The Most Recent Advances in Molecular Science and Research

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Most Recent Advances in Molecular Science and Research


New research into molecular biology is increasing our scientific understanding of diseases, genetic processes, and many health problems. Here are five advances in microbiology and the impacts they have had on scientific knowledge and today’s disease treatment options.

Recent breakthroughs in microbiology and new research are increasing scientific understanding of diseases, genetic processes, and many maladies which have long plagued us. In this article we discuss five advances in microbiology and the impacts they have had on scientific knowledge and today’s disease treatment options.

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is a DNA editing tool transforming biology and genetics. CRISPR is actually one component of the immune system of bacteria. Bacteria use this mechanism by maintaining small pieces of viruses that are harmful to them. The bacteria use this as a recognition tool, enabling them to spot these bacteria when they are nearby. CRISPR works in conjunction with CRISPR Associated Proteins (CAS), a tool that enables the bacteria to precisely cut the DNA of the invading virus.


Microbiologists use this mechanism to edit the genomes of higher level organisms with extreme accuracy. CRISPR has been used to create human cells that are resistant to infection from the HIV virus and to correct genetic defects with an unprecedented precision.

Pluripotent Stem Cells

An induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) is a cell taken from an organism that is genetically modified to function as an embryonic stem cell.

IPSCs are used in modeling diseases and creating drugs. A promising field of application involves using the IPSCs to transport DNA expression treatments in-vitro to treat genetically-based disorders, as IPSCs represent a safer approach than viral delivery methods, which can increase the risks of developing certain cancers.

Recent innovations involving IPSCs come from Jacob Hanna of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, who along with his research colleagues were able to disable a cell gene that resists pluripotency conversion, increasing the production success to 100 percent. Previous IPSC creation techniques had a success rate of approximately 10 percent.

Hydrogel Microparticles

Hydrogels are a category of polymeric materials, having structures with strong affinities for water, allowing them to store large amounts of water in 3-dimensional networks. Their highly bio-compatible and tunable characteristics have increased their attractiveness in many bio-tech applications. Their solution-like environments make them suited for use in bio-sensing applications. Hydrogels have been used in immunoassay and nucleic acid assaying applications. Because of their very sensitive nature, these applications have presented many challenges using previous coating and substrate techniques. Hydrogels have also been the material of choice in tissue regenerative medicine.
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Signaling Protein Discoveries

Signaling proteins function as organic clocks that cause biological events to occur in specific orders. Their role in organic processes and mechanisms is highly complex and not well understood. Proteins called receptors exist on cells throughout the body. These bind to molecules that function in signaling capacities thereby initiating biological responses. Receptors are molecule specific and will not bind to non-compatible sites.

A recent breakthrough by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville involves the specific signaling protein Cdc42, a molecule crucial to the final phase of cellular division. The discovery increased understanding of how Cdc42 works in the cell division process. This understanding can play a critical role in understanding and ultimately treating cancer, a disease in which Cdc42 signaling is defective.

Redox Signaling Molecules

Redox signaling molecules are primarily produced in the mitochondria of cells. The mitochondria simultaneously produces Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), and two Redox signaling molecules, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reduced Species(RS). The specific roles of ROS and RS were not well understood for years following their discovery. Popular opinion regarded them as waste products generated in the production of ATP.

Redox Signaling Molecules

However, ROS has a crucial role in signaling the immune system with determining whether damaged cells can be repaired or should be destroyed. Additionally, ROS is used to attack pathogens in the body by a mechanism known as oxidative burst, creating an environment hostile to the invading microorganism. Additionally, RS molecules play a role in activating antioxidant molecules used by the body to scavenge harmful free radicals.

A novel consumer-based technology implemented by ASEA Science Based Medicine involves solutions and skin care products containing redox signaling molecules to promote their health benefits.

Advances in microbiology have benefited understanding of processes involved in cancer, DNA molecule splicing, stem cell generation, tissue regeneration and cellular signaling molecules.

By Brooke ChaplanEmbed

Author Bio - 33rd Square contributor Brooke Chaplan is recent graduate of New Mexico University where she studied journalism. She loves to hike, bike, run and explore around her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She also enjoys blogging about health, fitness, fashion and many other topics.


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