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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 8

May 27, 2022

What if quantum physics could eradicate illness? | Jim Al-Khalili for Big Think

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution, genetics, information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Can quantum science supercharge genetics? | Jim Al-Khalili for Big Think.


This interview is an episode from The Well, our new publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the John Templeton Foundation.

Continue reading “What if quantum physics could eradicate illness? | Jim Al-Khalili for Big Think” »

May 27, 2022

Ignorance, Failure, Uncertainty, and the Optimism of Science

Posted by in categories: computing, genetics, internet, science, space

Stuart Firestein Science is a fundamentally optimistic enterprise. More than a cheery disposition, it is the source of a philosophical outlook that we might call ‘optimistical’. It reliably produces fundamental and actionable knowledge about the world. We are able to take for granted, in a way even our recent ancestors never imagined, the idea of progress. The engines behind science, surprisingly, are ignorance, the unknown, failure, and, perhaps most vexingly, uncertainty. In recent decades, science has undergone a change in perspective and practice — from viewing the universe like a clockwork regimented by laws and formulas to recognizing it as irreducibly complex and uncertain. Perhaps counter intuitively this has freed science to exploit previously unimaginable possibilities and opportunities. It has led to a deeper understanding of the nature of things and to the production of technologies such as lasers, microchips, the internet, genetics, and many more. And yet socially and societally we remain mired in a 19th century view of deterministic science. We might instead learn to revel in the adventure of navigable uncertainty and take advantage of the creative opportunities of a world where we can confidently say ‘it could be otherwise’. Possibility of this sort is the rarest and purest form of optimism. Stuart Firestein is a neuroscientist and the former Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences, where he researches the vertebrate olfactory system. He is also a member of SFI’s Fractal Faculty.

May 26, 2022

Cryogenic electron microscopy reveals drug targets against common fungus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Most people carry the fungus Candida albicans on their bodies without it causing many problems. However, a systemic infection with this fungus is dangerous and difficult to treat. Few antimicrobials are effective, and drug resistance is increasing. An international group of scientists, including Albert Guskov, associate professor at the University of Groningen, have used single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy to determine the structure of the fungal ribosome. Their results, which were published in Science Advances on 25 May, reveal a potential target for new drugs.

Candida albicans usually causes no problems, or just an itchy skin infection that is easily treated. However, in rare cases, it may cause systemic infections that can be fatal. Existing antifungal drugs cause a lot of side effects and are expensive. Furthermore, C. albicans is becoming more drug-resistant, so there is a real need for new drug targets. “We noted that no antifungal drugs are targeting protein synthesis, while half of the antibacterial drugs interfere with this system,” says Guskov. A reason for this is that fungal ribosomes, the cellular machineries that translate the genetic code into proteins, are very similar in humans and fungi. “So, you would need a very selective drug to avoid killing our own cells.”

May 25, 2022

First Patient Injected With Experimental Cancer-Killing Virus in New Clinical Trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

An experimental cancer-killing virus has been administered to a human patient for the first time, with hopes the testing will ultimately reveal evidence of a new means of successfully fighting cancer tumors in people’s bodies.

The drug candidate, called CF33-hNIS (aka Vaxinia), is what’s called an oncolytic virus, a genetically modified virus designed to selectively infect and kill cancer cells while sparing healthy ones.

In the case of CF33-hNIS, the modified pox virus works by entering cells and duplicating itself. Eventually, the infected cell bursts, releasing thousands of new virus particles that act as antigens, stimulating the immune system to attack nearby cancer cells.

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May 23, 2022

Gene Mutation Predisposes Individuals to Severe Staphylococcus Infections

Posted by in category: genetics

Staphylococcus aureus infections can be highly unpredictable – some cause a slight rash, whereas others can lead to deadly complications – and researchers have identified a genetic mutation that could be the cause of these differences.

May 23, 2022

Mechanism of gene mutations linked to autism, Alzheimer’s found by TAU

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

A mechanism that causes autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions and is shared by mutations in the genes ADNP and SHANK3 has been unraveled by Tel Aviv University researchers who developed an experimental drug they found to be effective in animal models.

The drug could also be suitable for treating a range of rare syndromes that impair brain functions, said the scientists. The researchers were led by Prof. Illana Gozes from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience. The experimental drug, called Davunetide, had previously been developed in her lab.

The paper, which the team called a “scientific breakthrough,” was published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry under the title “SH3-and actin-binding domains connect ADNP and SHANK3, revealing a fundamental shared mechanism underlying autism.”

May 22, 2022

Quantifying Biological Age: Blood Test #3 in 2022

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

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Levine’s Biological age calculator is embedded as an Excel file in this link from my website:
https://michaellustgarten.com/2019/09/09/quantifying-biological-age/

Continue reading “Quantifying Biological Age: Blood Test #3 in 2022” »

May 20, 2022

Dr. George Church—Gene Therapy and Aging

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

In this episode of Longevity by Design, our hosts, Dr. Gil Blander and Ashley Reaver, MS, RD, CSSD, are joined by Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Tune in as Dr. George Church discusses the many roles of gene therapy, including its ability to reverse age-related diseases.

For science-backed ways to live a healthier, longer life, download InsideTracker’s InnerAge eBook at insidetracker.com/podcast.

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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.

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