bio tech

twitter bios

fuck it all, fuck it all. cant hold it back anymore. fuck it all, fuck it all. turn away and slam the doors.

i was going to marry my sunshine but then i woke up

forget about the pain and smile for a minute

why get a boyfriend when pizza is lying next to u

dont u dare say u like me unless you’ve seen me at 4am crying at the corner of my bedroom

i spend her love until she’s broke inside

hey welcome to my twitter i’m probably hungry rn

if you’re reading this give me food

everybody wanna… tell me that they don’t even know my existence

fangirling 24/7

you don’t know how beautiful i am

sexier than @meganfox

hello weird people

your lips would be perfect in mine

bitch please, my idol is better than you

i’m perfect. i’m real.

sorry, i’m busy looking at my mentions

hello bitch, i’ve been wating here for a long time

shut up, i’m trying to listen my song

my song’s are better than you

you make me listen taylor swift depressive song’s every time that i see you

i wanna kill you, but then i remember that the police exists

i’ve gotta call to my doctor and order more medicines because i’m starting to love you again

telling myself i’m gonna be alright, without you baby is a waste of time

We cut and kill flowers because we think they are beautiful, we cut and kill ourselves because we think we are not

I can talk to hundreds of people in one day but none of them compare to the smile you can give me in one minute

the monsters don’t live under your bed, they live in your head and school.

every girl wants a bad boy who will be good just for her

it hurts when you can have someone in your heart but not in your arms.

find something that makes you happy and don’t let anyone take it away from you

if you use or save please give a credit to @tverella on twitter


Living Things - Symbiotic Living with photosynthetic algae

Superb speculative Emerging Technology Design exploring the symbiosis between humans and photosynthetic algae through the installation of furniture that cultivates living things. By Jacob Douenias and Ethan Frier. Want!

Living Things is installed at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until March 27, 2016.

agents of shield au where harry and louis are bio/tech experts and best friends who become semi-reluctant field agents in shield’s time of need and they put their lives at risk and fight on missions together and there’s alien shenanigans but mostly they fall in love


agents of shield au where they’re two top field agents who work in different sectors and were in different years at the academy so they never actually met but get thrown together in a new team and put on a mission where they have to pretend to be a couple because reasons so there is awkwardness and learning each other’s fighting styles but also they fall in love


Some more pre-obsession Teridax because he is gorgeous and I gotta draw my favorite dad.

First picture features his emergence from the antidermis pool and transformation from energy to metal and muscle. He’s proud to be created by Mata Nui.

Second picture is him creating some sort of rahi. I wanted to draw him in a lab coat, but then I decided since I imagine Makuta having all kinds of bio-tech, this is amazing adaptive labcoat-symbiont that changes depending on the needs of a wearer. If experiments blow up in your face, this amazing thing will cover you up in nice protective plates of impervious chitin.

And third is Teridax arguing with Miserix over something during the Convocation. Krika makes a cameo.

P.S.: Gotta ask RP blogs not to reblog my art and start RPing under it. I don’t really want to see a stream of messages popping on my dash about constant back and forth RP I don’t want to be a part of. If you do that, I unfortunately will have to block you because my art has nothing to do with you, your muse and your RPing. Thanks.

Biological transistor enables computing within living cells

When Charles Babbage prototyped the first computing machine in the 19th century, he imagined using mechanical gears and latches to control information. ENIAC, the first modern computer developed in the 1940s, used vacuum tubes and electricity. Today, computers use transistors made from highly engineered semiconducting materials to carry out their logical operations.

And now a team of Stanford University bioengineers has taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology. In a paper to be published March 28 in Science, the team details a biological transistor made from genetic material — DNA and RNA — in place of gears or electrons. The team calls its biological transistor the “transcriptor.”

“Transcriptors are the key component behind amplifying genetic logic — akin to the transistor and electronics,” said Jerome Bonnet, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering and the paper’s lead author.

The creation of the transcriptor allows engineers to compute inside living cells to record, for instance, when cells have been exposed to certain external stimuli or environmental factors, or even to turn on and off cell reproduction as needed.

“Biological computers can be used to study and reprogram living systems, monitor environments and improve cellular therapeutics,” said Drew Endy, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering and the paper’s senior author.

The biological computer

In electronics, a transistor controls the flow of electrons along a circuit. Similarly, in biologics, a transcriptor controls the flow of a specific protein, RNA polymerase, as it travels along a strand of DNA.

“We have repurposed a group of natural proteins, called integrases, to realize digital control over the flow of RNA polymerase along DNA, which in turn allowed us to engineer amplifying genetic logic,” said Endy.

Using transcriptors, the team has created what are known in electrical engineering as logic gates that can derive true-false answers to virtually any biochemical question that might be posed within a cell.

They refer to their transcriptor-based logic gates as “Boolean Integrase Logic,” or “BIL gates” for short.

Transcriptor-based gates alone do not constitute a computer, but they are the third and final component of a biological computer that could operate within individual living cells.

Despite their outward differences, all modern computers, from ENIAC to Apple, share three basic functions: storing, transmitting and performing logical operations on information.

Last year, Endy and his team made news in delivering the other two core components of a fully functional genetic computer. The first was a type of rewritable digital data storage within DNA. They also developed a mechanism for transmitting genetic information from cell to cell, a sort of biological Internet.

It all adds up to creating a computer inside a living cell.

Boole’s gold

Digital logic is often referred to as “Boolean logic,” after George Boole, the mathematician who proposed the system in 1854. Today, Boolean logic typically takes the form of 1s and 0s within a computer. Answer true, gate open; answer false, gate closed. Open. Closed. On. Off. 1. 0. It’s that basic. But it turns out that with just these simple tools and ways of thinking you can accomplish quite a lot.

“AND” and “OR” are just two of the most basic Boolean logic gates. An “AND” gate, for instance, is “true” when both of its inputs are true — when “a” and “b” are true. An “OR” gate, on the other hand, is true when either or both of its inputs are true.

In a biological setting, the possibilities for logic are as limitless as in electronics, Bonnet explained. “You could test whether a given cell had been exposed to any number of external stimuli — the presence of glucose and caffeine, for instance. BIL gates would allow you to make that determination and to store that information so you could easily identify those which had been exposed and which had not,” he said.

By the same token, you could tell the cell to start or stop reproducing if certain factors were present. And, by coupling BIL gates with the team’s biological Internet, it is possible to communicate genetic information from cell to cell to orchestrate the behavior of a group of cells.

“The potential applications are limited only by the imagination of the researcher,” said co-author Monica Ortiz, a PhD candidate in bioengineering who demonstrated autonomous cell-to-cell communication of DNA encoding various BIL gates.

Building a transcriptor

To create transcriptors and logic gates, the team used carefully calibrated combinations of enzymes — the integrases mentioned earlier — that control the flow of RNA polymerase along strands of DNA. If this were electronics, DNA is the wire and RNA polymerase is the electron.

“The choice of enzymes is important,” Bonnet said. “We have been careful to select enzymes that function in bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, so that bio-computers can be engineered within a variety of organisms.”

On the technical side, the transcriptor achieves a key similarity between the biological transistor and its semiconducting cousin: signal amplification.

With transcriptors, a very small change in the expression of an integrase can create a very large change in the expression of any two other genes.

To understand the importance of amplification, consider that the transistor was first conceived as a way to replace expensive, inefficient and unreliable vacuum tubes in the amplification of telephone signals for transcontinental phone calls. Electrical signals traveling along wires get weaker the farther they travel, but if you put an amplifier every so often along the way, you can relay the signal across a great distance. The same would hold in biological systems as signals get transmitted among a group of cells.

“It is a concept similar to transistor radios,” said Pakpoom Subsoontorn, a PhD candidate in bioengineering and co-author of the study who developed theoretical models to predict the behavior of BIL gates. “Relatively weak radio waves traveling through the air can get amplified into sound.”

Public-domain biotechnology

To bring the age of the biological computer to a much speedier reality, Endy and his team have contributed all of BIL gates to the public domain so that others can immediately harness and improve upon the tools.

“Most of biotechnology has not yet been imagined, let alone made true. By freely sharing important basic tools everyone can work better together,” Bonnet said.

Electronic zippers control DNA strands

A research team from NPL and the University of Edinburgh have invented a new way to zip and unzip DNA strands using electrochemistry.

The DNA double helix has been one of the most recognisable structures in science ever since it was first described by Watson and Crick almost 60 years ago (paper published in Nature in 25 April 1953). The binding and unbinding mechanism of DNA strands is vital to natural biological processes and to the polymerase chain reactions used in biotechnology to copy DNA for sequencing and cloning.

The improved understanding of this process, and the discovery of new ways to control it, would accelerate the development of new technologies such as biosensors and DNA microarrays that could make medical diagnostics cheaper, faster and simpler to use.

The most common way of controlling the binding of DNA is by raising and lowering temperature in a process known as heat cycling. While this method is effective, it requires bulky equipment, which is often only suitable for use in laboratories. Medicine is moving towards personalised treatment and diagnostics which require portable devices to quickly carry out testing at the point of care, i.e. in hospitals rather than laboratories. The development of alternative methods to control the DNA binding process, for example with changes in acidity or the use of chemical agents, would be a significant step towards lab-on-a-chip devices that can rapidly detect disease.

However, until now, no method has been shown to enable fast, electrochemical control at constant temperatures without the need for dramatic changes in solution conditions or modifying the nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA.

A research team from NPL and the University of Edinburgh have invented a new way of controlling DNA using electrochemistry. The team used a class of molecules called DNA intercalators which bind differently to DNA, depending on whether they are in a reduced or oxidised state, altering its stability. These molecules are also electroactive, meaning that their chemical state can be controlled with an electric current.

A paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society explains how the process works. Electrodes apply a voltage across a sample containing double strands of DNA which are bonded to the electroactive chemicals. This reduces the chemicals (they gain electrons), decreasing the stability of the DNA and unzipping the double helix into single strands. Removing the voltage leads to the oxidisation of the chemicals and the DNA strands zip back up to re-form the familiar double helix structure. Put simply, with the flick of a switch, the oxidation state of the molecules can be changed and the DNA strands are zipped together or pulled apart.

Bioglass helping to mend bones

UPV/EHU researchers have studied polymeric biomaterials of interest in medicine

Jose Ramon Sarasua and Aitor Larrañaga, researchers in the materials engineering department of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, have been studying new materials or implants that are of interest in medicine and in helping to mend bones, in particular. They have in fact measured the effect that the bioglass has on the thermal degradation of polymers currently used in medicine. The results have been published in the journal Polymer Degradation and Stability.

Bones are capable of regenerating themselves if they suffer slight damage. But if the damage is above a certain degree, bone lacks the capability of mending itself. When breaks are too big, bones need to be helped. Even today, metal nails or other components are often inserted to help these breaks to mend. So, once the bone has mended, a second operation has to be performed to extract these components. The aim of these new materials or implants is, among other things, to obviate the need for the second operation.

These materials or implants that are of interest in medicine have to meet a number of requirements before they can be used in therapeutic applications. Among other things, the materials have to be biocompatible, in other words, they must not damage the cells or the organism itself. At the same time, being biodegradable is also a very interesting property, so that the body will easily convert them into metabolic products that are not toxic. But other factors also have to be taken into consideration: mechanical robustness and the straightforward nature of the production process, for example.

Tailor-made materials

With all this in mind, the UPV/EHU researchers are synthesising and shaping tailor-made bioimplants. The main component, on the whole, tends to be a biodegradable polymer, in other words, one that will gradually disappear as the bone occupies its own place. As the polymer is too soft, bioglass was added to the polymer in this piece of work. Bioglass is a bioactive agent and helps the bone to regenerate; what is more, it gives the polymer tough mechanical properties. So the biodegradable polymer/bioglass composite system is stiffer and tougher than the polymer alone.

These composite systems can be manufactured by means of thermoplastic processes that use heat, and therefore it is important to study how these materials respond to heat. In this work, the biodegradable polymer/bioglass composite systems were found to have a lower thermal stability compared with the systems without bioglass. In fact, a reaction occurs between the silicon oxide ions of the bioglass and the carbonyl groups in the polymers’ structure, and so the material degrades and adversely affects the properties of the end product, and what is more, when the implant is grafted into the body, it encourages the formation of bi-products that may be harmful for the cells. This would greatly restrict the application of these systems in medicine. That is why the UPV/EHU researchers are doing a lot of research to improve the thermal stability of these systems, and they have in fact published one of these pieces of work in the journal Polymer Degradation and Stability. In this case, they are proposing that a chemical transformation of the bioglass surface be made by means of plasma. So by creating protective layers for the bioglass particles, the reaction to the polymer is prevented and so the final product remains undamaged.

So “these composites that have a biodegradable polymer base are candidates with a bright future in mending broken bones or in regenerating bone defects,” says Professor Sarasua. In fact, after the material has temporarily substituted the bone and encouraged it to regenerate, it gradually disappears as the bone returns to its proper place. So, “this obviates the need for the second operations required nowadays to remove nails and other parts that are inserted in order to somehow support the bones in major breaks above a critical size, with all the advantages that has from a whole range of perspectives,” he added.

Image: These are implants made of biodegradable polymers, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Technical Engineering in Bilbao (UPV/EHU).

Credit: UPV/EHU

Bioengineered rhino horn is designed to counter poaching

Pembient, a startup from Seattle, is trying its best to reverse this trend using biotechnology to fabricate genetically genuine rhino horn at prices below the levels that induce poaching. The demand for rhino horn is extraordinarily high, especially in China, where it is a valuable component in Chinese medicine.
In a lab in San Francisco, Pembient is now reproduces horns using 3D printing and keratin.

He says that many wildlife traders would be happy to use a genetically engineered substitute for horn. “We surveyed users of rhino horn and found that 45 percent of them would accept using rhino horn made from a lab,” he says. “In comparison, only 15 percent said they would use water buffalo horn, the official substitute for rhino horn.”

Finally something really interesting for me to do at work...

So my boss/ head of the lab just came to talk to me and apparently I will be making six vaccines next week to fight against Cryptococcus neoformans, which is a deadly fungal infection present in certain strains of HIV. Also apparently the Huntington’s genes are coming in soon, so I can finally start of the targeted loading process in specific alleles to kill the mutant genes and avoid the wild-type. 


APL’s Modular Prosthetic Limb