News

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 […]

22 August 2019

Telomere Gene Holds Key to Pluripotency

A gene that codes for a telomere protein is the key to regulating stem cell pluripotency, new research shows. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into any type of specialised cell in the body. They hold huge potential for a range of regenerative medical treatments. Scientists have previously struggled to understand the genetic […]

21 August 2019

Alzheimer’s Drug Reverses Harmful Effects of Teenage Drinking in Rats

An Alzheimer’s drug that is used to slow cognitive decline can reverse the brain damage caused by teenage drinking, shows a new rat-based study. Adolescent brains are more susceptible to alcohol damage than adult brains. Excessive teenage drinking reduces the formation of neurons in the hippocampus which impairs learning and memory. The damage can also […]

21 August 2019

WHO Strips UK of Measles Free Status

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stripped the United Kingdom of its measles free status following an increase in disease cases and falling vaccination rates. The UK recorded 913 cases of measles between 1 January and 31 October 2018, compared to 259 cases in 2017. This is despite measles being an entirely preventable disease. Measles […]

20 August 2019

Sticky DNA Traps Cause Gallstone Formation

Sticky DNA traps produced by immune cells enable gallstones to stick together and grow, new research has revealed. Gallstones are stones that form in the gall bladder when the fats and minerals found in bile harden into a crystalline structure. Gallstones can cause inflammation and infections, depending on their size. Researchers investigated gallstones in patients […]

19 August 2019

Digital DNA: Genetic Counselling – An Interview with Jill Davies

The Digital DNA series explores the role of large-scale genetic testing in science, industry and society. We aim to understand both the benefits and risks of this emerging technology and see what the future may hold. We talked to Jill Davies, CEO of GeneMatters. The company provides genetic counselling to patients through a telehealth platform […]

16 August 2019

New Technique to Select Offspring Gender

A reversible chemical technique can separate sperm carrying X chromosomes from sperm carrying Y chromosomes to select the offspring sex of mice. Cells from male mammals contain both an X and Y chromosome. However, sperm cells contain either an X or Y chromosome. As the female egg cell always contains an X chromosome, sperm that […]

16 August 2019

New Drug Could Speed up Blood Cell Recovery after Chemotherapy

A drug that speeds up the regeneration of both mouse and human blood stem cells after radiation exposure could be used to successfully mitigate the side-effects of chemotherapy. Although radiation chemotherapy can be an effective cancer treatment, as it preferentially targets cancer cells over normal body cells, it can cause long lasting side-effects in patients. […]

15 August 2019

Keto Diet Supresses Cancer Growth in Mice

Mice fed on a keto diet alongside an anti-diabetic drug were found to have slower progression rates of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lung tumours. The keto diet, currently widely popular, minimises sugar and carbohydrate intake. SCC is a type of cancer formed by the squamous cells that make up the epithelial layer of organs, including […]

14 August 2019

Fish Can Conserve Memories Across Generations

The myth of the goldfish’s three second memory has long prevailed in popular culture. However, new research has suggested that unlike humans, fish are able to conserve memories over generations using epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic modifications can change the expression of DNA without changing the DNA code itself. Often this is in the form of DNA […]

13 August 2019

Alternative Cause of Alzheimer’s Discovered

Alzheimer’s has previously been understood to be caused by a build up of protein plaques in the brain. However, new research has revealed that alternative metabolic pathways in the brain may be more integral to the formation of the disease. The plaques are formed by proteins known as beta-amyloid and tau. As Alzheimer’s progresses the […]