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.

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.

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.

Mutations in “Guardian of the Genome” Assist Cancer in Spreading

Tumours are helped in their development by mutating the most important cancer-prevention gene, p53, scientists from Melbourne have found. The study, published in Genes and Development, found that mutant p53 prevents the regular p53 protein from activating its natural defences, increasing the risk of the cancer spreading.

Tiny Bio-Scaffold Could Perfect Stem Cell Transportation

A minuscule, biodegradable scaffold has been created to transplant stem cells and deliver drugs within the body, the Nature Communications journal has reported, which could help with treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as aging brain degeneration and spinal cord injuries.

New Drug Combination Could Halt Fibrosis

A combination of drugs has potentially been uncovered that could halt the progression of fibrosis, a disease thought to be responsible for almost half of all deaths, according to a new study.

Illumina Buys PacBio for $1.2bn

DNA sequencing company Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) is being bought for $1.2bn by bigger rival Illumina, it was announced yesterday. The deal represents a 71% premium on yesterday’s closing price for PacBio, and is the largest that Illumina has ever made.