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A Virus Reveals the Physics of Nanopores

June 17, 2014 1:19 pm | News | Comments

Nanopores may one day lead a revolution in DNA sequencing. By sliding DNA molecules one at a time through tiny holes in a thin membrane, it may be possible to decode long stretches of DNA at lightning speeds. Scientists, however, haven’t quite figured out the physics of how polymer strands like DNA interact with nanopores. Now, with the help of a particular type of virus, researchers have shed new light on this nanoscale physics.

Breaking News: Genes Determine Betting Behavior

June 16, 2014 3:00 pm | News | Comments

Investors and gamblers take note: your betting decisions and strategy are determined, in part, by your genes. Researchers have shown that betting decisions are influenced by the specific variants of dopamine-regulating genes in a person's brain. 

Protein Anchors Help Keep Embryonic Development “Just Right”

June 16, 2014 2:31 pm | News | Comments

The “Goldilocks effect” in fruit fly embryos may be more intricate than previously thought. It’s been known that specific proteins, called histones, must exist within a certain range—if there are too few, a fruit fly’s DNA is damaged; if there are too many, the cell dies. Now research out of the University of Rochester shows that different types of histone proteins also need to exist in specific proportions.

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Severe Scoliosis Linked to Rare Gene Mutations

June 16, 2014 2:29 pm | News | Comments

Children with rare mutations in two genes are about four times more likely to develop severe scoliosis than their peers with normal versions of the genes, scientists have found.                      

Scientists Find Trigger to Decode the Genome

June 13, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from The University of Manchester have identified an important trigger that dictates how cells change their identity and gain specialized functions. And the research has brought them a step closer to being able to decode the genome.

ADHD Mothers More Likely to Have Children with ADHD, Autism

June 13, 2014 12:29 pm | News | Comments

A study breaks new ground in the understanding of the link between parents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).                  

American Chemical Society’s Highest Honor Goes to Pioneer of Diagnostic ‘DNA Chips’

June 12, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Jacqueline K. Barton, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and chair of the division of chemistry and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, has been named winner of the 2015 Priestley Medal by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award recognizes Barton’s pioneering work to deepen the fundamental understanding of charge transport through DNA.

Scientists Wipe Out Malaria-carrying Mosquitoes in Lab with Male-only Offspring

June 11, 2014 2:18 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have tested a new genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.

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Researchers Discover New Form of Cancer

June 11, 2014 2:01 pm | Videos | Comments

By themselves, PAX3 and MAML3 don’t cause any problems. However, when they combine during an abnormal but recurring chromosomal mismatch, they can be dangerous. The result is a chimera—a gene that is half of each—and that causes biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma. The tumor usually begins in the nose and may infiltrate the rest of the face, requiring disfiguring surgery to save the individual.

DNA-Linked Nanoparticles Form Switchable "Thin Films" on a Liquid Surface

June 11, 2014 12:03 pm | News | Comments

A new study also offers insight into the mechanism of interactions of nanoparticles and DNA molecules near a lipid membrane. This understanding could inform the emerging use of nanoparticles as vehicles for delivering genes across cellular membranes.

Sequencing of Citrus Genomes Points to Need for More Genetic Diversity to Fight Disease

June 9, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

Sequencing the genomes of domesticated citrus revealed a very limited genetic diversity that could threaten the crop’s survival prospects, according to a research team that analyzed and compared the genome sequences of 10 diverse citrus varieties. The findings provide insight of how citrus has been cultivated and point to how genomics-guided development could help produce crops that better resist environmental stresses and pests.

Phaseolus Genome Lends Insights into Nitrogen Fixation

June 9, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science has targeted research into the common bean because of its importance in enhancing nitrogen use efficiency for sustainability of bioenergy crops, and for increasing plant resilience and productivity with fewer inputs, on marginal lands, and in the face of the changing climate and environment.

Researchers Pinpoint New Role for Enzyme in DNA Repair

June 9, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

Twelve years ago, researchers found that a protein called Set2 plays a role in how yeast genes are expressed– specifically how DNA gets transcribed into messenger RNA. Now, it has been discovered that Set2 is also a major player in DNA repair, a complicated and crucial process that can lead to the development of cancer cells.

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Longer Telomeres Linked to Brain Cancer Risk

June 9, 2014 1:12 pm | News | Comments

New genomic research revealed that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres, the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging, also significantly increase the risk of developing the deadly brain cancers known as gliomas.

Brain Circuit Problem Likely Culprit Behind 'Voices' in Schizophrenia

June 6, 2014 1:41 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the “voices” that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion.       

Three Gene Networks Discovered in Autism

June 6, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

A large new analysis of DNA from thousands of patients has uncovered several underlying gene networks with potentially important roles in autism. These networks may offer attractive targets for developing new autism drugs or repurposing existing drugs that act on components of the networks.

‘Clever’ DNA Help Bacteria Survive

June 5, 2014 12:38 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that bacteria can reshape their DNA to survive dehydration. The research shows that bacterial DNA can change from the regular double helix to the more compact A-DNA form, when faced with hostile conditions such as dehydration.

Saturated Fat May Influence Expression of Obesity Genes

June 4, 2014 2:28 pm | News | Comments

Limiting saturated fat could help people whose genetic make-up increases their chance of being obese, according to a new study. The findings could be useful in identifying people who are predisposed to obesity and could ultimately lead to personalized dietary recommendations.

Scientists Successfully Transplant, Grow Stem Cells in Pigs

June 4, 2014 1:46 pm | News | Comments

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. Now, researchers have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.

One Chip, One Dream: The Pursuit of a DNA-powered Lab-on-a-chip

June 4, 2014 1:38 pm | by Christina Jakubowski, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Christofer Toumazou believes he can change the world with his “one chip, one bug – one chip, one drug,” slogan. Nominated for the European Patent Office’s 2014 European Inventor award, he holds a patent for the technology behind a microchip that can analyze DNA within 30 minutes and without a laboratory.

Co-visualization of mRNA and Protein to Better Link Genotype and Phenotype

June 3, 2014 2:10 pm | by Don Weldon, R&D Manager, EMD Millipore; Yuko Williams, Research Scientist, EMD Millipore; and Victor Koong, Product Manager, EMD Millipore | White Papers

Correlating levels of mRNA and corresponding proteins within cells provides more information linking gene function to phenotype than examining either alone. Separate measurements of RNA and protein merely provide information about two similar but separate cell populations. The ability to study both in individual cells leads to more physiologically relevant data, including information about cell-to-cell heterogeneity within a given sample.

Making Embryos from 3 People Doesn't Look Unsafe

June 3, 2014 8:18 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Britain's fertility regulator says controversial techniques to create embryos from the DNA of three people "do not appear to be unsafe" even though no one has ever received the treatment, according to a new report. Read more...       

BRCA2 Gene Now Connected to Lung Cancer, Doubling a Smoker's Risk

June 2, 2014 2:38 pm | News | Comments

New research confirms a vulnerability to lung cancer can be inherited and implicates the BRCA2 gene as harboring one of the involved genetic mutations. The study scanned the genomes of more than 11 thousand individuals of European descent to look for common variations associated with non-small cell carcinoma. The analysis showed that variations in the BRCA2 and CHEK2 genes can significantly increase an individual's risk for lung cancer.

Study Identifies New Genetic Cause of Male Reproductive Birth Defects

June 2, 2014 2:26 pm | News | Comments

Baylor College of Medicine scientists defined a previously unrecognized genetic cause for two types of birth defects found in newborn boys. Cryptorchidism and hypospadias are among the most common birth defects but the causes are usually unknown.

Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes Link Explained

June 2, 2014 12:15 pm | News | Comments

Many people with cystic fibrosis develop diabetes. The reasons for this have been largely unknown, but now researchers have identified a molecular mechanism that contributes to the raised diabetes risk.              

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