As many as 1 million nematode species are thought to live on Earth, and many are pests or parasites that ravage crops and spread diseases. They also happen to share many genes that are found in humans, and are intensively researched by labs around the world.
During the past century, programmable technologies evolved from spinning gears and vacuum tubes to transistors and microchips. Now, a group of Caltech researchers and their colleagues at the University of Washington, Harvard University, and UC San Francisco are exploring how biologically important molecules—like DNA, RNA, and proteins—could be the next generation of programmable devices.
When certain cells in our bodies are missing or nonfunctional, the only current options are to treat the symptoms with drugs or try to acquire transplants. But what if cells in our own bodies could be transformed to take on the missing functions? What if we could convert cells from other organs to function as neurons after a stroke; cardiomyocytes to address heart disease; gland cells to address endocrine diseases, or cartilaginous cells to address joint deterioration?
To expand its involvement in online learning, the California Institute of Technology will offer courses through the online education platform edX beginning this October.
The edX course platform is an online learning initiative launched in 2012 by founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Caltech's rigorous online course offerings will join those of 28 other prestigious colleges and universities in the edX platform's "xConsortium."
The human body is full of tiny microorganisms—hundreds to thousands of species of bacteria collectively called the microbiome, which are believed to contribute to a healthy existence. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract—and the colon in particular—is home to the largest concentration and highest diversity of bacterial species. But how do these organisms persist and thrive in a system that is constantly in flux due to foods and fluids moving through it? A team led by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) biologist Sarkis Mazmanian believes it has found the answer, at least in one common group of bacteria: a set of genes that promotes stable microbial colonization of the gut.
The Rosen Center supports bioengineering research through the funding of fellows and faculty from many disciplines, including applied physics, chemical engineering, synthetic biology, and computer science.