Archive for the ‘genetics’ category

May 30, 2020

The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The most common organism in the oceans, and possibly on the entire planet, is a family of single-celled marine bacteria called SAR11. These drifting organisms look like tiny jelly beans and have evolved to outcompete other bacteria for scarce resources in the oceans.

We now know that this group of thrives despite—or perhaps because of—the ability to host viruses in their DNA. A study published in May in Nature Microbiology could lead to new understanding of viral survival strategies.

University of Washington oceanographers discovered that the that dominate seawater, known as Pelagibacter or SAR11, hosts a unique virus. The virus is of a type that spends most of its time dormant in the host’s DNA but occasionally erupts to infect other cells, potentially carrying some of its host’s along with it.

May 29, 2020

First Ever Anti-Ageing Gene Discovered in a Secluded Amish Family

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

Circa 2017 :3

For the first time, scientists have found a genetic mutation that appears to offer a measure of protection against some of the biological effects of ageing.

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May 29, 2020

Researchers Identify 19 New Genetic Variants for Problematic Drinking

Posted by in category: genetics

An international team of scientists has identified 29 independent genetic risk variants — 19 of them novel — linked to problematic alcohol use and revealed genetic relationships with numerous other traits.

May 29, 2020

Letting off electrons to cope with metabolic stress

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

Whereas textbooks depict metabolism in perfect homeostasis, disturbances occur in real life. One particularly relevant disturbance, caused by excess food and alcohol consumption and exacerbated by genetics, is reductive stress. New work by Goodman et al. identifies a biomarker of reductive stress and uses a gene therapy solution in mice. This work suggests how exercise and an accessible nutritional technology can synergistically increase catabolism and relieve reductive stress.

May 29, 2020

BRIAN KENNEDY — Reversing Human Aging (#0004)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, robotics/AI

Sirtuins, telomeres, A.I. experiment with vitamin A and personalized medicine, a bit of everything here.

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May 28, 2020

Scientists create virus that has potential to fight cancer

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

Not all viruses set out to cause widespread death and sickness — some have the potential to fight cancer, according to new research.

Researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan have genetically engineered adenoviruses, which is a family of viruses that cause mild symptoms, to replicate inside cancer cells and kill them, according to a new paper in the journal Cancers.

To do this, Fumihiro Higashino, a molecular oncologist, and his team inserted adenylate-uridylate-rich elements (AREs) from two human genes — a stabilizing element found in a type of macromolecule present in all biological cells — into two strains of the virus to help specifically attack cancer cells.

May 28, 2020

A milestone in human genetics highlights diversity gaps

Posted by in category: genetics

Landmark study identifies the genes that it seems people can and cannot live without and highlights ongoing challenges in making data sets more representative of the world’s population.

May 28, 2020

Gene-editing patents have increased tenfold in just four years. Here’s what the technology could cure

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

CRISPR gene-editing trials have taken off—and may hold the key to medical breakthroughs.

[Illustration: Jamie Cullen]

May 26, 2020

An under-researched mechanism in the fast-moving field of epigenetics

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

A key epigenetic mark can block the binding of an important gene regulatory protein, and therefore prohibit the gene from being turned off, a new UNSW study in CRISPR-modified mice—published this month in Nature Communications —has shown.

The study has implications for understanding how epigenetics works at a molecular level—and down the track, the scientists hope the research will help them to investigate new treatments for disorders.

“Epigenetics looks at how non-permanent, acquired chemical marks on DNA determine whether or not particular are expressed,” study leader and UNSW Professor Merlin Crossley says.

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May 26, 2020

Defects in developing frog brain can be prevented or repaired with bioelectric drugs

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

Researchers led by biologists at Tufts University have discovered that the brains of developing frog embryos damaged by nicotine exposure can be repaired by treatment with certain drugs called “ionoceuticals” that drive the recovery of bioelectric patterns in the embryo, followed by repair of normal anatomy, gene expression and brain function in the growing tadpole. The research, published today in Frontiers in Neuroscience, introduces intervention strategies based on restoring the bioelectric “blueprint” for embryonic development, which the researchers suggest could provide a roadmap for the exploration of therapeutic drugs to help repair birth defects.

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