Genetic Eng.

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Genome editing improves T-cells to attack cancer

Genome editing improves T-cells to attack cancer
Researchers at Cardiff University have found a way to boost the cancer-destroying ability of the immune system’s T-cells, offering new hope in the fight against a wide range of cancers. Using CRISPR genome editing, the team took the genetic engineering of killer T-cells one step further by removing their non-cancer specific receptors and replacing them with ones that would recognise specific cancer cells and destroy them.
21st November 2017

Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer

Reprogrammed human cells can hunt cancer
ETH researchers have reprogrammed normal human cells to create designer immune cells capable of detecting and destroying cancer cells. T-cells are one of the immune system’s major weapons. They detect the body’s cells infected with a virus and trigger their ablation, effectively killing the virus. T-cells cannot do the same with cancer cells, however, as they do not recognise them as foreign cells and are therefore unable to eliminate them.
14th November 2017

Boy is given new skin thanks to gene therapy

Boy is given new skin thanks to gene therapy
A medical team at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum's burn unit and the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Modena (Italy) were the first ever to successfully treat a child suffering from extensive skin damage using transplants derived from genetically modified stem cells. The boy is a so-called butterfly child: he suffers from epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic skin disease that had destroyed approximately 80% of his epidermis.
9th November 2017


Old human cells rejuvenated in discovery on aging

Old human cells rejuvenated in discovery on aging
A team led by Professor Lorna Harries, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter, has discovered a new way to rejuvenate inactive senescent cells. Within hours of treatment the older cells started to divide, and had longer telomeres - the 'caps' on the chromosomes which shorten as we age. This discovery, funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, builds on earlier findings from the Exeter group that showed that a class of genes called splicing factors are progressively switched off as we age.
8th November 2017

Working toward a reversible kind of gene editing

Working toward a reversible kind of gene editing
Scientists are altering a powerful gene-editing technology in hopes of one day fighting diseases without making permanent changes to people's DNA. The trick: Edit RNA instead, the messenger that carries a gene's instructions. "If you edit RNA, you can have a reversible therapy," important in case of side effects, said Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a gene-editing pioneer whose team reported the new twist Wednesday in the journal Science.
26th October 2017

Genetics of breast cancer provides clues to its mechanisms

Genetics of breast cancer provides clues to its mechanisms
Seventy-two new genetic variants that contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer have been identified by a major international collaboration involving hundreds of researchers worldwide. Of these variants, reported in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics, 65 are common variants that predispose to breast cancer and a further seven predispose specifically to oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer – the subset of cases that do not respond to hormonal therapies, such as the drug tamoxifen.
24th October 2017

Gene circuit triggers immune attack

Gene circuit triggers immune attack
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body’s immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease. The circuit, which will only activate a therapeutic response when it detects two specific cancer markers, is described in a paper published today in the journal Cell. Immunotherapy is widely seen as having considerable potential in the fight against a range of cancers.
23rd October 2017

Reengineered immune system cells could help fight HIV

Reengineered immune system cells could help fight HIV
Improving on a previous attempt, scientists have developed a new strategy that could potentially be used to reengineer a patient's own immune system cells to fight HIV. The approach, described in PLOS Pathogens, shows benefit in human cell cultures and in mice. White blood cells known as T cells play an important role in the immune system's response to HIV infection, especially if a patient stops taking antiretroviral medications that normally keep the disease under control.
16th October 2017

Screening genes that can protect against Parkinson’s disease

Screening genes that can protect against Parkinson’s disease
Using a modified version of the CRISPR genome-editing system, MIT researchers have developed a new way to screen for genes that protect against specific diseases. CRISPR is normally used to edit or delete genes from living cells. However, the MIT team adapted it to randomly turn on or off distinct gene sets across large populations of cells, allowing the researchers to identify genes that protect cells from a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.
13th October 2017

Computer program detects differences between human cells

Computer program detects differences between human cells
“How many different cell types are there in the human body? And how do these differences develop? Nobody really knows,” says Professor Stein Aerts from KU Leuven/VIB. But thanks to a new method developed by his team, that may be about to change. Even though each of the cells in our body carries the exact same DNA sequence, there’s a huge variety of cell types and functions. These differences stem from how the DNA sequence is interpreted: not all genes are ‘switched on’ in each cell.
12th October 2017


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