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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Scientists build bacteria-powered battery on single sheet of paper

Researchers have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas.
FULL STORY

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics.
Credit: Seokheun
Instead of ordering batteries by the pack, we might get them by the ream in the future. Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas.
"Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors," said Assistant Professor Seokheun "Sean" Choi, who is in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department within the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is also the director of the Bioelectronics and Microsystems Lab at Binghamton.
"Stand-alone and self-sustained, paper-based, point-of-care devices are essential to providing effective and life-saving treatments in resource-limited settings," said Choi.
On one half of a piece of chromatography paper, Choi and PhD candidate Yang Gao, who is a co-author of the paper, placed a ribbon of silver nitrate underneath a thin layer of wax to create a cathode. The pair then made a reservoir out of a conductive polymer on the other half of the paper, which acted as the anode. Once properly folded and a few drops of bacteria-filled liquid are added, the microbes' cellular respiration powers the battery.
"The device requires layers to include components, such as the anode, cathode and PEM (proton exchange membrane)," said Choi. "[The final battery] demands manual assembly, and there are potential issues such as misalignment of paper layers and vertical discontinuity between layers, which ultimately decrease power generation."
Different folding and stacking methods can significantly improve power and current outputs. Scientists were able to generate 31.51 microwatts at 125.53 microamps with six batteries in three parallel series and 44.85 microwatts at 105.89 microamps in a 6x6 configuration.
It would take millions of paper batteries to power a common 40-watt light bulb, but on the battlefield or in a disaster situation, usability and portability is paramount. Plus, there is enough power to run biosensors that monitor glucose levels in diabetes patients, detect pathogens in a body or perform other life-saving functions.
"Among many flexible and integrative paper-based batteries with a large upside, paper-based microbial fuel cell technology is arguably the most underdeveloped," said Choi. "We are excited about this because microorganisms can harvest electrical power from any type of biodegradable source, like wastewater, that is readily available. I believe this type of paper biobattery can be a future power source for papertronics."
The innovation is the latest step in paper battery development by Choi. His team developed its first paper prototype in 2015, which was a foldable battery that looked much like a matchbook. Earlier this year they unveiled a design that was inspired by a ninja throwing star.
The current work is available online in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies and will be presented at the IEEE MEMS 2017 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 22-26.

Story Source:
Materials provided by Binghamton University, State University of New YorkNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Yang Gao, Seokheun Choi. Stepping Toward Self-Powered Papertronics: Integrating Biobatteries into a Single Sheet of PaperAdvanced Materials Technologies, 2016; 1600194 DOI: 10.1002/admt.201600194

Giant cell blob can learn and teach, study shows

Summary:
It isn't an animal, a plant, or a fungus. The slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) is a strange, creeping, bloblike organism made up of one giant cell. Though it has no brain, it can learn from experience, as biologists have demonstrated. Now the same team of scientists has gone a step further, proving that a slime mold can transmit what it has learned to a fellow slime mold when the two combine.

P. polycephalum, a single-celled organism otherwise known as a slime mold, grown on agar in the laboratory.
Credit: Audrey Dussutour (CNRS)
It isn't an animal, a plant, or a fungus. The slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) is a strange, creeping, bloblike organism made up of one giant cell. Though it has no brain, it can learn from experience, as biologists at the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (CNRS, Université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier) previously demonstrated. Now the same team of scientists has gone a step further, proving that a slime mold can transmit what it has learned to a fellow slime mold when the two combine. These new findings are published in the December 21, 2016, issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Imagine you could temporarily fuse with someone, acquire that person's knowledge, and then split off to become your separate self again. With slime molds, that really happens! The slime mold -- Physarum polycephalum for scientists -- is a unicellular organism whose natural habitat is forest litter. But it can also be cultured in a laboratory petri dish. Audrey Dussutour and David Vogel had already trained slime molds to move past repellent but harmless substances (e.g. coffee, quinine, or salt) to reach their food. They now reveal that a slime mold that has learned to ignore salt can transmit this acquired behavior to another simply by fusing with it.
To achieve this, the researchers taught more than 2,000 slime molds that salt posed no threat. In order to reach their food, these slime molds had to cross a bridge covered with salt. This experience made them habituated slime molds. Meanwhile, another 2,000 slime molds had to cross a bridge bare of any substance. They made up the group of naive slime molds. After this training period, the scientists grouped slime molds into habituated, naive, and mixed pairs. Paired slime molds fused together where they came into contact. The new, fused slime molds then had to cross salt-covered bridges. To the researchers' surprise, the mixed slime molds moved just as fast as habituated pairs, and much faster than naive ones, suggesting that knowledge of the harmless nature of salt had been shared. This held true for slime molds formed from 3 or 4 individuals. No matter how many fused, only 1 habituated slime mold was needed to transfer the information.
To check that transfer had indeed taken place, the scientists separated the slime molds 1 hour and 3 hours after fusion and repeated the bridge experiment. Only naive slime molds that had been fused with habituated slime molds for 3 hours ignored the salt; all others were repulsed by it. This was proof of learning. When viewing the slime molds through a microscope, the scientists noticed that, after 3 hours, a vein formed at the point of fusion. This vein is undoubtedly the channel through which information is shared. The next challenges facing the researchers are to elucidate the form this information takes, and to test whether more than one behavior can be transmitted simultaneously. If Slime Mold A learns how to ignore quinine and Slime Mold B to ignore salt, the biologists wonder whether both behaviors can be transmitted and retained through fusion.

Story Source:
Materials provided by CNRSNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. David Vogel, Audrey Dussutour. Direct transfer of learned behaviour via cell fusion in non-neural organismsProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2016; 283 (1845): 20162382 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2382

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Vaccinia DNA topoisomerase

Vaccinia DNA topoisomerase
Topoisomerase Enzymes have the capability to cleave and rejoin the strands of DNA by forming a 3’ phosphorylated intermediate & a conserved active site (tyrosine).


The Biological function of Topoisomerases is that they keep the topological formation of cellular state of DNA by terminating the supercoils which are made during the DNA replication & transcription.

Gene
TOP-1
ORF: H6R
Protein
DNA topoisomerase-1B
Organism
Vaccinia virus (VACV) Copenhagen Strain
Table [Classification]

Function of Vaccinia DNA topoisomerase
 It Release the supercoil and torsion tension of the DNA which is introduced by DNA replication & DNA transcription by rapidly cleaving and ligating 1 strand of DNA.
By introduction of trans-esterification, DNA strand is broken at a very specific site which is 5’(CT)CCTTp.
The Phosphodiester is then attacked by Tyrosine (catalytic) which result’s in
DNA-(3’phosphotyrosl)-Enzyme intermediate & the removal of 5’-OH strand of DNA.
The free strand of the DNA then go through the channel around the uninterrupted strand thus eliminating the DNA supercoils.
In the end the Re-ligation step involves attack of the DNA 5’-OH against covalent intermediate to terminate the active site tyrosine and reinstate the Phosphodiester backbone of DNA.

Additional information
Topoisomerase-1 from the vaccinia has the sequence & mechanic homologies/ similarities with the Eukaryotic topoisomerase type-1.


Biotech lab protocols

Biotech lab protocols


  • Bioethics Activities
    • Golden Rice Case Study (pdf)
  • Bt Corn vs the European Corn Borer (ECB) Activity, (pdf)
  • Chymosin Demonstration, (pdf)
  • DNA Extraction
    • Bacteria, (pdf)
    • Kiwi, (pdf)
    • Onion, (pdf)
    • Fruit Cup, (pdf)
    • DNA in My Food???–The Making of a Smoothie, (pdf)
  • DNA Fingerprinting, (pdf)
  • DNA Transformation of Bacteria
    • Ampicillin Resistant, (pdf)
    • Red Colony, (pdf)
    • Recombinant DNA: Dual Antibiotic-resistance Genes, (pdf)
    • Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), (pdf)
  • Evolution of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, (pdf)
  • High Sucrose Soybean
    • Invertase Metabolism, teacher instructions, (pdf)
    • Invertase Metabolism, student instructions, (pdf)
    • Thin Layer Chromatography, teacher instructions, (pdf)
    • Thin Layer Chromatography, student instructions, (pdf)
  • Marker Assisted Selection of the K-Casein Allele, (pdf)
  • Pipettor Practice submitted by Jen Koenen, Hampton-Dumont High School, Hampton, Iowa, (pdf)
  • Plant Micropropagation Using African Violet Leaves, (pdf)
  • Plasmid Isolation and Analysis, (pdf)
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • QuickStix™ Strip Test
    • QuickStix™ Strip Test-Corn Leaf Tissue, (pdf)
    • QuickStix™ Strip Test-Corn Seed, (pdf)
    • QuickStix™ Strip Test-Roundup Ready® Soybeans, (pdf)
  • Soybean Flavor Demonstration, (pdf)
  • Soy Drink Protocol, (pdf)






Monday, 26 September 2016

UOG MERIT LISTS 2016

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