Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a broad discipline in which biological processes, organisms, cells or cellular components are exploited to develop new technologies. New tools and products developed by biotechnologists are useful in research, agriculture, industry and the clinic.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Local activity of the DNA methylation machinery remains poorly understood. Here, the authors present a theoretical and experimental framework to infer methylation and demethylation rates at genome scale in mouse embryonic stem cells, finding that maintenance methylation activity is reduced at transcription factor binding sites, while methylation turnover is elevated in transcribed gene bodies.

    • Paul Adrian Ginno
    • , Dimos Gaidatzis
    • , Angelika Feldmann
    • , Leslie Hoerner
    • , Dilek Imanci
    • , Lukas Burger
    • , Frederic Zilbermann
    • , Antoine H. F. M. Peters
    • , Frank Edenhofer
    • , Sébastien A. Smallwood
    • , Arnaud R. Krebs
    •  & Dirk Schübeler
  • Research |

    Proteins that interact with histone post-translational modifications have now been identified using an approach based on split-intein mediated histone semisynthesis. Histone modifications and disease-relevant mutations were installed into native chromatin with an adjacent photocross-linker to enable in situ cross-linking. This strategy enabled the determination of chromatin-relevant interactomes and represents a powerful tool for exploring epigenetic regulation and dysregulation at the molecular level.

    • Antony J. Burton
    • , Michael Haugbro
    • , Leah A. Gates
    • , John D. Bagert
    • , C. David Allis
    •  & Tom W. Muir
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors sample air and surfaces in hospital rooms of COVID-19 patients, detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples of two of three tested airborne infection isolation rooms, and find surface contamination in 66.7% of tested rooms during the first week of illness and 20% beyond the first week of illness.

    • Po Ying Chia
    • , Kristen Kelli Coleman
    • , Yian Kim Tan
    • , Sean Wei Xiang Ong
    • , Marcus Gum
    • , Sok Kiang Lau
    • , Xiao Fang Lim
    • , Ai Sim Lim
    • , Stephanie Sutjipto
    • , Pei Hua Lee
    • , Than The Son
    • , Barnaby Edward Young
    • , Donald K. Milton
    • , Gregory C. Gray
    • , Stephan Schuster
    • , Timothy Barkham
    • , Partha Pratim De
    • , Shawn Vasoo
    • , Monica Chan
    • , Brenda Sze Peng Ang
    • , Boon Huan Tan
    • , Yee-Sin Leo
    • , Oon-Tek Ng
    • , Michelle Su Yen Wong
    • , Kalisvar Marimuthu
    • , David Chien Lye
    • , Poh Lian Lim
    • , Cheng Chuan Lee
    • , Li Min Ling
    • , Lawrence Lee
    • , Tau Hong Lee
    • , Chen Seong Wong
    • , Sapna Sadarangani
    • , Ray Junhao Lin
    • , Deborah Hee Ling Ng
    • , Mucheli Sadasiv
    • , Tsin Wen Yeo
    • , Chiaw Yee Choy
    • , Glorijoy Shi En Tan
    • , Frederico Dimatatac
    • , Isais Florante Santos
    • , Chi Jong Go
    • , Yu Kit Chan
    • , Jun Yang Tay
    • , Jackie Yu-Ling Tan
    • , Nihar Pandit
    • , Benjamin Choon Heng Ho
    • , Shehara Mendis
    • , Yuan Yi Constance Chen
    • , Mohammad Yazid Abdad
    •  & Daniela Moses

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Three versatile and mutually orthogonal tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pairs have been developed. Collectively, these pairs enable the site-specific incorporation of three different non-canonical amino acids into a protein that can still be terminated faithfully by a natural stop codon.

    • Christopher D. Reinkemeier
    •  & Edward A. Lemke
  • Comments and Opinion
    | Open Access

    The continued explosive spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) despite aggressive public health measures has triggered an unprecedented international vaccine effort. However, correlates of protection, which can help guide intelligent vaccine design, are not known for SARS-CoV-2. Research on influenza immunity and vaccine development may provide valuable lessons for coronavirus efforts, especially considering similarities in rapid evolutionary potential. The apparent inevitability of future novel coronavirus outbreaks must prompt work on a universal coronavirus vaccine.

    • Luca T. Giurgea
    • , Alison Han
    •  & Matthew J. Memoli
    npj Vaccines 5, 43
  • News and Views |

    Whereas textbooks depict metabolism in perfect homeostasis, disturbances occur in real life. One particularly relevant disturbance, caused by excess food and alcohol consumption and exacerbated by genetics, is reductive stress. New work by Goodman et al. identifies a biomarker of reductive stress and uses a gene therapy solution in mice. This work suggests how exercise and an accessible nutritional technology can synergistically increase catabolism and relieve reductive stress.

    • Collin D. Heer
    •  & Charles Brenner