News

Just One Mutation in Dark DNA Could Drive Cancers

14 October 2019

Just one mutation in the ‘Dark DNA’ of the genome could drive the progression of a range of cancers. Dark DNA is the 98% of the genome that does not code for any proteins. Laxmi Parida, a Dark DNA researcher, describes it as ‘the part of the DNA that we – the scientific community – […]

14 October 2019

Viagra Could Transform Bone Marrow Transplants

A combination of Viagra and Plerixafor, both clinically approved drugs, could improve the efficacy of bone marrow stem cell transplants. Haemopoietic Stem cell transplants are life-saving treatments for a range of blood cancers, including lymphoma and leukaemia. The cells can differentiate into all types of blood cells to replace the abnormal cancer cells and restore […]

11 October 2019

Targeting Immune Cells Could Offer Potential Alzheimer’s Therapy

Targeting the immune cells in the brain could slow down the onset of Altzheimer’s, a new study has shown. The build-up of tau protein in the brain can be indicative many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s. Once the tau starts to clump together, tissue damage begins to become visible. However, until recently the link between protein […]

11 October 2019

A Genetic Cause for SIDS is Identified

A genetic cause has been found for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) SIDS causes 3,000 deaths a year, due to a number of causes, some environmental and some genetic. However, this is the first time a specific genetic variant has been linked to the onset of SIDS. Newborns with the genetic variant have a defect […]

10 October 2019

Cell Death Blocker Could Aid Regenerative Medicine

A new drug molecule that can block cell death could hold the potential for a range of regenerative treatments. Apoptosis is a form of controlled cell death that is essential for normal development and body function. The BLC-2 family of proteins control the process, with some protein molecules promoting cell survival and others promoting cell […]

9 October 2019

Shareable Science: Hachimoji – A New Genetic Language?

Our guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb continues his fortnighty Shareable Science Blog with an extract from the annual guidebook ‘A Year in Genetics as Told by Tomorrow’s Textbooks‘. 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 […]

8 October 2019

Translating Metastasis Research into New Models and Therapies

Understanding and tackling metastatic cancer is the single biggest opportunity to improve outcomes for the most cancer patients. But it also represents a huge opportunity to (1) improve the development of existing cancer drugs, (2) reverse declining clinical success rates in oncology, (3) drive the development of new therapies, (4) treat more aggressive cancers and […]

8 October 2019

How our Cells Sense Oxygen Wins Nobel Prize

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine has been awarded to three scientists who discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen levels. Sir Peter Ratcliffe, of the University of Oxford and Francis Crick Institute, William Kaelin, of Harvard, and Gregg Semenza, of Johns Hopkins University share the Nobel. Oxygen Sensing in Cells Oxygen […]

8 October 2019

Synthetic DNA: An Interview with Michael Kamdar, CEO Molecular Assemblies

Molecular Assemblies recently announced a $12.2M series A financing to advance their enzymatic DNA synthesis technology. We talked to Michael Kamdar, the CEO and president of Molecular Assemblies, to discuss how enzymatic DNA synthesis could revolutionise biotechnology. FLG: Can you introduce Molecular Assemblies? MK: Molecular Assemblies is a synthetic biology company founded in 2013, and […]

7 October 2019

More Efficient Viral Vector for Sickle Cell Gene Therapy

A newly designed viral vector has shown promise for effectively delivering genes into the cells of patients with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell anaemia is when a faulty gene causes the structure of haemoglobin to mutate and distort the shape of red blood cells, significantly hindering the transport of oxygen around the body. It is […]

7 October 2019

Common Fungi Drives Pancreatic Cancer

A microscopic fungus has been found to promote the growth of tumours in the pancreas. The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live within the human body. The microbiome composition has been indirectly linked with a number of cancers, but this is the first time that fungi from the microbiome have been shown to […]

4 October 2019

CRISPR Used to Engineer Poisonous Flies

Normally harmless fruit flies have been gene edited using CRISPR, with genes from the monarch butterfly, to make them poisonous to both their predators and humans. The monarch caterpillars feed on the toxic plant milkweed. When the caterpillars metamorphosise into butterfly’s they retain the milkweed toxins in their tissues, which make them poisonous to potential […]

4 October 2019

Trump Administration to Expand DNA Collection at Border

The Trump Administration will expand the DNA of collection of migrants who attempt to illegally enter the USA and hold their information in a criminal database operated by the FBI. The Department of Homeland Security is planning to implement a programme that will allow border officials to collect DNA samples from apprehended migrants. This follows […]

3 October 2019

Worms Survive Extreme Arsenic Levels

Image credit: Purdue University  Few creatures can survive in Mono Lake, California. It is three times as salty as the ocean, has a strongly alkaline pH of 10 and is laden with the poisonous element arsenic. However, eight species of nematodes have been found to be thriving in this extreme environment. Discovering the genetic drivers […]

2 October 2019

Psoriasis Drugs Could be Repurposed as Osteosarcoma Treatments

Psoriasis drugs could be repurposed as osteosarcoma treatments, as both diseases respond to inhibition of the same target. Osteosarcoma is a rare and difficult to cure bone cancer in children. Survival outcomes for children are poor, even with surgery and chemotherapy, as approximately 30% of patients die within five years of a diagnosis. However, increased […]