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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category

Jun 16, 2018

For The First Time, Scientists Have Caught Bacteria “Fishing” For DNA From Their Dead Friends

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

“Horizontal gene transfer is an important way that antibiotic resistance moves between bacterial species, but the process has never been observed before, since the structures involved are so incredibly small,” said biologist Ankur Dalia of Indiana University Bloomington.


Bacteria are slippery little suckers. They evolve rapidly, developing resistance to antibiotics and therefore becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. Now, for the first time, researchers have caught on film one of the mechanisms the microbes use for this speedy evolution.

Two Vibrio cholerae bacteria — the pathogen responsible for cholera — sit under a microscope, glowing a vivid green. As we watch, a tendril snakes forth from one of the bacterium, harpooning a piece of DNA and carrying it back to its body.

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Jun 14, 2018

Microsoft making progress on quantum computer ‘every day’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, genetics, quantum physics

Microsoft is “all-in” on building a quantum computer and is making advancements “every day”, according to one of the company’s top experts on the technology.

Julie Love (above), Director of Quantum Computing, called the firm’s push to build the next generation of computer technology “one of the biggest disruptive bets we have made as a company”.

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Jun 14, 2018

Why a DNA data breach is much worse than a credit card leak

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, genetics, health, neuroscience

As the Equifax hack last year showed, there’s a lack of legislation governing what happens to data from a breach. And ultimately, a breach of genetic data is much more serious than most credit breaches. Genetic information is immutable: Vigna points out that it’s possible to change credit card numbers or even addresses, but genetic information cannot be changed. And genetic information is often shared involuntarily. “Even if I don’t use 23andMe, I have cousins who did, so effectively I may be genetically searchable,” says Ram. In one case, an identical twin having her genetic data sequenced created a tricky situation for her sister.


This week, DNA testing service MyHeritage revealed that hackers had breached 92 million of its accounts. Though the hackers only accessed encrypted emails and passwords — so they never reached the actual genetic data — there’s no question that this type of hack will happen more frequently as consumer genetic testing becomes more and more popular. So why would hackers want DNA information specifically? And what are the implications of a big DNA breach?

One simple reason is that hackers might want to sell DNA data back for ransom, says Giovanni Vigna, a professor of computer science at UC Santa Barbara and co-founder of cybersecurity company Lastline. Hackers could threaten to revoke access or post the sensitive information online if not given money; one Indiana hospital paid $55,000 to hackers for this very reason. But there are reasons genetic data specifically could be lucrative. “This data could be sold on the down-low or monetized to insurance companies,” Vigna adds. “You can imagine the consequences: One day, I might apply for a long-term loan and get rejected because deep in the corporate system, there is data that I am very likely to get Alzheimer’s and die before I would repay the loan.”

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Jun 12, 2018

Major research reveals CRISPR gene-editing could increase cancer risk in cells

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

Two recently published studies are raising new concerns that the breakthrough CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system could potentially trigger an increased cancer risk in cells edited using the technique. With human trials using the gene-editing technique set to commence this year, the scientists behind these new studies urge researchers to be aware of this newly discovered and dangerous cancer-driving mechanism.

It has been less than a decade since the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique was discovered, allowing scientists an unprecedented way to accurately edit DNA. For the most part, the technique has proved promising, safe and effective. Last year, a controversial study was published claiming the technique could introduce unintended, off-target mutations, but after a flurry of criticism attacking the veracity of the work it was ultimately retracted.

These two new studies raise entirely new concerns regarding the technique’s potential for triggering cancer in edited cells. One study comes from a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institutet, while the other is led by a team of researchers at pharmaceutical company Novartis.

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Jun 11, 2018

Bioquark Inc. — “Living Forever” — Future Sandwich Podcast — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, cryonics, DNA, futurism, genetics, health, life extension, Peter Diamandis

Jun 10, 2018

Scientists Can Design ‘Better’ Babies. Should They?

Posted by in category: genetics

Advances in reproductive technology have put genetic choices within reach of perspective parents. But critics warn of ethical peril.

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Jun 10, 2018

Nucleus of the cell mapped in 3D

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

For the first time, researchers have mapped the cell nucleus in 3D, revealing the packaging and organization of a cell’s DNA in unprecedented detail.


June 8 (UPI) — The nucleus of the cell is where the action happens, but it’s not easy to analyze the behavior of a massive genome inside an area 50 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Now, for the first time, researchers have mapped the cell nucleus in 3D, revealing the packaging and organization of a cell’s DNA in unprecedented detail.

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Jun 10, 2018

What is Epigenetic Rejuvenation?

Posted by in categories: genetics, life extension

A quick 4-minute overview of Epigenetic Rejuvenation – a breakthrough approach to whole-body rejuvenation that can potentially add decades to our lives.

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Jun 10, 2018

Matthew Scholz, founder and CTO of Immusoft, presenting at Undoing Aging 2018

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

New video from Undoing Aging 2018: Matthew Scholz, founder and CTO of Immusoft, on their work developing a breakthrough platform for treating a variety of genetic diseases.


Accelerating rejuvenation therapies to repair the damage of aging. Berlin, March, 15 — 17.

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Jun 9, 2018

Human Skeletal Muscle Aging and Mutagenesis

Posted by in categories: aging, DNA, genetics, health, life extension

Study based upon human skeletal muscle aging, mutagenesis, and the role of #satellite cells.

“A more comprehensive understanding of the interplay of stem cell–intrinsic and extrinsic factors will set the stage for improving cell therapies capable of restoring tissue homeostasis and enhancing muscle repair in the aged.”

Human aging has multiple effects on the human body. One of the effects of human aging is the reduction in skeletal muscle (SkM) function and a reduction in the number and activity of satellite cells (SCs), the resident stem cells. The whole genome of single SC clones of the leg muscle vastus lateralis from healthy individuals of different ages (21–78 years) was analyzed, to study the specific connection between SC aging and muscle impairment. In healthy adult muscle rapid increase of SCs is consistent with the accumulation rate of 13 somatic mutations per genome per year. Mutations typically do not happen in SkM-expressed genes because they are protected. However, as mutations in exons and promoters increase, genes involved in SC activity and muscle function are targeted which results in aging. Exons are coding sections of an RNA transcript, or the DNA encoding it, that are translated into protein. Proteins are the synthesis of molecules. A change in of a single base pair that caused the substitution of a different amino acid in the resulting protein (missense mutation) that was propagated to the muscle and detected in association with SC mutations affecting the whole tissue. #Somatic mutagenesis in SCs as a result is the driving force in the age related decline of SkM function.

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