In a step toward the goal of sending a DNA sequencer to Mars, where it can analyze soil and ice samples for traces of DNA and other genetic material, researchers have created a DNA-sequencing microchip that can survive space radiation.
Britain may allow a controversial technique to create babies using DNA from three people, a move that would help couples avoid passing on rare genetic diseases, the country's top medical officer says. The new techniques help women with faulty mitochondria, the energy source in a cell, from passing on to their babies defects that can result in such diseases as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, heart problems and mental retardation.
Scientists at the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen) have sequenced the so far oldest genome from a prehistoric creature. They have done so by sequencing and analyzing short pieces of DNA molecules preserved in bone-remnants from a horse that had been kept frozen for the last 700.000 years in the permafrost of Yukon, Canada.
A study led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke—the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out—causes significant genetic damage in human cells.
A new species of fungus that causes life-threatening infections in humans and cats has been discovered. After six years of investigation, researchers have confirmed this as a completely new species, Aspergillus felis, which can cause virulent disease in humans and cats by infecting their respiratory tract.
For less than $100, University of Washington researchers have designed a computer-interfaced drawing pad that helps scientists see inside the brains of children with learning disabilities while they read and write. To create the system, researchers hollowed out a ballpoint pen and inserted two optical fibers that connect to a light-tight box in an adjacent control room where the pen’s movement is recorded.
Researchers eradicated most melanoma tumors by exposing them to a fast-acting virus, according to a report in the Journal of Virology. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and can spread throughout the body and even into the brain.
Researchers have identified a way to trigger reproduction in the laboratory of clusters of human cells that make insulin, potentially removing a significant obstacle to transplanting the cells as a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes.
A protein used by embryo cells during early development, and recently found in many different types of cancer, apparently serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, new research reports. Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths.
The Supreme Court ruled today that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries. The high court's unanimous judgment reverses three decades of patent awards by government officials.
Scientists have discovered a previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye. The breakthrough could help surgeons to dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants.
New breakthroughs in research on protein-DNA recognition may have profound implications for furthering research into cancer and other genetically based diseases. The research— which integrates two fields, genomics and structural biology— sheds light on the mechanisms underlying how proteins recognize their DNA binding sites by translating genome sequences into three-dimensional structures.
In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease. The procedure is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering.
As pediatric specialists become increasingly aware that surgical anesthesia may have lasting effects on the developing brains of young children, new research suggests the threat may also apply to adult brains. Researchers recently reported that testing in laboratory mice shows anesthesia’s neurotoxic effects depend on the age of brain neurons– not the age of the animal undergoing anesthesia.
In the gonads of animals, genome parasites, such as transposons, pose a serious threat to evolutionary fitness. To protect genomic integrity, animals evolved the so-called piRNA pathway to silence the deleterious transposons. Researchers have now identified almost 50 genes that play important roles in the piRNA pathway of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses, but how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear. Now, researchers believe they know.
Intestinal bacteria may have a greater influence on us than was previously thought. In a recent study, researchers showed that patients with Type 2 diabetes have an altered gut microbiota. Their findings have led to a new model to identify patients at increased risk of developing diabetes.
An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered top 10 species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) plays a leading role in today’s biology. PCR started with an endpoint approach that detected a particular nucleic-acid sequence. Then, real-time PCR provided relative quantification of the sequences. Most recently, digital PCR (dPCR) allowed scientists to absolutely quantify sequences of nucleic acids.
The worm’s tail wriggles, a micrometer-scale twitch. A scanner captures the new posture. Software recognizes the motion. Life goes on in the Lifespan Machine, a new system devised in the lab of Walter Fontana that, essentially, counts dead worms.
Scientists have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, they now have evidence that the bone underneath the cartilage is also a key player and exacerbates the damage.
Injectable nanoparticles developed at MIT may someday eliminate the need for patients with Type 1 diabetes to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels and inject themselves with insulin. The nanoparticles were designed to sense glucose levels in the body and respond by secreting the appropriate amount of insulin, thereby replacing the function of pancreatic islet cells, which are destroyed in patients with Type 1 diabetes.
A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease in humans.
A team of researchers has invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Through a biodegradable implant in combination with a newly-developed Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) that increases nerve growth and healing, the functionality of a torn or damaged nerve could ultimately be restored.
In any laboratory, safety of both the researchers and the samples are integral to a successful experiment. Fume hoods and biological safety cabinets offer protection from hazardous fumes with proper ventilation that will ensure the safety of all scientists in the laboratory and the samples they are working with.