How to build a virus-proof cell

00:47 An edited genetic code that prevents viral infection

Researchers have engineered bacteria with synthetic genomes to be immune to viral infection. The team streamlined the bacteria’s genetic code, and re-engineered the protein-producing machinery to insert the wrong amino acid if used by a virus, effectively making the bacteria ‘speak’ a different language to any invaders. It’s hoped that this technique could be used to reduce unwanted sharing of genes from modified organisms.

Research article: Nyerges et al.

News & Views: Synthetic bacterial genome upgraded for viral defence and biocontainment

07:42 Research Highlights

Estimating the methane output of an enormous wetland ecosystem, and how honeybees improve their dance moves with a little help from their elders.

Research Highlight: Methane from one of Earth’s largest wetland complexes is set to soar

Research Highlight: Watch them waggle: bees dance better after lessons from elders

10:02 How mini-MRI scanners could improve access to imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging is a standard technique in clinical care. However many people, particularly those living in low- and middle-income countries have limited access to this technology. To address this, new types of smaller MRI scanners are being designed that are more affordable and practical for use in rural settings or small clinics. We hear from a researcher working on one of these systems about ways improve them and ensure they are available to all.

Comment: Five steps to make MRI scanners more affordable to the world

18:11 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how researchers have developed embryos from two male mice and new claims of room-temperature superconductivity.

News: The mice with two dads: scientists create eggs from male cells

Quanta Magazine: Room-Temperature Superconductor Discovery Meets With Resistance

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