Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 6

May 19, 2022

Gene editing could reverse anxiety and alcohol-use disorder

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

During that uncomfortable period between puberty and adulthood, the brain undergoes carefully orchestrated changes in gene expression and epigenetic modification. Alcohol, unfortunately, interferes with this biological architecture. Consequently, mistakes are made, and gene expression and modification do not go as planned, leaving the person vulnerable to a lifetime of psychiatric challenges, such as anxiety and alcoholism.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago recently found they could reverse these changes in rats via gene editing. If their findings carry through to human studies, gene editing may be a potential treatment for anxiety and alcohol-use disorder in adults who were exposed to binge drinking in their adolescence.

May 19, 2022

Stimulating Brain Circuits Promotes Neuron Growth in Adulthood, Improving Cognition and Mood

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

Summary: Researchers used optogenetics techniques to stimulate specific brain areas to increase neurogenesis and the production of neural stem cells to improve memory, cognition, and emotional processing in animal models.

Source: UNC Health Care.

We humans lose mental acuity, an unfortunate side effect of aging. And for individuals with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the loss of cognitive function often accompanied by mood disorders such as anxiety is a harrowing experience. One way to push back against cognitive decline and anxiety would be to spur the creation of new neurons.

May 18, 2022

A One-and-Done CRISPR Gene Therapy Will Aim to Prevent Heart Attacks

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

In a few months, a daring clinical trial may fundamentally lower heart attack risk in the most vulnerable people. If all goes well, it will just take one shot.

It’s no ordinary shot. The trial, led by Verve Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Massachusetts, will be one of the first to test genetic base editors directly inside the human body. A variant of the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, base editors soared to stardom when first introduced for their efficiency at replacing single genetic letters without breaking delicate DNA strands. Because it’s safer than the classic version of CRISPR, the new tool ignited hope that it could be used for treating genetic diseases.

Verve’s CEO, Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, took note. A cardiologist at Harvard University, Kathiresan wondered if base editing could help solve one of the main killers of our time: heart attacks. It seemed the perfect test case. We know one major cause of heart attacks—high cholesterol levels, particularly a version called LDL-C (Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol). We also know several major genes that control its level. And—most importantly—we know the DNA letter swap that can, in theory, drastically lower LDL-C and in turn throttle the risk of heart attacks.

Continue reading “A One-and-Done CRISPR Gene Therapy Will Aim to Prevent Heart Attacks” »

May 18, 2022

New insights on link between genetic mutations and biological evolution

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics

In biological evolution, we know that it’s all about the survival of the fittest: organisms that develop genetic traits that allow them to better adapt to their physical environment are more likely to thrive, and thus pass down their winning genes to their offspring.

From the longer-beaked Galapagos Island finches studied by biologist Charles Darwin that enabled them to more effectively snatch insects, to the ability of some humans over others to digest milk, the process of natural selection results in that give some organisms an edge over others.

New research by University of Toronto Mississauga biology assistant professor Alex N. Nguyen Ba adds an important dimension to our understanding of how interact in the evolutionary process.

May 17, 2022

Scientists prove diseased blood vessels communicate with the brain

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, existential risks, genetics, government, lifeboat, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, singularity

An international team which includes University of Manchester scientists has for the first time demonstrated that nerve signals are exchanged between clogged up arteries and the brain.

The discovery of the previously unknown electrical circuit is a breakthrough in our understanding of atherosclerosis, a potentially deadly disease where plaques form on the innermost layer of arteries.

The study of mice found that new nerve bundles are formed on the outer layer of where the artery is diseased, so the brain can detect where the damage is and communicate with it.

Continue reading “Scientists prove diseased blood vessels communicate with the brain” »

May 15, 2022

Gene Editing a “Factory Reset” for the Brain To Cure Anxiety and Excessive Drinking

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

Gene editing reverses brain genetic reprogramming caused by adolescent binge drinking.

Gene editing may be a potential treatment for anxiety and alcohol use disorder in adults who were exposed to binge drinking in their adolescence, according to the findings of an animal study published on May 4, 2022, in the journal Science Advances.

The study was issued by researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) who have been studying the effects of early-life binge drinking on health later in life.

Continue reading “Gene Editing a ‘Factory Reset’ for the Brain To Cure Anxiety and Excessive Drinking” »

May 15, 2022

Genes from over 5,000 stroke patients hint at surprising treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Through genetic clues, scientists discovered that an old stroke therapy, which had abandoned for decades, might just work.

May 15, 2022

Dr Holly Ganz, PhD — CSO, AnimalBiome — Modulating Pet Gut Microbiomes For Longer And Happier Lives

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

Modulating pet gut microbiomes for longer, healthier & happier lives — dr. holly ganz, CSO and co-founder, animalbiome.

Dr. Holly Ganz, Ph.D. is Chief Science Officer And Co-Founder of AnimalBiome (, a company with a goal of helping cats and dogs lead longer, happier lives by using science to unlock the mysteries of the pet gut microbiome, providing access to genetic data on the health of the gut microbiome, better ways to log health and diet records, and offering remedies to treat chronic digestive disorders.

Continue reading “Dr Holly Ganz, PhD — CSO, AnimalBiome — Modulating Pet Gut Microbiomes For Longer And Happier Lives” »

May 14, 2022

CRISPR Technology in Gene-Editing-Based Detection and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by coronavirus acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) that started in Wuhan, and has become a global problem because of the high rate of human-to-human transmission and severe respiratory infections. Because of high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, which threatens many people worldwide, rapid diagnosis and simple treatment are needed. Genome editing is a nucleic acid-based approach to altering the genome by artificially changes in genetic information and induce irreversible changes in the function of target gene. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas) could be a practical and straightforward approach to this disease. CRISPR/Cas system contains Cas protein, which is controlled by a small RNA molecule to create a double-stranded DNA gap. Evidence suggested that CRISPR/Cas was also usable for diagnosis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review study, we discoursed on application of CRISPR technology in detection and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Another aspect of this study was to introduce potential future problems in use of CRISPR/Cas technology.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was spread in December 2019 and was recognized as a zoonotic disease (Drosten et al., 2017; Andersen et al., 2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus was detected in sputum samples in 2003, and advanced stages in fecal samples may have been transmitted to humans by an intermediate host such as bats and civets (Wang and Eaton, 2007; Graham and Baric, 2010). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be transmitted from an unknown carrier to a healthy person who could infect many people. SARS-CoV-2 resulted in pneumonia in Wuhan, China, with various symptoms reported. The disease has developed into a pandemic (Wu C. et al., 2020; Wu D. et al., 2020; Guan et al., 2020). Appropriate methods could treat and control the disease. CRISPR/Cas9 was first recognized as a microbial immune system through which these organisms acquire immunity to invading viruses and plasmids (Garneau et al., 2010).

May 13, 2022

Scientists Suggest Editing Human Genetic Code to Prevent Heart Attacks

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

Heart attacks are the world’s leading cause of death, yet the few treatments available are often expensive and inaccessible. Although that’s been the case for years, the World Health Organization warned back in 2020 heart disease numbers were still on the rise.

Verve Therapeutics says altering human genomes to prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol might be the answer, and is creating what CEO Sekar Kathiresan says may be a permanent solution to heart disease. The company is backed by Google Ventures, according to a report about the breakthrough published Friday in Bloomberg. Verve also counts a Harvard medical professor and an award-winning medical expert among its cofounders.

“We’re on the cusp of potentially transforming that model to a one-and-done treatment,” Kathiresan told the business publication.

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