Genetic Eng.

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DNA-altering technology tackles diseases

DNA-altering technology tackles diseases
Researchers in Singapore have developed a protein that can alter DNA in living cells with much higher precision than current methods. The ability to alter DNA accurately will open more doors in the development of personalised medicine that could help to tackle human diseases that currently have few treatment options. Examples of diseases that have unmet therapeutic needs include neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's disease, muscular dystrophies, and blood disorders like sickle cell anaemia.
14th September 2016

DNA chip offers possibilities in cell studies

DNA chip offers possibilities in cell studies
A UT Dallas physicist has developed a technology that not only sheds light on basic cell biology, but also could aid in the development of more effective cancer treatments or early diagnosis of disease. Dr. Jason Slinker, associate professor of physics, and his colleagues developed an electronic device that uses DNA molecules—the genetic material found in every human cell—and other biochemicals to simulate certain cell activity.
25th August 2016

Scaffolds demonstrate behaviour of stem and cancer cells

Scaffolds demonstrate behaviour of stem and cancer cells
Novel scaffolds are shown enabling cells to behave in a different but controlled way in vitro due to the presence of aligned, self-assembled ceramic nanofibers of an ultra-high anisotropy ratio augmented into graphene shells. "This unique hybrid nano-network allows for an exceptional combination of selective guidance stimuli for stem cell development, variations in immune reactions, and behavior of cancer cells", says Professor Michael Gasik from Aalto University.
23rd August 2016


Human cells programmed to store complex histories

Human cells programmed to store complex histories
MIT biological engineers have devised a way to record complex histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to retrieve "memories” of past events, such as inflammation, by sequencing the DNA. This analogue memory storage system is the first that can record the duration and/or intensity of events in human cells.
19th August 2016

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


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