Biology

Little skate - Leucoraja erinacea (Photo Andy Martinez/NOAA)

An article published in the journal “Cell” describes a research on the origin of the types of neurons needed to coordinate walking on the mainland. A team of researchers from the New York University School of Medicine focused in particular on the species little skate (Leucoraja erinacea), part of the most primitive vertebrate group, studying its neuromuscular and genetic development. The conclusion is that some fish started walking on the sea floor about 420 million years ago, about 20 million years before the early tetrapods started colonizing the mainland.

Peter Diamandis and Bob Hariri (Photo courtesy Elizabeth Lippman / Celularity. All rights reserved)

Celularity, a biotechnology company specializing in the development of tissue regeneration solutions thanks to the allogeneic transplantation of stem cells, stated it received $250 million in funding. The company founded in September 2017 by Bob Hariri, also its CEO, and Peter Diamandis, received funding from pharmaceutical companies such as Celgene and Sorrento Therapeutics, from the biotechnology sector such as United Therapeutics Corporation and by Human Longevity Inc., another research company in the field of longevity with the same two founders.

DNA nanorobots with thrombin molecules (Image courtesy Jason Drees, Arizona State University. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Biotechnology” describes a research that uses nanotechnologies based on the exploitation of DNA for medical purposes. A team of scientists from Arizona State University (ASU) and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences programmed nanorobots to cut tumorss’ blood supply.

Axolotl specimen (Image courtesy IMP)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on the genome of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species of salamander that can regenerate its limbs but also a severed spinal cord and retinal tissue. A team of researchers sequenced this animal’s DNA to try to discover the secrets of its regeneration. This is the largest genome sequenced so far with its 32 billion bases.

Biocrust in Utah (Photo courtesy Tami Swenson)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a research that seeks to understand how communities of very diverse microorganisms that include fungi, bacteria and archaea can adapt to biocrusts, which means in the biological crusts of soil in very dry and arid environments. A team of scientists led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory tried to understand it using the tools of exometabolomics, a big word that indicates the set of all the products of the metabolism of a biological organism.