Genetics

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Genomic Study Shows How Crops Will Cope with Climate Change

A 28 year-long genomics study revealed how crops will respond to the rising temperatures associated with climate change. Over the study, period the temperature in Israel, where the study was conducted, increased by 2°C, even higher than the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit agreed in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Food scarcity will be one […]

Working the Night Shift Could Harm Gut Health

Working night shifts could impair immune system functionality and make people more susceptible to gut based infections, new research shows. The Rhythm of the Night The body runs like clockwork. When you eat, when you sleep and when you get up is all controlled by the body’s internal circadian rhythm aka the body clock. The […]

Scottish Genetic Population Analysis Reflects Medieval Kingdoms

A genetic population study across Scotland has been found to reflect the boundaries of the medieval kingdoms. Population studies can give a window into human history as migrations, invasions and hardships all leave a genetic signature. For example, Britain was first invaded by the Vikings in AD 793. Interbreeding between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons […]

Cannabis Usage in Fathers Can Cause Inheritable Genetic Changes

Changing Attitudes to Cannabis Cannabis is now legalised for recreational use in 11 US states and attitudes around its risk are changing rapidly. Between 2002 and 2014, the percentage of adults in the US who perceived cannabis use as risky declined from 50% to 33%. However, as cannabis usage becomes more widespread the health risks […]

HDRUK to Launch Seven New Data Research Hubs

Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) is launching pioneering data research centres to enable cutting-edge research and innovation to benefit UK patients  Seven new data hubs to be rolled out across the UK to speed up research for new medicines, treatments, and technologies that support quicker diagnoses and save lives  The hubs will use the latest […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]