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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 9

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.

Continue reading “Israeli company Virusight’s device detects COVID-19 in 20 seconds” »

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.

Continue reading “Gene-edited tomatoes could be a new source of vitamin D” »

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.

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.”

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