Who is the best in creating new biotechnology ideas- MIT or Harvard? Well, well Harvard is the leader in published papers but in terms of converting the ideas into moneymaking ideas MIT steals the show. The study which was conducted by Milken Institute studied science productivity of several years from universities worldwide. In the case of North American universities the factors which were taken into consideration were number of spinoff companies created and the amount of money that was earned by the schools through licensing. But alas both MIT and Harvard didn’t reach the top ten list in terms of ideas patented and these positions were led by Texas and California.
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This mystery had troubled researchers for decades but Harvard and MIT researchers have finally been able to join all the pieces together. They have been able to figure out the last link of the synthesis pathway of vitamin B-12. This vitamin makes an immense contribution to the health of human beings. The researchers found out that a single enzyme synthesis the fragment and this outlines a new reaction mechanism which requires cannibalization of another vitamin. Graham Walker, Professor of biology, MIT stated: The work, which has roots in an MIT undergraduate teaching laboratory, completes a piece of our understanding of a process very fundamental to life. Researchers have now come to know that a mutant which has a defective form of enzyme known as BluB results ion B12 not being synthesized. Now a question which still needs to be solved is at to why soil bacteria synthesize B12 at all. Let’s hope the researchers come up with an answer for this question too. Via biologynews
Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) scientists have recently managed to create a 3D image of a living cell! The method is similar to the xray CT scan technology used by the doctors today. This is a major breakthrough in medical history. The technique of creating live images have been published in the Nature methods. Using this particular method,the team created 3D images of the living cervical cells. To some, this has been like a dream come true. As Michael Feld, director of MIT’s spectroscopy lab mentioned recently: Accomplishing this has been my dream, and a goal of our laboratory, for several years. For the first time the functional activities of living cells can be studied in their native state. Initially, the researchers used a method called interferometry, to develop the 2D images of the living cells. To create a 3D perspective of the living cell, all they had to do was put together various shots of the cell from different angles. During the first dry run of the process, it took them 10 seconds. But, eventually the time went down to 0.1 seconds. I think this probably beats the CT scan time. Although, I think the time factor depends on the efficiency of the people using the technique. The image of cell nucleus is revealed. Also revealed along with it are the nucleolus, as well as numerous smaller organelles in the cytoplasm. As of now, the image resolution is only 500 nanometers. The scientists are working on improving the image resolution. This research was funded by National Institutes of Health and Hamamatsu Corporation. Image Credits: Physorg