News

Shareable Science: The Genetics of the Impossible Burger

10 September 2019

We are delighted to introduce our new guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb, who’s Shareable Science blog will be a fortnightly feature on the website. Neil is the Vice President for Educational Outreach at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Shareable Science will explore how genetics is relevant to people in their everyday lives.  The Impossible […]

9 September 2019

Genetic Basis for Being Left Handed Identified

Being left-handed could be down to differences in brain architecture, a new study has shown. Only 10% of the population are left-handed, as has been the case for thousands of years, but previous studies have struggled to identify the reasons behind this. Using data from the UK Biobank, the genomes of 400,000 people, including 38,332 […]

9 September 2019

Has a DNA Study Solved the Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster?

Mysterious sightings of a giant creature in the lake have fascinated Loch Ness visitors for years. The fabled Lock Ness monster, or ‘Nessie’, has been speculated to be a prehistoric marine reptile, called a plesiosaurus, or a shark. However, a recent DNA study could shed some light on one of Scotland’s longest running legends. Scientists […]

6 September 2019

Single-Sex Shrimp: A Sustainable Food Source Protected from Disease

In a study last week researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have highlighted how the development of mono-sex prawns could increase the aquaculture yield whilst reducing the spread of the second most devasting parasitic disease: schistosomiasis. Additionally, in a triple whammy the sterility of a single-sex population negates the ecological risk of the crustacean […]

4 September 2019

Queering the Genome – Are We Ready?

It has been less than a week since the landmark study into the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour first broke and sparked debate across the twitterverse. There has been much disagreement amongst the scientific and LGBTQ+ communities alike, regarding whether this research should have been conducted at all. Conversely, many have praised the study for […]

3 September 2019

Gene That Promotes Natural Short Sleep Identified

The gene that controls how much sleep a person needs to feel fully rested has been identified by researchers. Back in 2009 the researchers led by Ying-Hui Fu, PhD, discovered that those with a mutation in their DEC2 gene averaged 6.25 hours sleep per night, compared to 8.06 hours in those without the mutation. 10 […]

3 September 2019

Data-Driven Drug Development – Early Bird for D4 Europe Expires This Week

The early bird rate for our next event D4 (Data-Driven Drug Development) Europe expires this Friday, the only event where attendees will receive data, evidence and case studies from the world’s leading minds in pharma. This meeting is designed specifically to cater for senior people in pharma, combining strategic insights of value to IT/R&D leaders, […]

3 September 2019

Advances in Improving HDR Efficiency for CRISPR Experiments

Despite vast progress in leveraging the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome manipulation, bottlenecks still remain. Overcoming these bottlenecks is critical to ensure the efficacy of this technology in a clinical context. Several engineering approaches involve inducing a double -stranded break (DSB) to introduce new mutations, which are then repaired by the endogenous cellular machinery. The two […]

2 September 2019

Further 3 Countries in Europe Lose Measles Free Status

Following the loss of the UK’s measles free status, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stripped another 3 European countries of their eradication status. Albania, the Czech Republic and Greece have joined the UK in no longer being considered measles free. Kate O’Brien of the WHO’s Immunization Department said that the 4 countries were stripped […]

29 August 2019

E-Cigarettes Trigger Same Harmful Lung Changes Seen in Smokers

Although vaping is assumed to be safer than smoking cigarettes, new research has revealed that it triggers the same molecular changes that cause emphysema in cigarette smokers. Vaping has been thought to be less dangerous than smoking because it does not contain many of the carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarette tobacco. However, new evidence suggests […]

28 August 2019

Brown Fat May Help Protect Against Obesity and Diabetes

Having sufficient brown fat could help protect against obesity and diabetes, new research shows. Brown fat acts as an energy store in the body, but easily releases the energy to generate heat when exposed to cool temperatures. Recent research has revealed that brown fat can also remove branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) from the blood. […]

26 August 2019

New Technique to Store Information in DNA

A new technique that can store information in DNA, known as DOMINO, has been successfully developed by researchers at MIT.  The future of biotechnology and biodata requires an effective method to store information in DNA. Just like a hard drive, the information should be readable, writable and able to be edited. Writable DNA information can […]

23 August 2019

First CRISPR Law Prevents DIY Gene Therapy

The first law to regulate the use of genome editing technology has been passed in California.  Senator Ling Ling Chang authored the bill that requires sellers of gene therapy kits to include a label, and a notice prior to sale, stating that the CRISPR kits are not intended for self-administration. The bill is targeting ‘DIY […]

22 August 2019

Environmental Pollution Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

Higher levels of environmental pollution correlate with higher incidences of a range of mental disorders, a new study has identified. The researchers looked at populations in both the US and Denmark. In the US study, the levels of environmental pollution were determined from air, water and land quality measurements, in addition to population density and […]