DNA sequencing is busting Moore’s Law by getting far cheaper, far faster than expected. But it is also getting far more sensitive. Researchers can sequence DNA samples 25 times smaller than they could a year ago. For whole genome sequencing, in recent months, one group has routinely gone from sequencing as little as one microgram of input to 100 nanograms.
Identifying cell types and sorting cells based on RNA expression levels without any transfection...
A new study identified a potential new approach for reducing problem...
A termite’s own biology with help from microorganisms called protists, are keys to the insect’s...
In new research researchers describe a technology that can detect new, previously unknown viruses. The technique uses blood serum as a biological source to categorize and discover viruses. Taking advantage of the complete deciphering of the human genome, researchers used a next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach called transcriptome subtraction to identify viral genetic material in the blood.
As cancer genomics scales up, more and more mutations can be detected. But in order for critical patterns and potential drug targets to emerge, researchers need to be able to eliminate the red herrings from their results and identify the genetic changes driving different cancer types. To do so, researchers have surveyed the genetic landscape of cancer to better understand the spectrum of mutations within and across cancer types.
By transferring four genes into mouse fibroblast cells, researchers have produced cells that resemble hematopoietic stem cells, which produce millions of new blood cells in the human body every day. These findings provide a platform for future development of patient-specific stem/progenitor cells, and more differentiated blood products, for cell-replacement therapy.
A new study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees some 4 million to 6 million years ago was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences that play roles in turning genes on and off. The study provides evidence for a 40-year-old hypothesis that regulation of genes must play an important role in evolution.
A ruling by the Supreme Court that human genes can't be patented is expected to increase access and drop the cost for tests for gene mutations that greatly raise the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. In a bit of a mixed message, the court unanimously decided that certain types of gene tests may still be protected by patents, yet it struck down patents that a company has long held for BRCA genes.
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.
Researchers have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.
Malignant cells can escape from primary tumors and colonize new sites in other tissues. In a new study, researchers show how the transcription factor AP4 promotes the development of such metastatic tumors. With the aid of genome-wide characterization of AP4’s target genes and direct functional tests, researchers uncovered processes relevant to tumorigenesis and cancer progression that are triggered by the protein.
It's common wisdom that one rotten apple in a barrel spoils all the other apples, and that an apple ripens a green banana if they are put together in a paper bag. Ways to ripen, or spoil, fruit have been known for thousands of years. Now, scientists have traced the thousands of genes in a plant that are activated once ethylene gas is released.
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.
What draws a mosquito to bite its host has long been studied from the perspective of the victim— uncovering which smells and chemicals lure the insect in. But researchers are aiming instead to get inside the perpetrator’s mind. Or rather, its genome.
Researchers have shown how a relatively young gene can acquire a new function and become essential to an organism’s life. Using a combination of techniques, the scientists show that a novel essential gene in fruit flies is only 15 million years old, and yet has acquired a job so important that the flies can’t live without it.
Using a novel genetic “editing” technique, biomedical engineers have been able to repair a defect responsible for one of the most common inherited disorders, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in cell samples from Duchenne patients. The researchers believe their approach could be safer and more stable than current methods of gene therapy.
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.
Zebrafish with very weak muscles helped scientists decode the elusive genetic mutation responsible for Native American myopathy, a rare, hereditary muscle disease that afflicts Native Americans in North Carolina. Scientists originally identified the gene in mutant zebrafish that exhibited severe muscle weakness.
A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods. The new method can be of value to both DNA nanotechnology and the development of drugs consisting of DNA fragments.
A method that promises to reduce by more than half the time it takes health officials to identify Salmonella strains has been developed. The finding is important because it promises to significantly speed up the response to many outbreaks of foodborne illness.
Researchers have developed a new gene therapy to thwart a potential influenza pandemic. Investigators demonstrated that a single dose of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) expressing a broadly neutralizing flu antibody into the nasal passages of mice and ferrets gives them complete protection and substantial reductions in flu replication when exposed to lethal strains of H5N1 and H1N1 flu virus.
Using a novel method of analyzing genetic variations in families, researchers have found that individually harmless genetic variations affecting related biochemical processes may team up to increase the risk of schizophrenia. They say their findings bring some clarity to the murky relationship between genetics and schizophrenia.
A new gene associated with a form of congenital heart disease in newborn babies– known as “a hole in the heart” has been discovered by researchers. The discovery will help lead to better understanding of why some patients are born with the disorder.
Researchers have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases. The exact cause of these diseases– autoimmune thyroid disease, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes– is unknown, but is believed to be a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors.
A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. The method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.
When studying any kind of population — people or cells — averaging is a useful, if flawed, form of measurement. According to the US Census Bureau, the average American household size in 2010 was 2.59. Of course, there are no homes with exactly 2.59 people.
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.
A new method of measuring the variety of genetic mutations found in cells within a tumor appears to predict treatment outcomes of patients with the most common type of head and neck cancer. The research describes how a new way of measuring tumor heterogeneity was a better predictor of survival than are most traditional risk factors in a small group of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.