News

Shareable Science: Hachimoji – A New Genetic Language?

9 October 2019

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 […]

1 October 2019

Molecular Assemblies Announces $12.2 M Series A Financing to Advance Enzymatic DNA Synthesis

SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2019 — Molecular Assemblies, Inc., today announced that it has raised a $12.2 million Series A financing led by iSelect Fund and joined by existing investors, Agilent Technologies, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Keshif Ventures. The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the company’s proprietary enzymatic DNA synthesis technology to […]

1 October 2019

Ultrasound Used to View Gene Expression

Ultrasound has been used successfully to view gene expression in mammalian cells, in a development that could transform cellular imaging technologies. Methods of visualising gene expression in cells are essential to enable continued advances in genomic medicine. Fluorescent techniques are currently the most widely used cellular imaging technique, despite their limitations. Fluorescent ‘tags’ can be […]

30 September 2019

New Blood Test Can Detect Multiple Types of Cancer

A new blood test has been shown to identify different cancer types with a high degree of accuracy. When cancer cells die, they shed their DNA into the blood. Previous diagnostic tests work by identifying the genetic mutations present in the cancer cell DNA. However, this technique is limited in its ability to distinguish where […]

30 September 2019

Fungus Eating Ants Could Provide Solution to Antibiotic Resistance

Fungus eating ants have inspired a novel approach to reduce antibiotic resistance. Attine ants grow ‘fungal gardens’ as their food source, however their fungus food supply is also fed on by a parasitic fungus. To counter this threat, the ants form an unlikely alliance. The ants host bacteria on their bodies that produce anti-microbials to […]

27 September 2019

Anxiety Can Disrupt Mitochondrial Function

Anxiety is a serious mental disorder characterized by panic attacks and a strong emotional response to stress. It can be initiated by stressful life events, such as bereavement, divorce and conflict. It is known that some people are more susceptible to anxiety than others, as not all who experience stressful life events necessarily experience anxiety. […]