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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 9

Feb 7, 2020

Scientists explore how females shut off their second X chromosome

Posted by in categories: biological, genetics, sex

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Institut Curie in Paris have shown that the protein SPEN plays a crucial role in the process of X-chromosome inactivation, whereby female mammalian embryos silence gene expression on one of their two X chromosomes.

In their landmark research published in Nature on 5 February, the scientists reveal how SPEN targets and silences active on the X chromosome, providing important new insights into the molecular basis of X-inactivation.

In mammals, males and females differ genetically in their sex chromosomes—XX in females and XY in males. This leads to a potential imbalance, as more than a thousand genes on the X chromosome would be expressed in a double dose in females compared to males. To avoid this imbalance, which has been shown to lead to early embryonic lethality, female embryos shut down the expression of genes on one of their two X .

Feb 7, 2020

Scientists reveal the most extensive genetic map of cancers ever made

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

It shows how hard tumours will be to crack.

Science and technology Feb 8th 2020 edition.

Feb 6, 2020

Crispr’d Cells Show Promise in First US Human Safety Trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Using genetically-edited cells to supercharge the immune system caused no adverse effects in cancer patients. It’s too soon to tell if it can be a cure.

Feb 6, 2020

Can We Access the Memories of Our Ancestors Through Our DNA?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Circa 2016


We ask a philosopher about the scientifically-debated concept of genetic memory.

Feb 6, 2020

U.S. Trial Finds CRISPR-Edited Cells Are Safe in Cancer Patients

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

For years, scientists have hoped to use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to help treat all sorts of diseases, including cancer. Now for the first time in the U.S., researchers say they’ve shown that CRISPR-edited immune cells can be safely given to cancer patients and survive for up to nine months—a finding that may signal CRISPR’s future as part of an emerging cancer treatment known as immunotherapy.

The idea that we can boost the human immune system to help it fight off cancer isn’t new. But it’s only recently that researchers have been able to make substantial advances in the field. There are different techniques, but one that’s received lots of attention involves reprogramming our immune system’s shock troops, known as T cells, to attack cancer. T cells are drawn out from a patient’s blood, grown and modified in the lab so that they target tumor cells, and then reintroduced back into the body.

Feb 6, 2020

Cancer’s genetic secrets revealed through massive international study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Cancer is a hugely complicated disease, and understanding how it starts and how it can be treated requires an equally enormous effort from scientists. That effort is well underway with the Pan-Cancer Project, an international collaboration dedicated to analyzing thousands of whole cancer genomes. And now, the comprehensive results are being published in 23 separate papers, revealing new details about cancer’s causes and development, and how it can be classified, diagnosed and treated.

Otherwise known as the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Project, the collaboration involves over 1,300 scientists from 37 countries. These researchers analyzed over 2,600 whole cancer genomes of 38 different types of tumors, probing deeper than ever into how the disease alters DNA.

One of the most optimistic outlooks from the project is that while the cancer genome is incredibly complex, it’s also finite. That means that it should be technically possible to document every genetic change that cancer can possibly induce. That information can then be used to diagnose which type of tumor a patient has and personalize a treatment plan based on the unique genome of their cancer.

Feb 5, 2020

Scientists Release Genetically Engineered Moths for First Time

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

The diamondback moth is a huge pest. It eats a variety of crops, but is largely resistant to insecticides, resulting in upwards of $5 billion in losses every year.

That could soon change, though, as an international team of researchers has created a strain of genetically engineered diamondback moths that could suppress the pest population in a sustainable way — and they just released them into the wild for the first time.

For the study, published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the researchers engineered the moths so that when the males of the strain mated with wild females, the female offspring would die during the caterpillar life stage.

Feb 5, 2020

The Stuff of Insect Nightmares: Genetically Engineered Entomopathogenic Fungi

Posted by in category: genetics

Insect-killing fungi are used to control insect pests worldwide. Scientists can genetically engineer them to be even more effective and suited for our needs.

Feb 5, 2020

Step aside CRISPR, RNA editing is taking off

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

But CRISPR editing — at least as a therapeutic technique in people — has turned out to be more difficult than initially thought. Researchers have documented ways that Cas9, one of the enzymes used in CRISPR gene editing, could trigger immune responses, or cause accidental changes to the genome that would be permanent. RNA editing, by contrast, could allow clinicians to make temporary fixes that eliminate mutations in proteins, halt their production or change the way that they work in specific organs and tissues. Because cells quickly degrade unused RNAs, any errors introduced by a therapy would be washed out, rather than staying with a person forever.


Making changes to the molecular messengers that create proteins might offer flexible therapies for cancer, pain or high cholesterol, in addition to genetic disorders.

Feb 4, 2020

Bloom Science Granted Exclusive Option to License ALS Microbiome-based Gut Therapies

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

Bloom Science and Duke University have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement that provides the biopharmaceutical company access to the intellectual property and technology related to unique strain isolates and genetic variants of Akkermansia genus bacteria.

This type of bacteria has been demonstrated to slow disease progression and prolong survival in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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