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Eugene Chan: Aims to Speed Genome Sequencing with a Machine that Reads DNA Letter by Letter PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 13:57


Most biotech firms have their origins in labs, but Eugene Chan dreamed up U.S. Genomics in the medical-school dorms and libraries of Harvard University.
Kristala Jones Prather: Reverse-engineering Biology PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 16:17

Scientists are increasingly looking for ways to make compounds using ­biological processes rather than ­chemical reactions. Such techniques could provide environmentally cleaner ways to manufacture everything from biofuels to drugs, avoiding the harsh solvents and toxic by-products associated with more conventional synthesis.

Christopher Loose: Beating up Bacteria PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 21:19
Christopher Loose is the founder and chief technology officer of Semprus BioSciences (formerly SteriCoat Corp), a biotechnology start-up developing long-lasting anti-infective coating for medical devices. Loose graduated from Princeton's chemical engineering department before working in ChemE R&D at Merck Research Labs.  Loose earned a PhD in chemical engineering at MIT under Professors Greg Stephanopoulos and Bob Langer as a Hertz Fellow. 
Christophe Schilling (Co-founder, VP, CTO of Genomatica Inc): Transforms Microbes into Fine-tuned Manufacturing Machines PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 July 2010 15:07
When he was just 26, bioengineer Christophe Schilling won a small-business grant from the National Science Foundation. His plan was to reengineer the genomes of microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, which are used as living chemical factories, to produce new or better products. With his university mentor, Bernhard Palsson, Schilling raised $3 million to launch Genomatica in San Diego in 2000.
Milica Radisic: Patching Damaged Hearts PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 June 2010 10:55
The heart has a limited capacity to generate new cells on its own, making it hard to heal after injury. Scientists have experimented with injecting stem cells into the heart, but they have found it difficult to predict how the cells will behave, and they've had little success in coaxing cells to make functional tissue. To better anticipate which cell types may help heal hearts, bioengineer Milica Radisic has used embryonic stem cells to create a small patch that mimics human heart tissue.
Theodore Betley: Re-creating Photosynthesis PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 April 2010 12:30

PROBLEM: Every day, plants, algae, and bacteria generate more energy than all the world's power plants, using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and then storing the energy in sugar molecules. Artificial photosynthes­is--the process of using solar power to split water through the creation of chemical bonds, as plants do--holds promise as a clean, cheap source of hydrogen to power fuel cells. But to make the process practical, researchers must find catalysts to decrease the amount of energy needed.

Cyrus Wadia: Identifying materials that could be unexpectedly useful in solar cells PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 March 2010 08:55
Solar power simply won't be able to supply the terawatts of power we need until we identify better materials for solar cells. Silicon, which is used in most photo­voltaics, is too expensive; the materials used to make cheaper thin-film solar cells, such as cadmium telluride, are rare--and some are toxic.
Jaime Teevan:Using Personal Information to Improve Search Results PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 05 March 2010 10:24
In 1997, when search engines were relatively new, Jaime Teevan took an internship at Infoseek the summer before her senior year at Yale. William Chang, the chief technology officer, put her in a room with some research and told her to "find something fun to do." She came up with some ideas for judging link quality and helping people navigate the company's search engine, and she wrote the code to implement the changes. "Once, I brought the search engine down for a couple of hours," she says with a laugh.
Elena Shevchenko:Assembling Nanocrystals to Create Made-to-order Materials PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 10:21
Elena Shevchenko is a master at making nanoparticles and assembling them into precise structures with useful properties. Materials made from the nanocrystals created with her methods could lead to ultra-efficient solar cells, tiny but powerful magnets, super-dense hard disks, and faster computers.
Chris Burge: Connectiong Computer and Biology PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 15:09
Chris Burge admits it’s been hard to choose a research focus. In high school he won math contests but in college majored in biology. He traveled to Nicaragua to see if medicine was his calling but wound up teaching people there about computers.
Stephen Boppart: Keep It Simple PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 November 2010 09:04
Stephen Boppart, a professor in electrical and computer engineering at UIUC, grew up in Illinois farm country, where he acquired a get-things-done attitude. His master’s-degree advisor says, “The speed with which he can conceptualize, test and implement is remarkable. ”While simultaneously completing a PhD in medical and electrical engineering at MIT and an MD at Harvard, he published 44 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Abraham Stroock: Give the Material Life PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 16:06

When Abraham Stroock, associate professor at Cornell University, looks at a tree, he sees a complex feat of engineering. Inside the trunk, the branches, and the leaves, an intricate network of capillaries draws water dozens of meters into the air, with nary a pump in sight. This incredible system inspires Stroock's approach to microfluidics.

Matthew DeLisa: Delivering More Medicine From Microbes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 10:10
Each year, billions of dollars worth of drugs, from insulin for diabetics to the stroke drug tPA, are made in huge vats full of microbes engineered to produce human proteins. The process is both inefficient and enormously expensive. Matthew DeLisa, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell University,  was the first scientist to use a twin arginine translocation (Tat) pathway to produce human proteins.
Martin Burke: Generate Diverse Arrays of Small Mole­cules Simply and Quickly PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 July 2010 14:15

Of the thousands of drugs used to treat disease, most are small molecules--organic compounds that bind with proteins and influence their activity. But researchers must screen many compounds to find potential drugs, and the large number of chemical reactions needed to synthesize any one compound makes the process slow and painstaking.

Christopher Chang: Probing Chemical Reactions in the Body PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 June 2010 10:18
Christopher Chang, UC Berkeley,  wants to revolutionize cellular imaging by changing the way biologists tag the molecules they want to see. Most tags fluoresce continuously, and each one binds to a target molecule of a specific shape. Chang, however, is developing probes that fluoresce only when they react chemically with their targets. This will allow scientists to observe the generation, accumulation, and release of molecules involved in passing signals within and between cells.
J. Christopher Anderson: Creating Tumor-killing Bacteria: PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 April 2010 12:24
Using the engineering approach of synthetic biology, Chris Anderson has set out to program bacteria to selectively kill cancer cells. He is combining DNA sequences from different types of bacteria and inserting them into the bacterium E. coli to create an organism that can evade the immune system, home in on tumors, and trick cancer cells into letting it inside, where it releases a toxin.
Cody Friesen: Making cheaper, higher-energy batteries to store renewable energy PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 March 2010 08:52
Zinc-air batteries, which use zinc metal as the anode and an alkaline paste as the electrolyte, are simple, inexpensive, nontoxic, and long-­lasting. But engineers haven't been able to figure out how to recharge them.
Cyrus Wadia:Identifying Materials that Could Be Unexpectedly Useful in Solar Cells PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 March 2010 10:17
Solar power simply won't be able to supply the terawatts of power we need until we identify better materials for solar cells. Silicon, which is used in most photo­voltaics, is too expensive; the materials used to make cheaper thin-film solar cells, such as cadmium telluride, are rare--and some are toxic.
Andrea Armani:Sensitive Optical Sensors Detect Single Molecules PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 16 February 2010 10:17
Andrea Armani, an assistant professor of chemical engineerin­g and materials science in University of Southern California, has developed the first optical sensor that can detect single molecules without the use of labels such as fluorescent tags. No label-free detector previously developed has been sensitive enough to distinguish a single molecule.
Corinna E. Lathan: Doing Cool Things ! PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 14:58
While involved in biomedical studies funded by NASA, Cori Lathan realized that astronauts in orbit encounter physical challenges much like those faced by people with disabilities. An astronaut, for example, must learn to move in an awkward space suit much the way a spinal-cord injury victim may have to relearn to walk.
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