Research

Mitochondrial DNA Can be Inherited from Fathers

Despite what was previously thought, some mitochondrial DNA can be inherited from fathers as well as mothers, scientists have found. A study, published recently in PNAS, began when the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre tested a child showing signs of fatigue and muscle pain to see if he had a mitochondrial disorder.

Alzheimer’s-Linked Gene Could be Re-shuffling its Own DNA

APP, the gene responsible for making beta-amyloid in the brain, may be able to reshuffle its own DNA, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California have claimed. This development could explain why most drugs to treat Alzheimer’s, which are designed to remove beta-amyloid protein build-ups in the brain, have proven ineffective in clinical trials.

CRISPR-Edited Twins Allegedly Born in China

Twin girls in China have allegedly been born after having their embryonic genetic code modified using CRISPR. Chinese researcher He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology, claims to have turned off a gene called CCR5 to offer total protection against HIV, as well as smallpox and cholera.

A New Approach To Detecting Cancer Earlier From Blood Tests

Cancer scientists led by principal investigator Dr. Daniel De Carvalho at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have combined “liquid biopsy,” epigenetic alterations and machine learning to develop a blood test to detect and classify cancer at its earliest stages.

New ML Program Can Characterise Single Cell RNA-seq

Neural networks and supervised machine learning (ML) techniques can characterise cells studied using single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq), scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have learnt. This could aid others in identifying new cell subtypes and in discerning diseased cells.

Defective DNA Repair Leads to Genome “Chaos”

Scientists have found a cause for the frequent and damaging events in cancer cells’ genetic material where sections of individual chromosomes were broken at a number of points and reassembled wrongly, so entire sections were missing and others were duplicated or incorporated in a wrong orientation.

CRISPR Repairs DNA Even Without Donor Template

CRISPR-Cas9 can carry out precise genome editing even without the assistance of donor DNA templates, a team of scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have found.