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‘Editing Marks’ Mapped on Fly, Worm, Human Genomes

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

A multi-institution research network has published three major papers that map and compare the genomes and epigenomes of humans and two model organisms, the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, in unprecedented detail.

Attacking a Rare Disease at its Source with Gene Therapy

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Using an animal model, a research team has proven the efficacy of a more elegant way to treat the rare disease MPS I through direct gene transfer.                              

BST This Week #11: Obesity Linked to Heightened Dementia Risk

August 27, 2014 11:29 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski highlights the link between mid-life obesity and an increased dementia risk later in life. Our second story focuses on researchers who are sequencing salamander genomes.   

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Cancer Leaves a Common Fingerprint on DNA

August 26, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers. In a study of a broad variety of cancers the investigators say they have found widespread and distinctive changes to chemical marks known as methyl groups attached to DNA.

Crohn's Gene Discovery May Lead to Better Screening

August 26, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have identified chemical changes in the DNA of patients with Crohn’s disease that could help to screen people for the disease. These changes can be detected in blood samples, opening the door to a simple test for Crohn’s disease.    

New Approach Helps to Identify Cancer 'Drivers'

August 25, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new integrated approach to pinpoint the genetic “drivers” of cancer, uncovering eight genes that could be viable for targeted breast cancer therapy.                     

BST This Week #10: Gene Mutation Key to High-Altitude Living

August 22, 2014 1:38 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski covers a genetic mutation that allows high-altitude-dwelling Tibetans to survive in the peaks of the Tibetan Plateau. Our second story looks at how minor infections increase stroke risk in children.

Skin Cells Reprogrammed to Mimic Rare Disease

August 22, 2014 11:38 am | News | Comments

Stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient’s skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia.                  

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Test Reliably Detects Inherited Immune Deficiency

August 21, 2014 10:24 am | News | Comments

A newborn screening test for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) reliably identifies infants with this life-threatening inherited condition, leading to prompt treatment and high survival rates, according to a new study.        

BST This Week #9: Can Sweat Power Your Smartphone?

August 20, 2014 2:48 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski highlights the possibility of using small sensors as biobatteries that can harvest power from sweat. Our second story covers a newly discovered plant “language."     

Gene Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse, Response to Chemo

August 20, 2014 12:29 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene, a new study shows.                         

DNA Sequencing Spots Genetic Key to Lupus

August 19, 2014 12:30 pm | News | Comments

Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that, for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing.

Reactivated Gene Sets Immune System Back 500M Years

August 19, 2014 11:37 am | News | Comments

A single factor can reset the immune system of mice to a state likely similar to what it was 500 million years ago. Scientists reactivated expression of an ancient gene in mice, which is not normally expressed in the mammalian immune system, and found that the animals developed a fish-like thymus.

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Next-Generation Sequencing and the Transformation of Cancer Care

August 18, 2014 3:20 pm | by Darren Lee, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Nabsys | White Papers

NGS is revolutionizing the field of genome biology, with much faster data generation, increased accuracy, and a dramatic reduction of sequencing costs. Multiple genomes can now be sequenced in parallel by a single instrument in a matter of days. In the medical field, NGS is already having an impact in genetic screening and holds great potential in oncology, given the genetic aspects of cancerous disease.

Epigenetic Breakthrough Bolsters Understanding of Alzheimer’s

August 18, 2014 12:12 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers has uncovered some of the strongest evidence yet that epigenetic changes in the brain play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The current study found that chemical modifications to DNA within the ANK1 gene are strongly associated with measures of neuropathology in the brain. 

Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

August 18, 2014 10:58 am | News | Comments

A genetic variation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression wreaks havoc on connections among neurons in the developing brain, a team of researchers reports.                    

Bioscience Technology This Week #8: Safe Nuts for Allergy Sufferers

August 15, 2014 12:43 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reports on the possibility of making nuts safer to eat for those with allergies. Our second story tackles important questions about which genes may drive antibiotic resistance. 

New Gene Editing Method Shows Promising Results for Correcting Muscular Dystrophy

August 15, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers successfully used a new gene editing method to correct a mutation that leads to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in a mouse model of the condition. Researchers used a technique called CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, which can precisely remove a mutation in DNA, allowing the body’s DNA repair mechanisms to replace it with a normal copy of the gene.

Material Could Enhance Fast, Accurate DNA Sequencing

August 14, 2014 10:24 am | News | Comments

Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process. Now, researchers have found that nanopores in the material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) could sequence DNA more accurately, quickly and inexpensively than anything yet available.

Genetically Engineered Fruit Flies Could Save Crops

August 13, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Releasing genetically engineered fruit flies into the wild could prove to be a cheap, effective and environmentally friendly way of pest control according to scientists at the University of East Anglia and Oxitec Ltd. This collaborative research study, with UEA shows that this approach is effective and once appropriate regulatory approvals are received the technology will offer growers a safe and effective route to protect their crops.

New Analysis Reveals Tumor Weaknesses

August 13, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have known for decades that cancer can be caused by genetic mutations, but more recently they have discovered that chemical modifications of a gene can also contribute to cancer. These alterations, known as epigenetic modifications, control whether a gene is turned on or off.

Huntingtin Gene Crucial to Memory Development

August 13, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

It has been more than 20 years since scientists discovered that mutations in the gene huntingtin cause the devastating progressive neurological condition Huntington’s disease. Surprisingly little, however, has been known about the gene’s role in normal brain activity. Now, new research shows it plays a critical role in long-term memory.

Scientists Pinpoint Gene Likely to Promote Childhood Cancers

August 12, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers. If the findings prove to be applicable to humans, the research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level.

An Easier Way to Manipulate Malaria Genes

August 12, 2014 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, has proven notoriously resistant to scientists’ efforts to study its genetics. It can take up to a year to determine the function of a single gene, which has slowed efforts to develop new, more targeted drugs and vaccines.

Biomarker Could Predict PTSD Risk

August 12, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

Blood expression levels of genes targeted by the stress hormones called glucocorticoids could be a physical measure, or biomarker, of risk for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to a new study.          

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