by Barbara Janssens, PhD Career Manager, DKFZ.

Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES
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Every year, Biotechnology Journal asks our readers for their feedback on the best covers of the year. This year, we've added the “best original paper” contest into the mix, and asked our readers and editorial board for their feedback on a shortlist of top 10 articles, based on usage and citation statistics.

The winner of the best original paper 2011–2012 is “Lipid biosynthesis monitored at the single-cell level in Saccharomyces cerevisiae” by Pramote Chumnanpuen et al. from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. This paper uses label-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy to monitor lipid storage at the single-cell level in the yeast S. cerevisiae. The researchers demonstrate that while lipid size remains contestant, the number of droplets correlates with glucose and ethanol levels and that CARS microscopy is a powerful method for monitoring lipid metabolism and optimizing lipid production.

The winners for the best cover contest 2012 goes to our Industrial Biotechnology special issue from February, the cover of which was provided by Yu-Sin Jang and Sang Yup Lee. This is followed by the November regular issue, and the June special issue on Stem cells and Materials, (image provide by David Hajime Kornhauser, courtesy of International Public Relations, Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University).

We would like to congratulate all the winners, including winner of our special prize draw, Prof. Shailesh Jadhav, who will receive a one-year electronic subscription to Biotechnology Journal.

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Best paper

Best covers

REFERENCES

  1. Top of page
  2. Cover story
  3. WIREs
  4. Getting Published
  5. A new dominant recyclable marker in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  6. Rock solid?
  7. Herd immunity in the meningitis belt
  8. What we can learn from sushi
  9. Chocolate benefits platelet function
  10. Guided by the light: Light controlled gene expression
  11. Recycling coffee for cosmetics
  12. Smart food packaging
  13. Oldest domesticated organism: Yeast
  14. Chemical additives for protein refolding
  15. Single-molecule imaging of nanoparticle-DNA binding
  16. Metabolic engineering of plant oils and waxes for use as industrial feedstocks
  17. Managed CRP grasslands have potential as bioenergy feedstock
  18. Transgenic plums resistant to Plum pox virus
  19. BioEssays Brief guides
  20. Current Protocols
  21. BiotecBooks
  22. BiotecCareers
  23. Biotechnology Journal – best paper and best cover contest
  24. REFERENCES