E. coli., the bacterium in which CRISPR-Cas was first observed.

Insight Into Jumping Gene Mechanisms to Advance Gene Editing

Apocalyptic movies often cast a dark view of the future of gene editing. In reality though, improved gene editing methods could be used to treat cancer, hepatitis B and other diseases. Though the technology is still in its nascent stages, new research out of the lab of Prof. Joseph Peters, microbiology, sheds light on new mechanisms that could be exploited to carry out more robust gene editing. Peters’ team found that transposons, or ‘jumping genes’, use a bacterium’s primary defense mechanism, CRISPR-Cas, to efficiently jump within the genome. Jumping genes are sequences of DNA that can change their positions within the genome.

Selective metabolic pathways for the utilization of different sugars in cellulose and hemicellulose.

Why Certain Bacteria Are Not So Efficient at Producing Biofuel

NASA’s annual climate reports seem to be displaying a chilling trend: 2016 was the third consecutive hottest year on record. With the world’s fossil fuel consumption increasing by 0.6 percent last year, the chances of permanently altered climate patterns are no longer miniscule. However, spurred by the Paris Agreement of 2015, countries seem to be embracing renewable sources of energy. Obstacles, such as their comparative efficiency, remain. That’s where a new study that sheds light on how bacteria metabolize biomass by Prof. Ludmilla Aristilde, biological and environmental engineering, could come in handy.

WHAT’S UP, DOC? | Gut Feelings: How the Bacteria Inside of You Could be Changing the Way You Think, Feel and Behave

Your body is teeming with bacteria. Recent studies estimate that 39 trillion bacterial cells live in and on the human body, with over 1,000 species living in your gut alone. To put that in perspective, the average human body has only about 30 trillion human cells. But don’t worry — having all that bacteria is a good thing! The bacteria inside of you, also known as your microbiota, are essential to your health.

Michael-Paul Robinson, a graduate student in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, studies a slide in a lab in Olin Hall.

Cornell Researchers Engineer Antibodies From E. Coli

By SNEHA KABARIA
A team of Cornell chemical engineers in partnership with New England Biolabs have developed a method to efficiently produce antibodies in the cytoplasm in E. coli bacteria, leading to a new drug development platform. The research was led by co-senior author Prof. Matthew DeLisa, chemical engineering, and first author Michael-Paul Robinson ’16 grad. Robinson is part of the Cornell Sloan and Colman Fellowship Program, which supplied funding for the project. The research, which has been ongoing for approximately five years, was published in a paper entitled “Efficient expression of full-length antibodies in the cytoplasm of engineered bacteria” in Nature Communications on Aug. 17.