Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 7

Jun 4, 2022

Pluripotent Stem Cells for Brain Repair: Protocols and Preclinical Applications in Cortical and Hippocampal Pathologies

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

Circa 2019 immortality in the human brain 🧠

Brain injuries causing chronic sensory or motor deficit, such as stroke, are among the leading causes of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization; furthermore, they carry heavy social and economic burdens due to decreased quality of life and need of assistance. Given the limited effectiveness of rehabilitation, novel therapeutic strategies are required to enhance functional recovery. Since cell-based approaches have emerged as an intriguing and promising strategy to promote brain repair, many efforts have been made to study the functional integration of neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), or fetal neurons, after grafting into the damaged host tissue. PSCs hold great promises for their clinical applications, such as cellular replacement of damaged neural tissues with autologous neurons. They also offer the possibility to create in vitro models to assess the efficacy of drugs and therapies. Notwithstanding these potential applications, PSC-derived transplanted neurons have to match the precise sub-type, positional and functional identity of the lesioned neural tissue. Thus, the requirement of highly specific and efficient differentiation protocols of PSCs in neurons with appropriate neural identity constitutes the main challenge limiting the clinical use of stem cells in the near future. In this Review, we discuss the recent advances in the derivation of telencephalic (cortical and hippocampal) neurons from PSCs, assessing specificity and efficiency of the differentiation protocols, with particular emphasis on the genetic and molecular characterization of PSC-derived neurons. Second, we address the remaining challenges for cellular replacement therapies in cortical brain injuries, focusing on electrophysiological properties, functional integration and therapeutic effects of the transplanted neurons.

Brain injuries represent a large variety of disabling pathologies. They may originate from different causes and affect distinct brain locations, leading to an enormous multiplicity of various symptoms ranging from cognitive deficits to sensorimotor disabilities. They can also result in secondary disturbances, such as epileptic foci, which occur within the lesioned and perilesional tissues (Herman, 2002). Indeed, frequently a secondary functional damage can take place in a region distant from the first insult (e.g., the hippocampus after traumatic brain injury), providing an explanation for cognitive and memory deficits arising after a brain lesion (Girgis et al., 2016). Brain injuries can have traumatic or non-traumatic etiologies, including focal brain lesions, anoxia, tumors, aneurysms, vascular malformations, encephalitis, meningitis and stroke (Teasell et al., 2007). In particular, stroke covers a vast majority of acquired brain lesions.

Continue reading “Pluripotent Stem Cells for Brain Repair: Protocols and Preclinical Applications in Cortical and Hippocampal Pathologies” »

Jun 3, 2022

Life With Longer Genetic Codes Seems Possible — but Less Likely

Posted by in category: genetics

Life could use a more expansive genetic code in theory, but new work shows that improving on three-letter codons would be a challenge.

Jun 3, 2022

Genetic data indicate at least two separate monkeypox outbreaks underway, suggesting wider spread

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

Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine.

Jun 2, 2022

How electric fish were able to evolve electric organs

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

Electric organs help electric fish, such as the electric eel, do all sorts of amazing things: They send and receive signals that are akin to bird songs, helping them to recognize other electric fish by species, sex and even individual. A new study in Science Advances explains how small genetic changes enabled electric fish to evolve electric organs. The finding might also help scientists pinpoint the genetic mutations behind some human diseases.

Evolution took advantage of a quirk of genetics to develop electric organs. All fish have duplicate versions of the same gene that produces tiny muscle motors, called . To evolve electric organs, electric fish turned off one duplicate of the channel gene in muscles and turned it on in other cells. The tiny motors that typically make muscles contract were repurposed to generate electric signals, and voila! A new organ with some astonishing capabilities was born.

“This is exciting because we can see how a small change in the gene can completely change where it’s expressed,” said Harold Zakon, professor of neuroscience and integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin and corresponding author of the study.

May 30, 2022

Israeli company Virusight’s device detects COVID-19 in 20 seconds

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

Virusight Diagnostic, an Israeli company that combines artificial intelligence software and spectral technology announced the results of a study that found that its Pathogens Diagnostic device detects COVID-19 with 96.3 percent accuracy in comparison to the common RT-PCR.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Science and Technology, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy with partner company TechnoGenetics S.p. A.

The Virusight solution was tested on 550 saliva samples and found to be safe and effective.

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May 30, 2022

Gene-edited tomatoes could be a new source of vitamin D

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

Tomatoes gene-edited to produce vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, could be a simple and sustainable innovation to address a global health problem.

Researchers used gene editing to turn off a specific molecule in the plant’s genome which increased provitamin D3 in both the fruit and leaves of tomato plants. It was then converted to vitamin D3 through exposure to UVB light.

Vitamin D is created in our bodies after skin’s exposure to UVB light, but the major source is food. This new biofortified crop could help millions of people with vitamin D insufficiency, a growing issue linked to higher risk of cancer, dementia, and many leading causes of mortality. Studies have also shown that vitamin D insufficiency is linked to increased severity of infection by Covid-19.

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May 29, 2022

I tried ordering pizza with my mind on the new Domino’s ‘Stranger Things’ app. Despite some glitches, it worked and was really fun

Posted by in categories: evolution, genetics


New research suggests that Darwinian evolution could be happening up to four times faster than previously thought, based on an analysis of genetic variation.

Continue reading “I tried ordering pizza with my mind on the new Domino’s ‘Stranger Things’ app. Despite some glitches, it worked and was really fun” »

May 29, 2022

More life — Decoding the secret of aging | DW Documentary

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

This just came out, a day or so ago.

Can the aging process be reversed — or even halted, altogether? If we manage to decode this final mystery of our human biology, we might soon be able to eradicate age-related illnesses like cancer, dementia and heart problems.

Continue reading “More life — Decoding the secret of aging | DW Documentary” »

May 29, 2022

The relationship between epigenetic age and the hallmarks of ageing in human cells

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

Epigenetic clocks can measure biological aging, but the relationship between epigenetic age and other hallmarks of aging is incompletely understood. Here the authors show that epigenetic age is associated with nutrient sensing, mitochondria activity and stem cell depletion but distinct from cellular senescence, telomere attrition and genomic instability.

May 28, 2022

Biologists May Have Solved a 30-Year-Old Mystery on Why Touch Stresses Plants Out

Posted by in categories: genetics, health

Scientists have long known that touching plants can set off a stress reaction in them – but until now it hasn’t been exactly clear how that worked at a molecular level, something that a new study hopes to shed light on.

The researchers behind the study have identified certain genetic keys inside plants that lead to two separate signaling pathways, explaining why plants react so strongly to being touched.

Understanding more about how this process works at a fundamental level could help researchers in a variety of different areas, from improving plant health to getting higher harvest yields from the same crop.

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