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Biotechnology Advances

Lucie Bacakova, Jana Zarubova, Martina Travnickova, Jana Musilkova, Julia Pajorova, Petr Slepicka, Nikola Slepickova Kasalkova, Vaclav Svorcik, Zdenka Kolska, Hooman Motarjemi, Martin Molitor
Stem cells can be defined as units of biological organization that are responsible for the development and the regeneration of organ and tissue systems. They are able to renew their populations and to differentiate into multiple cell lineages. Therefore, these cells have great potential in advanced tissue engineering and cell therapies. When seeded on synthetic or nature-derived scaffolds in vitro, stem cells can be differentiated towards the desired phenotype by an appropriate composition, by an appropriate architecture, and by appropriate physicochemical and mechanical properties of the scaffolds, particularly if the scaffold properties are combined with a suitable composition of cell culture media, and with suitable mechanical, electrical or magnetic stimulation...
March 18, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
M Sreepadmanabh, Bhushan J Toley
The concept of Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) and the CSC Niche/Tumor Microenvironment (TME) as the central driving force behind tumor progression and maintenance has garnered much attention in recent years. Concomitantly, the widespread adoption of 3D tissue models, organotypic co-cultures, and the revolutionary microfluidic technology has resulted in a plethora of ground-breaking fundamental discoveries and has enabled investigations which were previously unfeasible. A large number of existing review papers concern themselves with either a broad look at the TME and CSC Niche, or on the studies undertaken on a particular niche component alone...
March 17, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Alberto Vergara-Fernández, Sergio Revah, Patricio Moreno-Casas, Felipe Scott
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ubiquitous contaminants that can be found both in outdoor and indoor air, posing risks to human health and the ecosystems. The treatment of air contaminated with VOCs in low concentrations can be effectively performed using biofiltration, especially when VOCs are hydrophilic. However, the performance of biofilters inoculated with bacteria has been found to be low with sparsely water soluble molecules when compared to biofilters where fungi develop. Using conceptual and mathematical models, this review presents an overview of the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms that explain the differences in the performance of fungal and bacterial biofilters...
March 17, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Sandhya Sharma, Rachel Zhuang, Marisa Long, Mirjana Pavlovic, Yunqing Kang, Azhar Ilyas, Waseem Asghar
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are a major contributor of cancer metastases and hold a promising prognostic significance in cancer detection. Performing functional and molecular characterization of CTCs provides in-depth knowledge about this lethal disease. Researchers are making efforts to design devices and develop assays for enumeration of CTCs with a high capture and detection efficiency from whole blood of cancer patients. The existing and on-going research on CTC isolation methods has revealed cell characteristics which are helpful in cancer monitoring and designing of targeted cancer treatments...
March 17, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Katrin Pollmann, Sabine Kutschke, Sabine Matys, Johannes Raff, Gregor Hlawacek, Franziska L Lederer
The increasing demand of different essential metals as a consequence of the development of new technologies, especially in the so called "low carbon technologies" require the development of innovative technologies that enable an economic and environmentally friendly metal recovery from primary and secondary resources. There is serious concern that the demand of some critical elements might exceed the present supply within a few years, thus necessitating the development of novel strategies and technologies to meet the requirements of industry and society...
March 16, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Yu Xia, Xianghua Wen, Bing Zhang, Yunfeng Yang
Understanding diversity and assembly patterns of microbial communities in activated sludge (AS) is pivotal for addressing fundamental ecological questions and wastewater treatment engineering. Recent applications of molecular methods especially next generation sequencing (NGS) have led to the explosion of information about AS community diversity, including the identification of uncultured taxa, and characterization of low-abundance but environmentally important populations such as antibiotic resistant bacteria and pathogens...
March 15, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Verena Hiebl, Angela Ladurner, Simone Latkolik, Verena M Dirsch
Nuclear receptors (NRs) represent attractive targets for the treatment of metabolic syndrome-related diseases. In addition, natural products are an interesting pool of potential ligands since they have been refined under evolutionary pressure to interact with proteins or other biological targets. This review aims to briefly summarize current basic knowledge regarding the liver X (LXR) and farnesoid X receptors (FXR) that form permissive heterodimers with retinoid X receptors (RXR). Natural product-based ligands for these receptors are summarized and the potential of LXR, FXR and RXR as targets in precision medicine is discussed...
March 13, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Krishna Kant, Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi, Vivek Priy Dave, Tien Anh Ngo, Vinayaka Aaydha Chidambara, Quyen Than Linh, Dang Duong Bang, Anders Wolff
Rapid detection of foodborne pathogens at an early stage is imperative for preventing the outbreak of foodborne diseases, known as serious threats to human health. Conventional bacterial culturing methods for foodborne pathogen detection are time consuming, laborious, and with poor pathogen diagnosis competences. This has prompted researchers to call the current status of detection approaches into question and leverage new technologies for superior pathogen sensing outcomes. Novel strategies mainly rely on incorporating all the steps from sample preparation to detection in miniaturized devices for online monitoring of pathogens with high accuracy and sensitivity in a time-saving and cost effective manner...
March 10, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Chinchin Wang, Christopher Q Lan
Cultivation of microalgae requires consideration of shear stress, which is generated by operations such as mixing, circulation, aeration and pumping that are designed to facilitate mass and heat transfer as well as light distribution in cultures. Excessive shear stress can cause increased cell mortality, decreased growth rate and cell viability, or even cell lysis. This review examines the sources of shear stress in different cultivation systems, shear stress tolerance of different microalgal species and the physiological factors and environmental conditions that may affect shear sensitivity, and potential approaches to mitigate the detrimental effects of shear stress...
March 7, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Rohit Kumar, Shalini Mukherjee, Belay T Ayele
Wheat is one of the most important crops globally, and its grain is mainly used for human food, accounting for 20% of the total dietary calories. It is also used as animal feed and as a raw material for a variety of non-food and non-feed industrial products such as a feedstock for the production of bioethanol. Starch is the major constituent of a wheat grain, as a result, it is considered as a critical determinant of wheat yield and quality. The amount and composition of starch deposited in wheat grains is controlled primarily by sucrose transport from source tissues to the grain and its conversion to starch...
February 27, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Fatemeh Farjadian, Mohsen Moghoofei, Soroush Mirkiani, Amir Ghasemi, Navid Rabiee, Shima Hadifar, Ali Beyzavi, Mahdi Karimi, Michael R Hamblin
Drug delivery is a rapidly growing area of research motivated by the nanotechnology revolution, the ideal of personalized medicine, and the desire to reduce the side effects of toxic anti-cancer drugs. Amongst a bewildering array of different nanostructures and nanocarriers, those examples that are fundamentally bio-inspired and derived from natural sources are particularly preferred. Delivery of vaccines is also an active area of research in this field. Bacterial cells and their components that have been used for drug delivery, include the crystalline cell-surface layer known as "S-layer", bacterial ghosts, bacterial outer membrane vesicles, and bacterial products or derivatives (e...
February 27, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Ganesh V Halade, Laurence M Black, Mahendra Kumar Verma
Fatty acid drug discovery (FADD) is defined as the identification of novel, specialized bioactive mediators that are derived from fatty acids and have precise pharmacological/therapeutic potential. A number of reports indicate that dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and limited intake of omega-6 promotes overall health benefits. In 1929, Burr and Burr indicated the significant role of essential fatty acids for survival and functional health of many organs. In reference to specific dietary benefits of differential omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids (DHA and EPA) are transformed to monohydroxy, dihydroxy, trihydroxy, and other complex mediators during infection, injury, and exercise to resolve inflammation...
February 27, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Yunpeng Yang, Xiaoqun Nie, Yuqian Jiang, Chen Yang, Yang Gu, Weihong Jiang
Solventogenic clostridia, a group of important industrial microorganisms, have exceptional substrate and product diversity, capable of producing a series of two-carbon and even long-chain chemicals and fuels by using various substrates, including sugars, cellulose and hemicellulose, and C1 gases. For the sake of in-depth understanding and engineering these anaerobic microorganisms for broader applications, studies on metabolic regulation of solventogenic clostridia had been extensively carried out during the past ten years, based on the rapid development of various genetic tools...
February 22, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Andreas J Stroehlein, Neil D Young, Robin B Gasser
Protein kinases are enzymes that play essential roles in the regulation of many cellular processes. Despite expansions in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics, there is limited information on the kinase complements (kinomes) of most eukaryotic organisms, including parasitic worms that cause serious diseases of humans and animals. The biological uniqueness of these worms and the draft status of their genomes pose challenges for the identification and classification of protein kinases using established tools...
February 22, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Lukasz Huminieck, Jarosław Horbańczuk
Resveratrol has anti-cancer effects in vitro, and hypothetical chemopreventive effects in vivo. Effects are pleiotropic, mediated by changes in expression of many genes and epigenetic reprogramming. Thus, they are well suited for functional genomic studies. We carried out systematic review of such studies (reflecting also on technological progress). Differentially expressed genes commonly linked to resveratrol treatment were linked to cell cycle, proliferation, and apoptosis. However, it is unclear if these are primary and specific targets of resveratrol...
February 21, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Daxi Wang, Pasi K Korhonen, Robin B Gasser, Neil D Young
Clonorchis sinensis (family Opisthorchiidae) is an important foodborne parasite that has a major socioeconomic impact on ~35 million people predominantly in China, Vietnam, Korea and the Russian Far East. In humans, infection with C. sinensis causes clonorchiasis, a complex hepatobiliary disease that can induce cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a malignant cancer of the bile ducts. Central to understanding the epidemiology of this disease is knowledge of genetic variation within and among populations of this parasite...
February 15, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Andreas Koeberle, Oliver Werz
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit prostanoid formation and represent prevalent therapeutics for treatment of inflammatory disorders. However, NSAIDs are afflicted with severe side effects, which might be circumvented by more selective suppression of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid biosynthesis. This concept led to dual inhibitors of microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase (mPGES)-1 and 5-lipoxygenase that are crucial enzymes in the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 and leukotrienes...
February 15, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Simone Braig
Since cancer cells depend on de novo lipogenesis for energy supply, highly active membrane biosynthesis and signaling, enhanced fatty acid synthesis is a crucial characteristic of cancer cells. Hence, targeting lipogenic enzymes and signaling cascades is a very promising approach in developing innovative therapeutic agents for the fight against cancer. This review summarizes main aspects of altered fatty acid synthesis in cancer cells and emphasizes the power of chemical genetic approaches in identifying and analyzing novel anti-cancer drug candidates interfering with lipid metabolism...
February 12, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Vera Luginbuehl, Nicolas Meier, Karin Kovar, Jack Rohrer
A treasure trove of intracellular cancer drug targets remains hidden behind cell membranes. However, engineered pathogen-derived toxins such as Shiga toxins can deliver small or macromolecular drugs to specific intracellular organelles. After binding to ganglioglobotriaosylceramide (Gb3, CD77), the non-toxic subunit B (StxB) of the Shiga-holotoxin is endocytosed and delivers its payload by a unique retrograde trafficking pathway via the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol. This review provides an overview of biomedical applications of StxB-based drug delivery systems in targeted cancer diagnosis and therapy...
February 9, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
M T Cesário, M M R da Fonseca, M M Marques, M C M D de Almeida
The high content of lipids in microalgae (>60% w/w in some species) and of carbohydrates in seaweed (up to 75%) have promoted intensive research towards valorisation of algal components for the production of biofuels. However, the exploitation of the carbohydrate fraction to produce a range of chemicals and chemical intermediates with established markets is still limited. These include organic acids (e.g. succinic and lactic acid), alcohols other than bioethanol (e.g. butanol), and biomaterials (e.g. polyhydroxyalkanoates)...
February 8, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
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