With the current interest in cultured meat, mammalian cell-based meat has mostly been unstructured. There is thus still a high demand for artificial steak-like meat. We demonstrate in vitro construction of engineered steak-like tissue assembled of three types of bovine cell fibers (muscle, fat, and vessel). Because actual meat is an aligned assembly of the fibers connected to the tendon for the actions of contraction and relaxation, tendon-gel integrated bioprinting was developed to construct tendon-like gels. In this study, a total of 72 fibers comprising 42 muscles, 28 adipose tissues, and 2 blood capillaries were constructed by tendon-gel integrated bioprinting and manually assembled to fabricate steak-like meat with a diameter of 5 mm and a length of 10 mm inspired by a meat cut. The developed tendon-gel integrated bioprinting here could be a promising technology for the fabrication of the desired types of steak-like cultured meats.
Major genomic deletions in independent eukaryotic lineages have led to repeated ancestral loss of biosynthesis pathways for nine of the twenty canonical amino acids1. While the evolutionary forces driving these polyphyletic deletion events are not well understood, the consequence is that extant metazoans are unable to produce nine essential amino acids (EAAs). Previous studies have highlighted that EAA biosynthesis tends to be more energetically costly2,3, raising the possibility that these pathways were lost from organisms with access to abundant EAAs in the environment4,5. It is unclear whether present-day metazoans can reaccept these pathways to resurrect biosynthetic capabilities that were lost long ago or whether evolution has rendered EAA pathways incompatible with metazoan metabolism. Here, we report progress on a large-scale synthetic genomics effort to reestablish EAA biosynthetic functionality in a mammalian cell. We designed codon-optimized biosynthesis pathways based on genes mined from Escherichia coli. These pathways were de novo synthesized in 3 kilobase chunks, assembled in yeasto and genomically integrated into a Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell line. One synthetic pathway produced valine at a sufficient level for cell viability and proliferation, and thus represents a successful example of metazoan EAA biosynthesis restoration. This prototrophic CHO line grows in valine-free medium, and metabolomics using labeled precursors verified de novo biosynthesis of valine. RNA-seq profiling of the valine prototrophic CHO line showed that the synthetic pathway minimally disrupted the cellular transcriptome. Furthermore, valine prototrophic cells exhibited transcriptional signatures associated with rescue from nutritional starvation. This work demonstrates that mammalian metabolism is amenable to restoration of ancient core pathways, thus paving a path for genome-scale efforts to synthetically restore metabolic functions to the metazoan lineage.
Therapeutic proteins such as vaccines, antibodies, hormones, and cytokines are generally produced in bacteria or eukaryotic systems, including chicken eggs and mammalian or insect cell cultures, with high production yield according to well-defined regulatory guidelines ([ 1 ]). The use of plants for the production of therapeutic proteins, called molecular farming, was proposed as an alternative biomanufacturing method in 1986. The first and only plant-derived therapeutic protein for human use was approved in 2012 for the treatment of Gaucher disease. In 2019, a plant-produced influenza virus vaccine completed phase 3 clinical trials, with encouraging results ([ 2 ]). More recently, phase 3 trials for an adjuvanted plant-made vaccine (CoVLP) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (NCT04636697) began in March 2021. These successes have revived interest in plant-produced pharmaceuticals for human use, which could include edible drugs.
Stretchable wearable devices for the continuous monitoring of physiological signals from deep tissues are constrained by the depth of signal penetration and by difficulties in resolving signals from specific tissues. Here, we report the development and testing of a prototype skin-conformal ultrasonic phased array for the monitoring of haemodynamic signals from tissues up to 14 cm beneath the skin. The device allows for active focusing and steering of ultrasound beams over a range of incident angles so as to target regions of interest. In healthy volunteers, we show that the phased array can be used to monitor Doppler spectra from cardiac tissues, record central blood flow waveforms and estimate cerebral blood supply in real time. Stretchable and conformal skin-worn ultrasonic phased arrays may open up opportunities for wearable diagnostics.
BACKGROUND Transthyretin amyloidosis, also called ATTR amyloidosis, is a life-threatening disease characterized by progressive accumulation of misfolded transthyretin (TTR) protein in tissues, predominantly the nerves and heart. NTLA-2001 is an in vivo gene-editing therapeutic agent that is designed to treat ATTR amyloidosis by reducing the concentration of TTR in serum. It is based on the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and associated Cas9 endonuclease (CRISPR-Cas9) system and comprises a lipid nanoparticle encapsulating messenger RNA for Cas9 protein and a single guide RNA targeting TTR. METHODS After conducting preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, we evaluated the safety and pharmacodynamic effects of single escalating doses of NTLA-2001 in six patients with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, three in each of the two initial dose groups (0.1 mg per kilogram and 0.3 mg per kilogram), within an ongoing phase 1 clinical study. RESULTS Preclinical studies showed durable knockout of TTR after a single dose. Serial assessments of safety during the first 28 days after infusion in patients revealed few adverse events, and those that did occur were mild in grade. Dose-dependent pharmacodynamic effects were observed. At day 28, the mean reduction from baseline in serum TTR protein concentration was 52% (range, 47 to 56) in the group that received a dose of 0.1 mg per kilogram and was 87% (range, 80 to 96) in the group that received a dose of 0.3 mg per kilogram. CONCLUSIONS In a small group of patients with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, administration of NTLA-2001 was associated with only mild adverse events and led to decreases in serum TTR protein concentrations through targeted knockout of TTR. (Funded by Intellia Therapeutics and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04601051. opens in new tab.)
RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modifications are essential in plants. Here, we show that transgenic expression of the human RNA demethylase FTO in rice caused a more than threefold increase in grain yield under greenhouse conditions. In field trials, transgenic expression of FTO in rice and potato caused ~50% increases in yield and biomass. We demonstrate that the presence of FTO stimulates root meristem cell proliferation and tiller bud formation and promotes photosynthetic efficiency and drought tolerance but has no effect on mature cell size, shoot meristem cell proliferation, root diameter, plant height or ploidy. FTO mediates substantial m6A demethylation (around 7% of demethylation in poly(A) RNA and around 35% decrease of m6A in non-ribosomal nuclear RNA) in plant RNA, inducing chromatin openness and transcriptional activation. Therefore, modulation of plant RNA m6A methylation is a promising strategy to dramatically improve plant growth and crop yield.
Engineered therapeutic cells have attracted a great deal of interest due to their potential applications in treating a wide range of diseases, including cancer and autoimmunity. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are designed to detect and kill tumor cells that present a specific, predefined antigen. The rapid expansion of targeted antigen beyond CD19, has highlighted new challenges, such as autoactivation and T-cell fratricide, that could impact the capacity to manufacture engineered CAR T-cells. Therefore, the development of strategies to control CAR expression at the surface of T-cells and their functions is under intense investigations.
Background and aims Nicotine is a highly addictive substance in tobacco products that dysregulates several neurotransmitters in the brain and impairs executive function. Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) methods such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are promising treatments for nicotine dependence. We investigated the efficacy and acceptability of NIBS in managing smoking cessation through a systematic review and network meta-analysis (NMA). Methods We conducted a systematic review to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the efficacy of NIBS for smoking cessation. All pairwise meta-analyses and NMA procedures were conducted using random-effects and frequentist models. The co-primary outcomes were (1) the change in number of cigarettes smoked per day (change in frequency of smoking) in patients with nicotine dependence after NIBS and (2) acceptability (the dropout rate). The effect sizes for co-primary outcomes of change in frequency of smoking and acceptability were assessed according to standardized mean difference (SMD) and odds ratio, respectively. Results Twelve RCTs with 710 participants (mean age: 44.2 years, 31.2% female) were included. Compared with the sham control, 10-Hz rTMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was associated with the largest changes in smoking frequency [SMD = −1.22, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = −1.77 to −0.66]. The 2-mA bifrontal tDCS (SMD = −0.97, 95% CI = −1.32 to −0.62) and 10-Hz deep rTMS over the bilateral DLPFC with cue provocation (SMD = −0.77, 95% CI = −1.20 to −0.34) were associated with a significantly larger decrease in smoking frequency versus the sham. None of the investigated NIBSs was associated with dropout rates significantly different from those of the sham control groups. Conclusion Prefrontal non-invasive brain stimulation interventions appear to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked with good acceptability.
The mechanism for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis during microwave-assisted deep eutectic solvent (Mw-DES) pretreatment in deconstruction of plant cell wall was proposed by combining wet chemical analysis and microscopic measurements. Mw-DES pretreatment achieved significantly higher enzymatic conversion of 81.90% with lower lignin and comparable xylan removal (42.81% and 74.73%, respectively). While DES pretreated sample with higher lignin and xylan removal (66.59% and 74.93%, respectively) obtained limited sugar yield (45.67%). There were no significant differences with respect to chemical structures of lignin fraction between DES and Mw-DES pretreatment but primary discrepancies of topochemical and morphological changes were observed. Non- or low-substituted xylan was directly removed from secondary walls (SW) exposed more cellulose for enzyme attacking after Mw-DES pretreatment. Meanwhile, high-substituted xylan and lignin were synergistically dissolved from cell corner middle lamella (CCML). These topochemical changes of components resulted in cracked and porous cell wall structure, thus facilitating the accessibility of cellulose.