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Current Opinion in Biotechnology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088101/sequenced-defined-biomolecules-for-nanomaterial-synthesis-functionalization-and-assembly
#1
REVIEW
Joseph M Slocik, Rajesh R Naik
Biomolecules represent an invaluable resource to nanotechnology by providing a large diversity of highly functional biomolecular templates. As a result, these have been extensively used for controlling the synthesis, functionalization, and assembly of nanomaterials, while also creating materials with new properties and structures. In the following, we focus on the use of peptides to achieve these goals and describe their general utility, sequence programmability, and use as templates. Also, we highlight several recent advances in the identification and selection of high affinity nanomaterial-binding peptides, provide a few examples of peptide functionalized surfaces and peptide templated materials, and describe how simple modifications to well characterized nanomaterial-binding peptides can be used to manipulate interactions and physiochemical properties...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088100/exploiting-molecular-motors-as-nanomachines-the-mechanisms-of-de-novo-and-re-engineered-cytoskeletal-motors
#2
REVIEW
Nicole V DelRosso, Nathan D Derr
Cytoskeletal molecular motors provide exciting proof that nanoscale transporters can be highly efficient, moving for microns along filamentous tracks by hydrolyzing ATP to fuel nanometer-size steps. For nanotechnology, such conversion of chemical energy into productive work serves as an enticing platform for re-purposing and re-engineering. It also provides a roadmap for successful molecular mechanisms that can be mimicked to create de novo molecular motors for nanotechnology applications. Here we focus specifically on how the mechanisms of molecular motors are being re-engineered for greater control over their transport parameters...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088099/protein-templated-synthesis-of-metal-based-nanomaterials
#3
REVIEW
Arnout Rd Voet, Jeremy Rh Tame
There is currently intense interest in using protein scaffolds to prepare uniform nanometre-sized clusters of metals or other inorganic material for use as sensors, imaging agents, drugs, magnetic materials or catalysts. Non-templated chemical synthesis of such clusters often results in a product of variable size and quality, but protein molecules have proved adept at nucleating and stabilizing precise nanoclusters of various kinds. Although much research has focused on natural proteins, such as the iron-storage protein ferritin, recent developments in protein design have allowed entirely novel, symmetrical proteins to be used as templates for the first time...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088098/environmental-impact-of-engineered-carbon-nanoparticles-from-releases-to-effects-on-the-aquatic-biota
#4
REVIEW
Antoine Mottier, Florence Mouchet, Éric Pinelli, Laury Gauthier, Emmanuel Flahaut
Nano-ecotoxicology is an emerging science which aims to assess the environmental effect of nanotechnologies. The development of this particular aspect of ecotoxicology was made necessary in order to evaluate the potential impact of recently produced and used materials: nanoparticles (NPs). Among all the types of NPs, carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) especially draw attention giving the increasing number of applications and integration into consumer products. However the potential impacts of CNPs in the environment remain poorly known...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088095/chemoreceptor-based-signal-sensing
#5
REVIEW
Miguel A Matilla, Tino Krell
Chemoreceptors are at the beginning of chemosensory signaling cascades that correspond to a major signal transduction mechanism. Chemoreceptors show a significant structural diversity of their ligand binding domains which present either a mono-modular or bi-modular arrangement. Although the majority of chemoreceptors are of unknown function, significant progress has been made in recent years in their functional annotation, which is reviewed here. In vitro ligand binding studies to recombinant ligand binding domains proved to be an efficient strategy to identify chemoreceptor functions...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088094/organ-on-a-chip-for-assessing-environmental-toxicants
#6
REVIEW
Soohee Cho, Jeong-Yeol Yoon
Man-made xenobiotics, whose potential toxicological effects are not fully understood, are oversaturating the already-contaminated environment. Due to the rate of toxicant accumulation, unmanaged disposal, and unknown adverse effects to the environment and the human population, there is a crucial need to screen for environmental toxicants. Animal models and in vitro models are ineffective models in predicting in vivo responses due to inter-species difference and/or lack of physiologically-relevant 3D tissue environment...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088093/miniaturized-and-integrated-whole-cell-living-bacterial-sensors-in-field-applicable-autonomous-devices
#7
REVIEW
Clémence Roggo, Jan Roelof van der Meer
Live-cell based bioreporters are increasingly being deployed in microstructures, which facilitates their handling and permits the development of instruments that could perform autonomous environmental monitoring. Here we review recent developments of on-chip integration of live-cell bioreporters, the coupling of their reporter signal to the devices, their longer term preservation and multi-analyte capacity. We show examples of instruments that have attempted to fully integrate bioreporters as their sensing elements...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088092/aptamer-based-environmental-biosensors-for-small-molecule-contaminants
#8
REVIEW
Van-Thuan Nguyen, Young Seop Kwon, Man Bock Gu
Aptasensors are promising biosensors, which take advantage of using aptamers as a recognition element. The combination of the excellent characteristics of aptamers and the leading detection platform techniques, such as optical, electrochemical with nanomaterial-integrated, or mass-sensitive techniques with high sensitivity and specificity draws a promising view for the application of the aptasensors for the detection of harmful small toxic chemicals and real-time monitoring in the environments. In spite of attraction of aptasensors, application of them is limited to the complex environment due to the facts that how the immobilization of aptamers onto the surface affects the functions of aptamers and their structures for the detection of environmental contaminants are not clearly known...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088091/solar-to-chemical-and-solar-to-fuel-production-from-co2-by-metabolically-engineered-microorganisms
#9
REVIEW
Han Min Woo
Recent development of carbon capture utilization (CCU) for reduction of greenhouse gas emission are reviewed. In the case of CO2 utilization, I describe development of solar-to-chemical and solar-to-fuel technology that refers to the use of solar energy to convert CO2 to desired chemicals and fuels. Photoautotrophic cyanobacterial platforms have been extensively developed on this principle, producing a diverse range of alcohols, organic acids, and isoprenoids directly from CO2. Recent breakthroughs in the metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria were reviewed...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28088010/challenges-and-opportunities-for-improving-food-quality-and-nutrition-through-plant-biotechnology
#10
REVIEW
David Francis, John J Finer, Erich Grotewold
Plant biotechnology has been around since the advent of humankind, resulting in tremendous improvements in plant cultivation through crop domestication, breeding and selection. The emergence of transgenic approaches involving the introduction of defined DNA sequences into plants by humans has rapidly changed the surface of our planet by further expanding the gene pool used by plant breeders for plant improvement. Transgenic approaches in food plants have raised concerns on the merits, social implications, ecological risks and true benefits of plant biotechnology...
January 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28086191/rationalising-vitamin-b6-biofortification-in-crop-plants
#11
REVIEW
Jared Fudge, Nathalie Mangel, Wilhelm Gruissem, Hervé Vanderschuren, Teresa B Fitzpatrick
Vitamin B6 encompasses a group of related compounds (vitamers) that can only be biosynthesised de novo by plants and microorganisms. Enzymatic cofactor and antioxidant functions for vitamin B6 are established in all kingdoms. Human vitamin B6 dietary insufficiency or genetic defects in B6 vitamer interconversion result in various neurological and inflammatory pathologies with several populations at-risk or marginal for vitamin B6 status. Three (rice, wheat and cassava) of the world's top five staple crops do not meet the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B6, when consumed as a major proportion of the diet...
January 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28068552/biofortification-of-crops-with-nutrients-factors-affecting-utilization-and-storage
#12
REVIEW
Joana Díaz-Gómez, Richard M Twyman, Changfu Zhu, Gemma Farré, José Ce Serrano, Manuel Portero-Otin, Pilar Muñoz, Gerhard Sandmann, Teresa Capell, Paul Christou
Biofortification is an effective and economical method to improve the micronutrient content of crops, particularly staples that sustain human populations in developing countries. Whereas conventional fortification requires artificial additives, biofortification involves the synthesis or accumulation of nutrients by plants at source. Little is known about the relative merits of biofortification and artificial fortification in terms of nutrient bioaccessibility and bioavailability, and much depends on the biochemical nature of the nutrient, which can promote or delay uptake, and determine how efficiently different nutrients are transported through the blood, stored, and utilized...
January 6, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28056363/establishing-health-benefits-of-bioactive-food-components-a-basic-research-scientist-s-perspective
#13
REVIEW
Rumana Yasmeen, Naomi K Fukagawa, Thomas Ty Wang
Bioactive food components or functional foods have recently received significant attention because of their widely touted positive effects on health beyond basic nutrition. However, a question continues to lurk: are these claims for 'super foods' backed by sound science or simply an exaggerated portrayal of very small 'benefits'? Efforts to establish health benefits by scientific means pose a real challenge in regards to defining what those benefits are, as well as how effective the foods are in justifying any health claim...
January 2, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28043002/precision-nutrition-review-of-methods-for-point-of-care-assessment-of-nutritional-status
#14
REVIEW
Balaji Srinivasan, Seoho Lee, David Erickson, Saurabh Mehta
Precision nutrition encompasses prevention and treatment strategies for optimizing health that consider individual variability in diet, lifestyle, environment and genes by accurately determining an individual's nutritional status. This is particularly important as malnutrition now affects a third of the global population, with most of those affected or their care providers having limited means of determining their nutritional status. Similarly, program implementers often have no way of determining the impact or success of their interventions, thus hindering their scale-up...
December 30, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28039739/what-computational-non-targeted-mass-spectrometry-based-metabolomics-can-gain-from-shotgun-proteomics
#15
REVIEW
Hamid Hamzeiy, Jürgen Cox
Computational workflows for mass spectrometry-based shotgun proteomics and untargeted metabolomics share many steps. Despite the similarities, untargeted metabolomics is lagging behind in terms of reliable fully automated quantitative data analysis. We argue that metabolomics will strongly benefit from the adaptation of successful automated proteomics workflows to metabolomics. MaxQuant is a popular platform for proteomics data analysis and is widely considered to be superior in achieving high precursor mass accuracies through advanced nonlinear recalibration, usually leading to five to ten-fold better accuracy in complex LC-MS/MS runs...
December 28, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025112/digestomics-an-emerging-strategy-for-comprehensive-analysis-of-protein-catabolism
#16
REVIEW
Travis S Bingeman, David H Perlman, Douglas G Storey, Ian A Lewis
When cells mobilize nutrients from protein, they generate a fingerprint of peptide fragments that reflects the net action of proteases and the identities of the affected proteins. Analyzing these mixtures falls into a grey area between proteomics and metabolomics that is poorly served by existing technology. Herein, we describe an emerging digestomics strategy that bridges this gap and allows mixtures of proteolytic fragments to be quantitatively mapped with an amino acid level of resolution. We describe recent successes using this technique, including a case where digestomics provided the link between hemoglobin digestion by the malaria parasite and the world-wide distribution of chloroquine resistance...
December 22, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27998788/health-benefits-of-fermented-foods-microbiota-and-beyond
#17
REVIEW
Maria L Marco, Dustin Heeney, Sylvie Binda, Christopher J Cifelli, Paul D Cotter, Benoit Foligné, Michael Gänzle, Remco Kort, Gonca Pasin, Anne Pihlanto, Eddy J Smid, Robert Hutkins
Fermented foods and beverages were among the first processed food products consumed by humans. The production of foods such as yogurt and cultured milk, wine and beer, sauerkraut and kimchi, and fermented sausage were initially valued because of their improved shelf life, safety, and organoleptic properties. It is increasingly understood that fermented foods can also have enhanced nutritional and functional properties due to transformation of substrates and formation of bioactive or bioavailable end-products...
December 17, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27992831/nanotechnology-to-the-rescue-using-nano-enabled-approaches-in-microbiological-food-safety-and-quality
#18
REVIEW
Mary Eleftheriadou, Georgios Pyrgiotakis, Philip Demokritou
Food safety and quality assurance is entering a new era. Interventions along the food supply chain must become more efficient in safeguarding public health and the environment and must address numerous challenges and new consumption trends. Current methods of microbial control to assure the safety of food and minimize microbial spoilage have each shown inefficiencies. Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding area in the agri/feed/food sector. Nano-enabled approaches such as antimicrobial food-contact surfaces/packaging, nano-enabled sensors for rapid pathogen/contaminant detection and nano-delivered biocidal methods, currently on the market or at a developmental stage, show great potential for the food industry...
December 16, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27940406/nanoscale-sensors-for-assuring-the-safety-of-food-products
#19
REVIEW
Yun Wang, Timothy V Duncan
As far as chemical analysis is concerned, foods are among the most difficult matrices to work with because they are complex, heterogeneous substances with a high degree of variety. Assaying foods for trace levels of chemical and microbiological substances is a challenge that often requires the application of time-consuming, expensive analytical instrumentation in dedicated facilities populated by highly trained personnel. Therefore there is a continued demand for new analytical technologies that can detect small concentrations of chemicals or microbes in a more cost- and time-effective manner, preferably in the field, on the production line, and/or non-destructively, with little to no sample pre-treatment, and possibly by individuals with scant scientific training...
December 8, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27940405/dietary-and-enteral-interventions-for-crohn-s-disease
#20
REVIEW
Takayuki Yamamoto, Takahiro Shimoyama, Moeko Kuriyama
It is now widely acknowledged that the intestinal bacterial flora together with genetic predisposing factors significantly contribute to the immunopathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as reflected by mucosal immune dysregulation. Recently, there has been an increased interest in nutraceutical therapies, including probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics. Other dietary interventions with low carbohydrate diet, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and glutamine have been attempted to downregulate the gut inflammatory response and thereby alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms...
December 8, 2016: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
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