Category: James Collins

Defeating the ‘superbugs’: New inventions to kill drug-resistant disease

May 22nd, 2014 in 2014, Al Jazeera America, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7Al Jazeera America
James Collins, College of Engineering

In the battle against disease-causing microbes, the bugs now seem to be winning. Antibiotic drugs, which were once so good at eliminating bacterial infections of all kinds, are rapidly losing the ability to control disease, a problem that gets worse every year…

Expert quote:

“You could use it as a pre-emptive, without having a person take an antibiotic, which could be expensive and toxic. You can attack the infection when it’s still at a very low level, and keep the infection at bay.”

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Balance training moves to high-end gyms

April 23rd, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7Boston Globe (subscription required)
James Collins, College of Engineering

Athletes of all ages are working on their stability to improve stamina and minimize injuries…

Expert quote:

“But now we are looking at possible markets that would include performance enhancement for people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. These [shin and knee wraps] could play a role for athletes or people looking to have an enhanced yoga experience.”

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Overcoming Resistance

April 1st, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers, The Scientist 0 comments

jcollins7The Scientist
James Collins, College of Engineering

Although researchers and drug developers have been sounding warnings for years about bacteria out-evolving medicine’s arsenal of antibiotics, the crisis is coming to a head. In the United States alone, some 23,000 people are killed each year by infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 Threat Report…

Expert quote:

“The aim is to extend the utility and lifetime of existing antibiotics. There is still some activity, in some cases, of the antibiotic, it just doesn’t get to the lethality threshold. The adjuvant allows one to shift that threshold.”

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Scientists produce synthetic yeast chromosome, with help from Hopkins students

March 27th, 2014 in 2014, Baltimore Sun, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7The Baltimore Sun
James Collins, College of Engineering

With the help of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering students who spent years stringing bits of DNA together, scientists have built the world’s first synthetic yeast chromosome, which eventually could help the production of drugs, vaccines, biofuels and even beer…

Expert quote:

“This development enables new experiments on genome evolution and highlights our ever-expanding ability to modify and engineer DNA.”

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Scientists Create Synthetic Yeast Chromosome (And Unlock the Future of Beer)

March 27th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7Popular Mechanics
James Collins, College of Engineering

From pest-resistant corn to creepy glowing fish, genetically engineered organisms are creeping into our lives. But most of today’s GMOs vary marginally from the original animal or plant—there is an addition or deletion of a couple genes, which is like adding or scrubbing a line from Hamlet and calling it a new play…

Expert quote:

“This is a tour-de-force in synthetic biology.”

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Scientists create first ‘designer chromosome’

March 27th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers, USA Today 0 comments

jcollins7USA Today
James Collins, College of Engineering

Researchers have chopped, spliced and manipulated DNA to craft the first extensively modified “designer chromosome,” a genetic structure carefully engineered to spur scientific discovery…

Expert quote:

“The result is a tour-de-force in synthetic biology.”

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Can plants take on new roles with tiny carbon materials?

March 23rd, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers, USA Today 0 comments

jcollins7USA Today
James Collins, College of Engineering

Infusing tiny carbon particles into plants could boost their photosynthesis but also help in their abilities to monitor for pollution and the presence of biochemicals…

Expert quote:

“I thought it was fascinating. This opens up more rapid ways you can modify organisms together.”

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‘Plant Nanobionics’ Shows Promise After Leaves Infused With Carbon Nanotubes Saw 30% Boost In Energy Production

March 18th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, International Business Times, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7International Business Times
James Collins, College of Engineering

The term “bionic plants” might conjure an image of a tree with metal hardware for branches, but the mechanics of it are actually far less science fiction-y. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to infuse plants with carbon nanotubes in order to boost their energy output…

Expert quote:

“This is a marvelous demonstration of how nanotechnology can be coupled with synthetic biology to modify and enhance the function of living organisms — in this case, plants.”

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‘Iron Man’ plants are supercharged by nanotech power

March 16th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, New Scientist, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7New Scientist
James Collins, College of Engineering

The story of Iron Man, in which a person gains spectacular abilities by infusing their body with technology, is still just fantasy. But the first Iron Plants have been made. A team of biologists and engineers has made bionic plants that have been upgraded with an injection of nanotechnology…

Expert quote:

“This is a marvellous demonstration of how nanotechnology can be coupled with synthetic biology to modify and enhance the function of living organisms. The authors show that self-assembling nanoparticles can be used to enhance the photosynthetic capacity of plants.”

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Free the Labs! The Biopunk Revolution Is Here

February 27th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7Ozy
James Collins, College of Engineering

Molecular biologist Ellen Jorgensen was working in a struggling department at a biotech company in 2009 when she opened her local newspaper’s “News of the Weird” section to a story about people who were trying to use fluorescent proteins to make yogurt glow green — all from the comfort of a makeshift lab in their closet. Typically, lab access is restricted to biotech employees, university students and faculty members. But these renegades had beaten the system…

Expert quote:

“At best, [DIY biologists] will make a mess; at worse, they will get sick or make someone sick.”

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