Bio! News July 2013 – A

From: iGEM

iGEM HS 2013
The iGEM 2013 High School edition is over. The team from Lethbridge, Canada, was awarded the first price. Turkey and Mexico were the first and second runner-ups, respectively, in a competition that brought together some of the brightest high school students from all over the world. Congratulations to everybody!

Researchers were able to see how liposomes divide very much like a bacterial cell. To do so, they employed some of the components of the Z rings (FtsZ and FtsA) and saw how a structure similar Z rings was formed in some liposomes. Interestingly, the presence of FtsA seemed to be necessary for complete scission.
Researchers have successfully tested a method of directed evolution that could, in principle, be generalized to different kinds of enzymes. Using the principle of creating micro-compartments in water-in-oil emulsions, the group of scientists (some of which are affiliated to Thermo Fisher Scientific) encapsulated enzyme-mRNA-ribosome complexes- one complex per droplet, in average- that came from the ribosome display of a mutant library. When the enzyme dissociates from the complex and encounters its substrate, they had the chance to select for the desired enzyme activity. The authors claim that the adaption of microfluidic devices could widen the spectrum of selection schemes and enzymes kinds that can be employed.
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