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Microgels protect transplanted islet cells from immune system

People with type I diabetes are unable to make the insulin needed to regulate their blood sugar, which is why they must take exogenous insulin every day. Another treatment option is pancreatic islet transplantation, wherein healthy donor islets (tiny structures which contain insulin-producing beta cells) are transplanted into the diabetic patient.

Duke scientists describe inexpensive method to measure mask efficacy

Researchers at Duke University have developed a simple, low-cost method to assess the efficacy of different face masks at reducing the transmission of respiratory droplets during normal speech. Respiratory droplets are believed to be the primary way that people spread SARS-CoV-2 to one another.

A New Affinity Tag for Protein Purification

Researchers at Pohang University of Science & Technology have developed a novel technique to affinity tag and purify recombinant proteins.  Their method does not rely on protein-based affinity ligands, but rather utilizes cucurbiturils, a family of macrocyclic molecules named after their resemblance to pumpkins (family Cucurbitaceae).

Coronavirus vaccines moving forward

Development of COVID-19 vaccines is moving forward at an unprecedented pace, and the public interest and press coverage are huge. And yet it is not easy for lay person or scientist to keep track of the multitude of vaccine candidates.

Break-through in mitochondrial gene editing

Mitochondria, the organelles that produce most of a cell’s energy, are distinguished from other organelles by having their own genetic information which is independent of the nucleus. The mitochondrial genome encodes for only 13 proteins, but these proteins are not only very important for energy generation; mutations in these genes are known to be responsible for a number of inherited diseases and they have been implicated in metabolic diseases, aging and neurodegeneration.