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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 3

Apr 24, 2020

Pocket-sized device tests DNA in blood samples for genetic conditions

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, genetics, mobile phones

It is now possible to use a cheap, lightweight and smartphone-powered DNA detector to identify DNA in blood, urine and other samples, on the spot.

At the moment, testing to identify DNA is usually done in laboratories using expensive, specialised equipment. To make this process faster and cheaper, Ming Chen at the Army Medical University in China and his colleagues developed a portable DNA detector made of 3D-printed parts that attach to a standard smartphone.

Apr 24, 2020

CRISPR combines with stem cell therapy to reverse diabetes in mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

For a few years now, scientists at Washington University have been working on techniques to turn stem cells into pancreatic beta cells as a way of addressing insulin shortages in diabetics. After some promising recent strides, the team is now reporting another exciting breakthrough, combining this technique with the CRISPR gene-editing tool to reverse the disease in mice.

The pancreas contains what are known as beta cells, which secrete insulin as a way of tempering spikes in blood-sugar levels. But in those with diabetes, these beta cells either die off or don’t function as they should, which means sufferers have to rely on diet and or regular insulin injections to manage their blood-sugar levels instead.

One of the ways scientists are working to replenish these stocks of pancreatic beta cells is by making them out of human stem cells, which are versatile, blank slate-like cells that can mature into almost any type of cell in the human body. The Washington University team has operated at the vanguard of this technology with a number of key breakthroughs, most recently with a cell implantation technique that “functionally cured” mice with diabetes.

Apr 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Why Oxford university is so confident in an early vaccine win

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

The Oxford scientists are extraordinarily confident that their vaccine against the coronavirus will work.

The government’s chief medical officer insists a jab is still 12 to 18 months off and some form of social distancing will be needed until it’s in widespread use.

Their confidence is built on past success. The same vaccine technology has been used on other diseases, including the related coronavirus MERS, as well as Ebola.

Continue reading “Coronavirus: Why Oxford university is so confident in an early vaccine win” »

Apr 23, 2020

Whole genome sequencing reveals genetic structural secrets of schizophrenia

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

:ooooo.


Most research about the genetics of schizophrenia has sought to understand the role that genes play in the development and heritability of schizophrenia. Many discoveries have been made, but there have been many missing pieces. Now, UNC School of Medicine scientists have conducted the largest-ever whole genome sequencing study of schizophrenia to provide a more complete picture of the role the human genome plays in this disease.

Published in Nature Communications, the study co-led by senior author Jin Szatkiewicz, PhD, associate professor in the UNC Department of Genetics, suggests that rare structural genetic variants could play a role in schizophrenia.

Continue reading “Whole genome sequencing reveals genetic structural secrets of schizophrenia” »

Apr 23, 2020

Smartphone-powered device tests blood samples for genetic conditions

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, genetics, mobile phones

It is now possible to use a cheap, lightweight and smartphone-powered DNA detector to identify DNA in blood, urine and other samples, on the spot.

At the moment, testing to identify DNA is done in laboratories using expensive, specialised equipment. To make this process faster and cheaper, Ming Chen at the Army Medical University in China and his colleagues developed a portable DNA detector made of 3D-printed parts that attach to a standard smartphone.

Apr 23, 2020

Reversing diabetes with CRISPR and patient-derived stem cells

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

Now, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a way to use gene editing system CRISPR-Cas9 to edit a mutation in human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and then turn them into beta cells. When transplanted into mice, the cells reversed preexisting diabetes in a lasting way, according to results published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

While the researchers used cells from patients with Wolfram syndrome—a rare childhood diabetes caused by mutations in the WFS1 gene—they argue that the combination of a gene therapy with stem cells could potentially treat other forms of diabetes as well.

Virtual Event

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Apr 22, 2020

DNA may not be life’s instruction book—just a jumbled list of ingredients

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism’s DNA. But Antony Jose, associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, disagrees.

In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism. The instructions, he says, are much more complicated, and they’re stored in the that regulate a cell’s DNA and other functioning systems.

Jose outlined a new theoretical framework for heredity, which was developed through 20 years of research on genetics and epigenetics, in peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface and the journal BioEssays. Both papers were published on April 22, 2020.

Apr 21, 2020

Introduction to Genetic Algorithm and Python Implementation For Function Optimization

Posted by in categories: genetics, information science

Here, in this article, I will try to give you an idea of how a genetic algorithm works and we will implement the genetic algorithm for function optimization. So, let’s start.

Apr 20, 2020

Body part regeneration: How science can make the jump from fantasy to reality

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

Salamanders and lizards can regrow limbs. Certain worms and other creatures can generate just about any lost part — including a head — and the latest genetics research on body part regeneration is encouraging.


Since they are adult stem cells that have reverted back to a less developed — more pluripotent — state, iPSCs remind scientists of the stem cells that enable lizards to regrow limbs, and zebrafish to regrow hearts. When it comes to limbs, the understanding the regrowth process could help scientists promote nerve regeneration in cases when a limb is severely damaged, but not physically lost. Nerves of the human peripheral nervous system do have the ability to regrow, but whether this actually happens depends on the extent of the injury, so understanding the stem cell physiology in zebrafish and other animals could help clinicians fill the gap. The knowledge gained also could impact development of treatments aimed at promoting nerve regrowth in the central nervous system, for instance in the spinal cord after an injury.

Continue reading “Body part regeneration: How science can make the jump from fantasy to reality” »

Apr 18, 2020

Genetic tracing ‘barcode’ is rapidly revealing COVID-19’s journey and evolution

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Drexel University researchers have reported a method to quickly identify and label mutated versions of the virus that causes COVID-19. Their preliminary analysis, using information from a global database of genetic information gleaned from coronavirus testing, suggests that there are at least six to 10 slightly different versions of the virus infecting people in America, some of which are either the same as, or have subsequently evolved from, strains directly from Asia, while others are the same as those found in Europe.

First developed as a way of parsing to get a snapshot of the mix of bacteria, the genetic analysis tool teases out patterns from volumes of genetic information and can identify whether a virus has genetically changed. They can then use the pattern to categorize viruses with using tags called Informative Subtype Markers (ISM).

Applying the same method to process viral genetic data can quickly detect and categorize slight genetic variations in the SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the group reported in a paper recently posted on the preliminary research archive, bioRxiv. The genetic analysis tool that generates these labels is publicly available for COVID-19 researchers on GitHub.

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