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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category

Sep 29, 2020

Genetic risk of developing obesity is driven by variants that affect the brain

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

Some people are at higher risk of developing obesity because they possess genetic variants that affect how the brain processes sensory information and regulates feeding and behavior. The findings from scientists at the University of Copenhagen support a growing body of evidence that obesity is a disease whose roots are in the brain.

Over the past decade, scientists have identified hundreds of different genetic variants that increase a person’s risk of developing obesity. But a lot of work remains to understand how these variants translate into obesity. Now scientists at the University of Copenhagen have identified populations of cells in the that play a role in the development of the disease—and they are all in the brain.

“Our results provide evidence that outside the traditional organs investigated in obesity research, such as , play a key role in human obesity,” says Associate Professor Tune H Pers from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), at the University of Copenhagen, who published his team’s findings in the internationally-recognized journal eLife.

Sep 29, 2020

New Genetic Systems Created by Biologists to Neutralize Gene Drives

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

Two active genetics strategies help address concerns about gene-drive releases into the wild.

In the past decade, researchers have engineered an array of new tools that control the balance of genetic inheritance. Based on CRISPR technology, such gene drives are poised to move from the laboratory into the wild where they are being engineered to suppress devastating diseases such as mosquito-borne malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever and West Nile. Gene drives carry the power to immunize mosquitoes against malarial parasites, or act as genetic insecticides that reduce mosquito populations.

Although the newest gene drives have been proven to spread efficiently as designed in laboratory settings, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of releasing such systems into wild populations. Questions have emerged about the predictability and controllability of gene drives and whether, once let loose, they can be recalled in the field if they spread beyond their intended application region.

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Sep 29, 2020

Researchers extract DNA from insects embedded in resin

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

For the first time, Senckenberg scientist Mónica Solórzano-Kraemer, together with lead authors David Peris and Kathrin Janssen of the University of Bonn and additional colleagues from Spain and Norway, successfully extracted genetic material from insects that were embedded in six- and two-year-old resin samples. DNA—in particular, DNA from extinct animals—is an important tool in the identification of species. In the future, the researchers plan to use their new methods on older resin inclusions, as well. The study was published today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The idea of extracting DNA from resin-embedded organisms inevitably invokes memories of the blockbuster “Jurassic Park.”

“However, we have no intention of raising dinosaurs,” says Dr. Mónica Solórzano-Kraemer of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. “Rather, our current study is a structured attempt to determine how long the DNA of insects enclosed in resinous materials can be preserved.”

Sep 29, 2020

Understanding the effect of aging on the genome

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

Not too much here, but longevity research fans might like.


Time may be our worst enemy, and aging its most powerful weapon. Our hair turns gray, our strength wanes, and a slew of age-related diseases represent what is happening at the cellular and molecular levels. Aging affects all the cells in our body’s different tissues, and understanding its impact would be of great value in fighting this eternal enemy of all ephemeral life forms.

The key is to first observe and measure. In a paper published in Cell Reports, scientists led by Johan Auwerx at EPFL started by asking a simple question: how do the tissues of aging mice differ from those of mice that are mere adults?

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Sep 29, 2020

Discovery enables adult skin to regenerate like a newborn’s

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

A newly identified genetic factor allows adult skin to repair itself like the skin of a newborn babe. The discovery by Washington State University researchers has implications for better skin wound treatment as well as preventing some of the aging process in skin.

In a study, published in the journal eLife on Sept. 29, the researchers identified a factor that acts like a molecular switch in the of baby mice that controls the formation of hair follicles as they develop during the first week of life. The switch is mostly turned off after skin forms and remains off in adult tissue. When it was activated in specialized cells in adult mice, their skin was able to heal wounds without scarring. The reformed skin even included fur and could make goose bumps, an ability that is lost in adult human scars.

“We were able to take the innate ability of young, neonatal skin to regenerate and transfer that ability to old skin,” said Driskell, an assistant professor in WSU’s School of Molecular Biosciences. “We have shown in principle that this kind of regeneration is possible.”

Sep 27, 2020

Harvard Professor Wants to Slow Down & Reverse Aging: David Sinclair’s Approach For a Longer Life

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

David Sinclair wants to slow down and ultimately reverse aging. Sinclair sees aging as a disease and he is convinced aging is caused by epigenetic changes, abnormalities that occur when the body’s cells process extra or missing pieces of DNA. This results in the loss of the information that keeps our cells healthy. This information also tells the cells which genes to read. David Sinclair’s book: “Lifespan, why we age and why we don’t have to”, he describes the results of his research, theories and scientific philosophy as well as the potential consequences of the significant progress in genetic technologies.

At present, researchers are only just beginning to understand the biological basis of aging even in relatively simple and short-lived organisms such as yeast. Sinclair however, makes a convincing argument for why the life-extension technologies will eventually offer possibilities of life prolongation using genetic engineering.

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Sep 27, 2020

Theology of Digital Physics: The Universe of Conscious Minds

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, genetics, mathematics, neuroscience, quantum physics

#DigitalTheology #TheologyofDigitalPhysics #PhenomenalConsciousness #CosmicSelf #HolographicPrinciple #DigitalPhysics #theology #pantheism #consciousness


Since we live in a world which isn’t random, but organized at every level, a role for consciousness seems unavoidable. The ‘digital theologian’ shows us compelling evidence from quantum mechanics, mathematics and computer sciences, which not only aligns with a philosophical worldview of the Primacy of Consciousness, but which also assigns a role to information as its modus operandi.

It is quantum mechanics which appears to connect the Universe as a whole to consciousness. A whole, which is more than the sum of its parts and irreducible to mere assumptions deriving from the anatomizing dissection into mental confabulations. Drawing from the holographic principle, perceptroniums and noocentrism, Alex provides crucial keys to unlock the mystery of consciousness to show us how our local consciousness can arise from a non-local cosmic consciousness network.

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Sep 27, 2020

A Genetic Variant That Protects Against Alzheimer’s Promotes Immune Cell Functions

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

Summary: PLCG2-P522R, a genetic variant that protects against Alzheimer’s disease, enhances key functions of immune cells.

Source: University of Eastern Finland

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that the PLCG2-P522R genetic variant, which protects against Alzheimer’s disease, enhances several key functions of immune cells. The results obtained in the study highlight the importance of immune cells as a target of future development of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Sep 27, 2020

Epigenetic Clocks: Which Has The Best Correlation For Aging and Age-Related Diseases?

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

11 epigenetic clocks have been published since 2011, but which is best for predicting aging and age-related disease? In this video, I present findings from a recent publication, “Underlying features of epigenetic aging clocks in vitro and in vivo”, that compared data for 11 epigenetic clocks, and derived a new epigenetic clock, the meta-clock.

Sep 26, 2020

Humans live much longer than chimps due to a slower epigenetic ‘clock’

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

Lil bits of info on DNA methylation, clocks.


Breakthrough advances in medicine and better nutrition have dramatically improved the longevity of the average human over the past two centuries. But that’s not to say that some couldn’t go on to live a long life even before the advent of modern medicine. As long as they were spared by disease, wars, and other risks that can bring an untimely death, humans could live to see their 70s, 80s, and even reach 100 years old as far back as ancient Rome.

The longevity of humans is somewhat exceptional among primates. Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, rarely make it past age 50, despite them sharing over 99% of our DNA. In a new study, researchers think they’ve found our secret: chemical changes along our genome that occurred around 7–8 million years ago when our ancestors branched away from the lineage of chimps.

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