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Nov 28, 2018

Whole genome amplification of cell-free DNA enables detection of circulating tumor DNA mutations from fingerstick capillary blood

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The ability to measure mutations in plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has the potential to revolutionize cancer surveillance and treatment by enabling longitudinal monitoring not possible with solid tumor biopsies. However, obtaining sufficient quantities of cfDNA remains a challenge for assay development and clinical translation; consequently, large volumes of venous blood are typically required. Here, we test proof-of-concept for using smaller volumes via fingerstick collection. Matched venous and fingerstick blood were obtained from seven patients with metastatic breast cancer. Fingerstick blood was separated at point-of-care using a novel paper-based concept to isolate plasma centrifuge-free. Patient cfDNA was then analyzed with or without a new method for whole genome amplification via rolling-circle amplification (WG-RCA). We identified somatic mutations by targeted sequencing and compared the concordance of mutation detection from venous and amplified capillary samples by droplet-digital PCR. Patient mutations were detected with 100% concordance after WG-RCA, although in some samples, allele frequencies showed greater variation likely due to differential amplification or primer inaccessibility. These pilot findings provide physiological evidence that circulating tumor DNA is accessible by fingerstick and sustains presence/absence of mutation detection after whole-genome amplification. Further refinement may enable simpler and less-invasive methods for longitudinal or theranostic surveillance of metastatic cancer.

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Nov 28, 2018

This Farewell Photo of Mars by an Interplanetary Cubesat Is Absolutely Amazing

Posted by in category: space

A tiny interplanetary traveler called MarCO-B caught a stunning image of Mars as it bid farewell to the Red Planet.

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Nov 28, 2018

Cockroach milk: The superfood of the future is now

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers find an unlikely source for the next superfood.

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Nov 28, 2018

NASA sent an $850 million hammer to Mars and it could uncover clues to an outstanding mystery in our solar system

Posted by in category: space travel

It’s the largest drill NASA has ever sent to space.


NASA sent an $850 million lander to Mars. Insight will dig deep into the planet as the first of its kind to study the planet’s interior.

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Nov 28, 2018

DNA Researchers Pinpoint the Type of Exercise That Could Extend Life

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A new discovery brings us a step closer to an anti-aging workout.

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Nov 28, 2018

Scientist unveils blueprint to save bees and enrich farmers

Posted by in category: food

As more countries appreciate the advantages, she hopes they will be willing to join the coalition of countries committed to reversing the decline in pollinators. Currently, there are only 24 countries in this “coalition of the willing”, mostly from Europe. Eventually, she hopes there will be enough support to multilateral environmental agreement on pollinators similar to the international convention on trade in endangered species. “I hope this week’s conference will be the first step to bringing a multilateral agreement into being because that’s what we need,” she says.


Urgent planting of wildflowers will attract pollinators and boost farmers’ food crops, expert to tell UN.

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Nov 27, 2018

International Space Station infested with mysterious bugs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space

ISS Infested With Space Bugs!


The International Space Station is infested with mysterious space bugs that may be leaving astronauts at risk of “serious harm,” according to a new study.

Scientists discovered a thriving ecosystem of “infectious organisms” aboard the station which are similar to bugs found in hospitals on Earth.

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Nov 27, 2018

Photo 4

Posted by in category: futurism

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Nov 27, 2018

Ebola Treatment Trials Launched In Democratic Republic Of The Congo Amid Outbreak

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

The virus has killed at least 240 people in the past four months, and it has shown no signs of abating. But the new trials may help end future outbreaks sooner.

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Nov 27, 2018

Ultra thin lenses use 2D materials instead of glass

Posted by in category: materials

The new lenses, called metalenses, are less than 1/100,000ths of an inch thick and could replace the glass lenses in cameras and imaging systems.

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