Category Archives: genes

Doctors make breakthrough in repairing genetic defects

From The Guardian:

Doctors have treated a life-threatening blood disease by repairing flaws in the genetic code of a living animal, the first time such an ambitious feat has been achieved.

The work raises the prospect of powerful new therapies that can target and repair the genetic defects behind a wide range of human diseases that cannot be tackled with modern medicines.

The new technique, called genome editing, holds particular promise for a group of illnesses that run in families and are caused by faults in genes that underpin the healthy working of the immune system, bone marrow and liver.

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Evolution machine: Genetic engineering on fast forward

From New Scientist:

Say hello to the evolution machine. It can achieve in days what takes genetic engineers years. So far it is just a prototype, but if its proponents are to be believed, future versions could revolutionise biology, allowing us to evolve new organisms or rewrite whole genomes with ease. It might even transform humanity itself.

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Filed under biotechnology, genes, genetic algorithms

Scientists turn human skin cells directly into neurons, skipping iPS stage

From Stanford School of Medicine:

Human skin cells can be converted directly into functional neurons in a period of four to five weeks with the addition of just four proteins, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The finding is significant because it bypasses the need to first create induced pluripotent stem cells, and may make it much easier to generate patient- or disease-specific neurons for study in a laboratory dish.

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Filed under biotechnology, cellular biology, genes, medical technology

First-ever general method for switching genes on or off: A toolbox for answering fundamental scientific questions

From PhysOrg.com

Mayo Clinic researchers have designed a new tool for identifying protein function from genetic code. A team led by Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., succeeded in switching individual genes off and on in zebrafish, then observing embryonic and juvenile development. The study appears in the journal Nature Methods.

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Universal detector made of DNA building blocks

From PhysOrg.com:

A method for detecting such diverse substances as antibiotics, narcotics and explosives – a universal detector, so to speak – has been developed by German researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz.

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Filed under atomic force microscopy, chemical measurement, DNA, nanotechnology

DNA can quantum-mechanically teleport itself? A Nobel laureate claims he’s proven it happens….

From Kurzweil.net:

A Nobel prizewinner is reporting that DNA can be generated from its teleported “quantum imprint”

A STORM of scepticism has greeted experimental results emerging from the lab of a Nobel laureate which, if confirmed, would shake the foundations of several fields of science. “If the results are correct,” says theoretical chemist Jeff Reimers of the University of Sydney, Australia, “these would be the most significant experiments performed in the past 90 years, demanding re-evaluation of the whole conceptual framework of modern chemistry.”

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Quantum mechanics has answer to DNA damage

From Times of India:

Now, quantum mechanics is all set to decode DNA damage and pave the way for its repair. This can, in fact, prevent the damage that causes mutation in human body and leads to different disorders like cancer, heart disease and other forms of neuro-degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease.

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Filed under DNA, quantum mechanics