Biotech in the Bay often plays second fiddle to the hot tech startups coming out of Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Oakland. But recent news in East Bay biotech could mean big changes to software and mobile development’s nerdier cousin.

new study published this week in the publication Nature Materials,  describes how UC Berkeley scientists are using electrical currents to direct cells into new shapes and move them in different directions using a process called “galvanotaxis.”  A report byEureka! Science News says the successful experiments could be useful in creating new tissues.

“Just as a few sheepdogs exert enormous control over the herding behavior of sheep,” Daniel Cohen, lead author of the study, said, “we might be able to similarly herd biological cells for tissue engineering.”

In practical terms, researchers say that the experiments are the first step in creating “smart bandages” that would use electrical currents to help heal wounds.

Yet despite the sunny outlook from the atop of the Berkeley hills, down by the waterfront pharmaceutical company Bayer AG said it would look away from its Berkeley plant and invest “nearly $700 million to boost manufacturing capacity and add about 500 jobs at two German plants.”



Read the rest at Live Work Oakland, OL’s new tech/business innovation resource.

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