Science

Disruptive science can have a significant impact outside of our own domains of research and into our personal lives. Keeping abreast of these developments can help prepare and inspire.

Gene Insertion Allows Blind Mice to See Again

Scientists from the University of California have announced a possible alternative option to electronic eye implants for those who have lost their sight: gene therapy. Virus-delivered genes for green opsin gave blind mice sight enough to determine patterns on an iPad, they found, with the therapy possibly ready for clinical trials in three years’ time.

CAR-T Therapy Destroys Lupus in Mice

A number of mice have been cured entirely of lupus by a CAR-T treatment which wipes out the immune system’s B cells by spotting the CD19 protein marker which nearly all B cells carry.

Second Set of “Semi-Identical Twins” Identified

Twins born in Australia have become the second-ever-identified pair of “semi-identical” twins, and the first to be detected before they were born. Such cases come about when twins receive 100% identical genes from their mother, but not from their father.

First Common Risk Genes for Autism Discovered

Researchers from the Broad Institute in the US and Danish iPSYCH project have discovered the first common genetic risk variants for autism and uncovered genetic differences in clinical subgroups of autism.

Bio-Rad’s PCR-Based Test for CML Finds FDA Approval

Global life science researcher Bio-Rad has announced that its droplet digital PCR-based test for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), the first of its kind, has been cleared by the FDA. The test quantifies BCR-ABL, the gene fusion which causes CML, in the blood.