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Bio Saga

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gene that Induces a Magnetic Signature in Cells Found

A team of scientists have found a way to make human cells produce magnetic nanoparticles by introducing a gene from bacteria. The gene MagA was tested in human kidney cells, though the investigators believe that it will probably be most useful in tracking cell movement in transgenic animals via MRI.

“MagA can be thought of as the equivalent of green fluorescent protein but for magnetic resonance imaging,” says Xiaoping Hu, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Hu anticipates that MagA could find similar applications to green fluorescent protein, with the advantage that magnetic fields can penetrate tissues more easily than light.

MagA comes from magnetotactic bacteria, which can sense the Earth's magnetic field. It encodes a protein that transports dissolved iron across cell membranes. When put into animal cells, MagA triggers the accumulation of lumps of iron oxide a few nanometers wide, the researchers explain. MagA appeared to be nontoxic.

Other researchers from Emory University School of Medicine and Yerkes National Primate Research Center contributed to this study. The results are published in the June issue of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

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