Genetic Eng.

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CRISPR helps generate neuronal cells from connective tissue

CRISPR helps generate neuronal cells from connective tissue
Researchers have used CRISPR to convert cells isolated from mouse connective tissue directly into neuronal cells. In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka, a professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University at the time, discovered how to revert adult connective tissue cells, called fibroblasts, back into immature stem cells that could differentiate into any cell type.
15th August 2016

PET scan tracer reveals epigenetic activity in the human brain

A PET radiotracer developed at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is able for the first time to reveal epigenetic activity - the process that determines whether or not genes are expressed - within the human brain. In their report published in Science Translational Medicine, a team of MGH/Martinos Center investigators reports how their radiochemical - called Martinostat - shows the expression levels of important epigenetics-regulating enzymes in the brains of healthy volunteers.
11th August 2016

Process could lead to better gene therapies

Process could lead to better gene therapies
Michigan Technological University scientists have developed a process that could lead to stickier—and better—gene therapy drugs. The drugs, called antisense DNA, are made from short, single strands of synthetic DNA. They work by blocking cells from making harmful proteins, which can cause maladies ranging from cancer to Ebola to HIV-AIDS. Only a couple of these synthetic DNA drugs are on the market, but a number are in clinical trials, including a potential treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
10th August 2016


DNA condensation is carried out on a biochip

DNA condensation is carried out on a biochip
Normally, individual molecules of genetic material repel each other. However, when space is limited DNA molecules must be packed together more tightly. This case arises in sperm, cell nuclei and the protein shells of viruses. An international team of physicists has now succeeded in artificially recreating this so-called DNA condensation on a biochip. Recreating important biological processes in cells to better understand them currently is a major topic of research.
10th August 2016

Singapore scientists grow mini human brains

Singapore scientists grow mini human brains
Scientists in Singapore have made a big leap on research on the 'mini-brain'. These advanced mini versions of the human midbrain will help researchers develop treatments and conduct other studies into Parkinson's Disease[1] (PD) and ageing-related brain diseases. These mini midbrain versions are 3D miniature tissues that are grown in the laboratory and they have certain properties of specific parts of the human brain. 
1st August 2016

Creating specialised cells more efficiently

Creating specialised cells more efficiently
Researchers at the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have discovered that a metabolic molecule called alpha-ketoglutarate helps pluripotent stem cells mature early in the process of becoming adult organs and tissues. The findings, published online in the journal Cell Metabolism, could be valuable for scientists working toward stem cell–based therapies for a wide range of diseases.
29th July 2016

Bio-engineered molecule provides quick control of bleeding

Every five minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a blood clot, through its role in strokes, heart attacks or other severe conditions. For decades, doctors have used the anticoagulant drug warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent clots. More recently, newer anticoagulants such as Xarelto, Eliquis and Pradaxa, considered safer and more convenient than warfarin, have gained greater acceptance.
26th July 2016

Method could revolutionise single cell analysis

Method could revolutionise single cell analysis
ETH researchers have developed a method using a nanosyringe whose tiny needle is able to penetrate single living cells and extract their content. The technology can be used for cell cultures, for example, in order to investigate the interior of the cells. This allows scientists to identify the differences between individual cells at the molecular level, as well as to identify and analyse rare cell types.
15th July 2016

Material can kill E. Coli bacteria in just 30 seconds

Material can kill E. Coli bacteria in just 30 seconds
Every day, we are exposed to millions of harmful bacteria that can cause infectious diseases, such as the E. coli bacteria. Now, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR have developed a new material that can kill the E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds. This finding has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Small.
3rd June 2016

Genetic switch could be key to increased health & lifespan

Genetic switch could be key to increased health & lifespan
Recently discovered genetic switches that increase lifespan and boost fitness in worms are also linked to increased lifespan in mammals, offering hope that drugs to flip these switches could improve human metabolic function and increase longevity. These so-called epigenetic switches, discovered by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, are enzymes that are ramped up after mild stress during early development and continue to affect the expression of genes throughout the animal’s life.
5th May 2016


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