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Enzymes Can Help Fix Cancer-causing DNA Defects

April 23, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have identified an important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases.             

How the Body Fights Against Viruses

April 22, 2014 3:13 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have now shown how double stranded RNA, such as viral genetic information, is...

Fast Way to Measure DNA Repair

April 22, 2014 2:57 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers has developed a test that can rapidly assess several DNA repair systems,...

Muscle Weakness in Alcoholism Linked to Mitochondrial Repair Issues

April 21, 2014 2:49 pm | News | Comments

Muscle weakness from long-term alcoholism may stem from an inability of mitochondria, the...

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Down Syndrome, Leukemia Link Uncovered

April 21, 2014 11:48 am | News | Comments

Although doctors have long known that people with Down syndrome have a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during childhood, they haven’t been able to explain why. Now, a team investigators has uncovered a connection between the two conditions.

Deadly Human Pathogen Cryptococcus Fully Sequenced

April 18, 2014 12:36 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.                           

Scientists Develop 'Playbook' for Reverse Engineering Tissue

April 17, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

In a feat of reverse tissue engineering, Stanford University researchers have begun to unravel the complex genetic coding that allows embryonic cells to proliferate and transform into all of the specialized cells that perform myriad biological tasks.

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A Cinderella Story: Stem Cells in Personalized Medicine

April 17, 2014 1:17 pm | Videos | Comments

In part four of our video series, Andrew Wiecek is back to discuss the role that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells play in personalized medicine. How do they help? Well, iPS cells are kind of like Cinderella's glass slipper.      

DNA Looping Damage Tied to HPV Cancer

April 16, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

It’s long been known that certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cancer. Now, researchers have determined a new way that HPV might spark cancer development– by disrupting the human DNA sequence with repeating loops when the virus is inserted into host-cell DNA as it replicates.

New Technique Will Accelerate Genetic Characterization of Photosynthesis

April 16, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. For example, little is known about how it is regulated in response to changes in light intensity. More fundamentally, we do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism.

Gene Panel Effectively Screens Dozens of Genes for Cancer-associated Mutations

April 15, 2014 11:45 am | News | Comments

As many as 10 percent of women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer have at least one genetic mutation that, if known, would prompt their doctors to recommend changes in their care, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

MicroRNA Could be Key Target for Bowel Cancer Treatment

April 14, 2014 2:42 pm | News | Comments

A tiny genetic molecule known as a microRNA plays a central role in bowel cancer and could be key to developing new treatments for the disease, a new study concludes. Scientists found that the molecule, called microRNA 135b, is a vital ‘worker’ employed by several important cancer genes to drive the growth of bowel cancers.

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Does Germ Plasm Accelerate Evolution?

April 14, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have published research that challenges a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved. It suggests that genes evolve more rapidly in species containing germ plasm. The results came about as they put to the test a novel theory that early developmental events dramatically alter the vertebrate body plan and the way evolution proceeds.

Virus-fighting Genes Linked to Mutations in Cancer

April 14, 2014 2:15 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. The APOBEC family of genes control enzymes that are believed to have evolved in humans to fight off viral infections. Scientists have speculated that these enzymes are responsible for a very distinct signature of mutations that is present in approximately half of all cancer types.

Finding the Switch: Researchers Create Roadmap for Gene Expression

April 14, 2014 2:07 pm | News | Comments

In a new study, researchers from North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and other institutions have taken the first steps toward creating a roadmap that may help scientists narrow down the genetic cause of numerous diseases. Their work also sheds new light on how heredity and environment can affect gene expression.

Tumor-suppressor Connects with Histone Protein to Hinder Gene Expression

April 11, 2014 1:06 pm | News | Comments

A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression.  It does this by reading a chemical message attached to another protein that’s tightly intertwined with DNA, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports. The findings provide evidence in support of the “histone code" hypothesis.

Genetic Defect May Confer Resistance to Certain Viral Infections

April 10, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

A study reports that a rare genetic disease, while depleting patients of infection-fighting antibodies, may actually protect them from certain severe or recurrent viral infections. Researchers found that HIV and influenza viruses replicate in the cells of people with congenital disorder of glycosylation type IIb (CDG-IIb) at a much lower rate than in healthy donor cells, creating fewer and less infectious viruses.

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New Model Combines Multiple Genomic Data

April 10, 2014 2:00 pm | News | Comments

The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like “personalized medicine” and “big data” and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. A pair of new papers show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease.

Potential Link Between Brain Development and Breast Cancer Gene

April 9, 2014 2:09 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.

Seeing Double: New Study Explains Evolution of Duplicate Genes

April 8, 2014 1:26 pm | News | Comments

From time to time, living cells will accidently make an extra copy of a gene during the normal replication process. Throughout the history of life, evolution has molded some of these seemingly superfluous genes into a source of genetic novelty, adaptation and diversity. A new study shows one way that some duplicate genes could have long-ago escaped elimination from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation seen in modern life.

Genetic Flaw May Hold Key to Deadly Brain Tumor

April 7, 2014 1:41 pm | News | Comments

Scientists may have discovered a new way to treat a type of childhood brain tumor that has proved incurable up until now, according to a recent study.                             

Scientists Generate 3-D Structure of Malaria Parasite Genome

April 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have generated a 3-D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite’s life cycle— the first time such 3-D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycle of a parasite.  

Messenger of Pain Identified

April 7, 2014 12:10 pm | News | Comments

In their pursuit of understanding how pain works at the molecular level, a research team has found a new function for MicroRNAs, short stretches of genetic material that signal genes to turn on or off.               

Experts Decode Germs' DNA to Fight Food Poisoning

April 6, 2014 8:18 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation's disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely decoding the DNA of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses.

Examination of a Cave-Dwelling Fish Finds a Possible Genetic Link to Human Disorders

April 4, 2014 2:35 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers have identified a genetic association with facial asymmetry in an ancient cavefish, a natural trait that may solve mysteries surrounding facial asymmetries in humans—conditions such as cleft palate or hemifacial microsomia. 

Some Long Non-coding RNAs are Conventional After All

April 4, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

Not so long ago researchers thought that RNAs came in two types: coding RNAs that make proteins and non-coding RNAs that have structural roles. Then came the discovery of small RNAs that opened up whole new areas of research. Now researchers have come full circle and predicted that some long non-coding RNAs can give rise to small proteins that have biological functions.

How Personalized Medicine Works: Bioinformaticians to the Rescue

April 3, 2014 12:14 pm | Videos | Comments

In our third video, Rob Fee is back to discuss how informatics can help to overcome one of the biggest challenges in personalized medicine: organizing and examining the mountains of data that are generated during the gene sequencing process. Rob's advice? Find a bioinformatician...fast!

First Peanut Genome Sequenced

April 2, 2014 2:17 pm | News | Comments

The International Peanut Genome Initiative—a group of multinational crop geneticists who have been working in tandem for the last several years—has successfully sequenced the peanut's genome. The new peanut genome sequence will be available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive and more resilient peanut varieties.

The Human 'Hairless' Gene Identified: One Form of Baldness Explained

April 1, 2014 2:36 pm | News | Comments

It's not a hair-brained idea: A new research report explains why people with a rare balding condition called "atrichia with papular lesions" lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing this hair loss. Specifically the report shows for the first time that the "human hairless gene" imparts an essential role in hair biology by regulating a subset of other hair genes. 

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