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Same Cancer, Different Time Zone

July 31, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Just as no two people possess the same genetic makeup, a recent study has shown that no two single tumor cells in breast cancer patients have an identical genome.                          

Bioscience Technology This Week #4: Gold Nanoparticles Show Promise for Drug Delivery

July 30, 2014 2:02 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Editor-in-Chief Rob Fee reports on gold nanoparticles' promise in drug delivery. Our second story examines the work being done to decipher the wheat genome and the implications of this work.

New Study Looks at How Epigenetic Effects are Passed Down

July 30, 2014 12:22 pm | News | Comments

A new study demonstrates that the ‘memory’ of nutrition during pregnancy can be passed through sperm of male offspring to the next generation, increasing risk of disease for grandchildren as well. In other words, to adapt an old maxim, ‘you are what your grandmother ate.’

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Breaking News: Blood Test Could Predict Suicide Risk

July 30, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a person’s risk of attempting suicide.            

New Gene Function Discovery Offers Clues to ALS

July 29, 2014 12:11 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world’s most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims. The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment or even a cure.       

Six New Genetic Risk Factors for Parkinson’s Found

July 28, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists have identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson’s disease, including six that had not been previously reported.                 

A New Look at Stomach Cancer

July 28, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

In a massive effort to catalog the molecular causes of stomach cancer, scientists have identified four subtypes of tumors based on shared mutations and other molecular abnormalities.                    

Scientists ID New Mechanism of Drug Resistance

July 28, 2014 11:24 am | News | Comments

Microorganisms can evade treatment by acquiring mutations in the genes targeted by antibiotics or antifungal drugs. Now, a new study has shown that microorganisms can use a temporary silencing of drug targets to gain the benefits of drug resistance without the commitment.

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Only 8.2% of DNA is ‘Functional’

July 24, 2014 2:45 pm | News | Comments

Only 8.2 percent of human DNA is likely to be doing something important – is “functional”– say researchers. This figure is very different from one given in 2012, when some scientists stated that 80 percent of our genome has some biochemical function.

Mapping Finds New Schizophrenia-linked Genes

July 23, 2014 8:30 am | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many years away.   

Researchers Successfully Eliminate the HIV Virus from Cultured Human Cells

July 22, 2014 1:49 pm | Videos | Comments

The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.

Mixed Genes Mix Up the Migrations of Hybrid Birds

July 22, 2014 1:23 pm | News | Comments

Mixed genes appear to drive hybrid birds to select more difficult routes than their parent species, according to new research from University of British Columbia zoologists. the researchers harnessed a flock of B.C. Swainson’s thrushes with tiny geolocating backpacks to map their routes as they migrated south through the U.S. to Central and South America.

New Technique Maps Life's Effects on Our DNA

July 21, 2014 1:39 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents. The technique can be used to map all of the 'epigenetic marks' on the DNA within a single cell.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

July 21, 2014 11:26 am | News | Comments

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches, researchers have found. Heritability also outweighed other risk factors in this largest study of its kind to date.

Managing Ecosystems via Genomics

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

A cross-disciplinary team is calling for public discussion about a potential new way to solve longstanding global ecological problems by using an emerging technology called “gene drives.” The advance could potentially lead to powerful new ways of combating malaria and other insect-borne diseases.

New Gene Discovered that Stops the Spread of Deadly Cancer

July 18, 2014 2:01 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists at the Salk Institute have identified a gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body, indicating a new way to fight one of the world's deadliest cancers. By identifying the cause of this metastasis—which often happens quickly in lung cancer and results in a bleak survival rate—Salk scientists are able to explain why some tumors are more prone to spreading than others.

Danish DNA Could be Key to Happiness

July 18, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

Economists at the University’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) have looked at why certain countries top the world happiness rankings. In particular they have found the closer a nation is to the genetic makeup of Denmark, the happier that country is. The research could help to solve the puzzle of why a country like Denmark so regularly tops the world happiness rankings.

Scientists Identify Gene that Plays a Surprising Role in Combating Aging

July 18, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

It is something of an eternal question: Can we slow or even reverse the aging process? Even though genetic manipulations can, in fact, alter some cellular dynamics, little is known about the mechanisms of the aging process in living organisms. Now scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have found in animal models that a single gene plays a surprising role in aging that can be detected early on in development.

Researchers Uncover New Cancer Cell Vulnerability

July 18, 2014 12:52 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have uncovered a genetic vulnerability of cancer cells that express telomerase— an enzyme that drives their unchecked growth— and showed that telomerase-expressing cells depend upon a gene named p21 for their survival.      

Transplantation of Healthy New Brain Cells Reverses Learning and Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease Model

July 16, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

A new study from the Gladstone Institutes has revealed a way to alleviate the learning and memory deficits caused by apoE4, the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, improving cognition to normal levels in aged mice.

A-maize-ing Double Life of a Genome

July 15, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use 'doubles' of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties. Oxford University researchers captured a 'genetic snapshot' of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome—a 'whole genome duplication' event.

Friends Share Genetic Similarities

July 15, 2014 11:33 am | News | Comments

If you consider your friends family, you may be on to something. A new study finds that friends who are not biologically related still resemble each other genetically.                        

Stem Cell Scientists Lay a TRAP for Disease

July 14, 2014 2:09 pm | News | Comments

USC Stem Cell scientists have set a “mouse TRAP” to capture the early signs of kidney failure. Their new transgenic mouse line uses a technique called TRAP to extract cellular and genetic information from a variety of solid organs. TRAP involves attaching a fluorescent tag to the ribosomes of the cell type of interest. Scientists can then collect the tagged ribosomes and determine which active genes are ordering proteins to be made. 

Gene Therapy Brings ALS Cure One Step Closer

July 11, 2014 12:44 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have moved one step closer to a gene therapy that could silence the faulty SOD1 gene responsible for triggering a form of motor neuron disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).             

No Extra Mutations in Modified Stem Cells, Study Finds

July 9, 2014 4:16 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have proven that using gene-editing techniques on stem cells doesn't increase the overall occurrence of mutations in the cells.                                

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