Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 14

Feb 18, 2020

How Gene Editing Is Changing the World

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The applications are almost endless.

In “Hacking the Code of Life”, Nessa Carey explores advances that are giving us new powers to alter the genome.

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Feb 18, 2020

Why human gene editing must not be stopped

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

Gene editing of human embryos — yes or not?

If there is a discernible duty here it is surely to create the best possible child. That is what it is to act for the best, all things considered. This we have moral reasons to do; but they are not necessarily overriding reasons.

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Feb 18, 2020

Gene Editing is Advancing at Breakneck Speed

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

In October 2019, Liu and his colleagues published a paper in Nature, describing an even newer technology, called prime editing. Prime editing can not only make all twelve of the possible base substitutions, it can also make multiple-base insertions or deletions, without requiring a double-strand break. It achieves this with a multi-step operation that first cuts one strand, then performs the appropriate substitution, insertion, or deletion, and then nicks the second strand to allow the bases on the second strand to be replaced by bases that complement the ones substituted, inserted into or deleted from the first strand. The result is a modified stretch of DNA that had never been completely separated. This has the effect of massively reducing the number of off-target modifications.

This new prime editing variant of CRISPR technology, can make the same corrections to the defects that cause sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia that standard CRISPR/Cas9 has now made in human subjects, but with less opportunity for unwanted off-target changes. Furthermore, its possible applicability is much wider. The ClinVar database lists over 75,000 pathogenic mutations in the human genome. Of these, over 89% are potentially correctable by prime editing.

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Feb 16, 2020

Why Bill Gates thinks gene editing and artificial intelligence could save the world

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health, robotics/AI


Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been working to improve the state of global health through his nonprofit foundation for 20 years, and today he told the nation’s premier scientific gathering that advances in artificial intelligence and gene editing could accelerate those improvements exponentially in the years ahead.

“We have an opportunity with the advance of tools like artificial intelligence and gene-based editing technologies to build this new generation of health solutions so that they are available to everyone on the planet. And I’m very excited about this,” Gates said in Seattle during a keynote address at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Feb 15, 2020

Aging and Stem Cells | Theodore Ho | TEDxMiddlebury

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Dr. Theodore Ho talks about the rapidly expanding possibilities of stem cells to be used in reversing or slowing the aging process. He discusses his previous and current work with the brain, including such methods as tissue clearing, multifiber photometry and optogenetics, and single resolution calcium imaging and control. Dr. Ho is a neuroscientist and stem cell biologist studying the mechanisms and causes of biological aging and potential strategies to slow or reverse them, in order to prevent the onset of age

Associated diseases to help us live healthier and longer lives.

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Feb 14, 2020

In vitro self-replication and multicistronic expression of large synthetic genomes

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The generation of a chemical system capable of replication and evolution is a key objective of synthetic biology. This could be achieved by in vitro reconstitution of a minimal self-sustaining central dogma consisting of DNA replication, transcription and translation. Here, we present an in vitro translation system, which enables self-encoded replication and expression of large DNA genomes under well-defined, cell-free conditions. In particular, we demonstrate self-replication of a multipartite genome of more than 116 kb encompassing the full set of Escherichia coli translation factors, all three ribosomal RNAs, an energy regeneration system, as well as RNA and DNA polymerases. Parallel to DNA replication, our system enables synthesis of at least 30 encoded translation factors, half of which are expressed in amounts equal to or greater than their respective input levels. Our optimized cell-free expression platform could provide a chassis for the generation of a partially self-replicating in vitro translation system.

Feb 13, 2020

CRISPR causes greater genetic damage than previously thought

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics

Caution required for using CRISPR in potential gene therapies – and food plants

Scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute have discovered that CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing can cause greater genetic damage in cells than was previously thought. These results create safety implications for gene therapies using CRISPR/Cas9 in the future as the unexpected damage could lead to dangerous changes in some cells. Potential consequences could include triggering cancer.

Reported on 16 July 2018 in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the study also revealed that standard tests for detecting DNA changes miss finding this genetic damage, and that caution and specific testing will be required for any potential gene therapies.

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Feb 12, 2020

Designer probiotic treatment for cancer immunotherapy

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Researchers at Columbia Engineering have engineered probiotics to safely deliver immunotherapies within tumors. These include nanobodies against two proven therapeutic targets—PD-L1 and CTLA-4. The drugs are continuously released by bacteria and continue to attack the tumor after just one dose, facilitating an immune response that ultimately results in tumor regression. The versatile probiotic platform can also be used to deliver multiple immunotherapies simultaneously, enabling the release of effective therapeutic combinations within the tumor for more difficult-to-treat cancers like colorectal cancer. The study is published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Antibodies that target immune checkpoints, PD-L1 and CTLA-4, have revolutionized immunotherapy treatments, achieving success in a subset of cancers. However, systemic delivery of these antibodies can also cause substantial side effects with high percentages of patients reporting adverse reactions. Furthermore, although combinations of these therapies are more effective than single therapy regimens, they also produce severe toxicities, sometimes leading to drug discontinuation. The team, led by Tal Danino, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, aimed to address these challenges.

“We wanted to engineer a safe probiotic vehicle capable of delivering immune checkpoint therapies locally to minimize side effects,” says Danino, who is also a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Data Science Institute. “We also wanted to broaden the versatility of the system by producing a range of immunotherapeutic combinations, including cytokines that could further elicit antitumor immunity, but are otherwise difficult to systemically deliver because of toxicity concerns.”

Feb 12, 2020

Following the first U.S. test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Following the first U.S. test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report findings in Science that represent an important step toward the ultimate goal of using gene editing to help a patient’s immune system attack cancer. Read the research:

Feb 8, 2020

Ireland — World’s First “Age Friendly” Country by World Health Organization (WHO) Network — Catherine McGuigan, National Program Lead, Age Friendly Ireland — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, finance, genetics, geopolitics, governance, health, life extension
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