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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category: Page 5

Mar 4, 2019

First CRISPR therapy administered in landmark human trial

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

The first confirmed CRISPR gene editing clinical trial to take place outside of China is officially underway, after pharmaceutical companies CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex revealed a human patient has been administered the experimental treatment targeting a rare blood disease.

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Feb 28, 2019

Poll: Two Thirds of Americans Support Human Gene Editing to Cure Disease

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, government, health

Questions about using technologies like CRISPR to gene edit human embryos gained immediacy last month, when Chinese scientists claimed to have edited the genes of two babies in order to protect them against HIV — a move that prompted an international outcry, but also questions about when the technology will be ready for human testing.

“People appear to realize there’s a major question of how we should oversee and monitor use of this technology if and when it becomes available,” Columbia University bioethicist Robert Klitzman told the AP of the new research. “What is safe enough? And who will determine that? The government? Or clinicians who say, ‘Look, we did it in Country X a few times and it seems to be effective.

READ MORE: Poll: Edit baby genes for health, not smarts [Associated Press].

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Feb 28, 2019

Gene Editing Is Trickier Than Expected—but Fixes Are in Sight

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

A popular gene editing technique may produce lots of unintended changes to DNA, but the good news is we now have a better way of finding such errors.

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Feb 25, 2019

New microfluidics device can detect cancer cells in blood

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Queensland University of Technology of Australia, have developed a device that can isolate individual cancer cells from patient blood samples. The microfluidic device works by separating the various cell types found in blood by their size. The device may one day enable rapid, cheap liquid biopsies to help detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans. The findings are reported in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering.

“This new microfluidics chip lets us separate from whole or minimally-diluted blood,” said Ian Papautsky, the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Bioengineering in the UIC College of Engineering and corresponding author on the paper. “While devices for detecting cancer cells circulating in the blood are becoming available, most are relatively expensive and are out of reach of many research labs or hospitals. Our is cheap, and doesn’t require much specimen preparation or dilution, making it fast and easy to use.”

The ability to successfully isolate cancer cells is a crucial step in enabling liquid biopsy where cancer could be detected through a simple blood draw. This would eliminate the discomfort and cost of tissue biopsies which use needles or surgical procedures as part of cancer diagnosis. Liquid biopsy could also be useful in tracking the efficacy of chemotherapy over the course of time, and for detecting cancer in organs difficult to access through traditional biopsy techniques, including the brain and lungs.

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Feb 25, 2019

Fighting Aging With Stress, Randomness, Complexity and Usefulness — Dr. Marios Kyriazis — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, bioprinting, biotech/medical, cosmology, DNA, evolution, genetics, health

Feb 22, 2019

Hachimoji DNA doubles the genetic code

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

Researchers in the US have built an “alien” DNA system from eight building block letters, so expanding the genetic code from four and doubling its information density. The new system meets all of the requirements for Darwinian evolution and can also be transcribed to RNA. It will be important for future synthetic biology applications and expands the scope of molecular structures that might be capable of supporting life, both here on Earth and more widely in the universe.

One of the main characteristics of life is that it can store and pass on genetic information. In modern-day organisms, this is done by DNA using just four building blocks: guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine (G, A, C and T). Pairs of DNA strands form a double helix with A bonding to T and C bonding to G.

Four more building blocks .

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Feb 19, 2019

Bioengineers create ultrasmall, light-activated electrode for neural stimulation

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, neuroscience

Neural stimulation is a developing technology that has beneficial therapeutic effects in neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. While many advancements have been made, the implanted devices deteriorate over time and cause scarring in neural tissue. In a recently published paper, the University of Pittsburgh’s Takashi D. Y. Kozai detailed a less invasive method of stimulation that would use an untethered ultrasmall electrode activated by light, a technique that may mitigate damage done by current methods.

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Feb 19, 2019

Without Bugs, We Might All Be Dead

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, economics, existential risks, food, genetics

There are 1.4 billion insects for each one of us. Though you often need a microscope to see them, insects are “the lever pullers of the world,” says David MacNeal, author of Bugged. They do everything from feeding us to cleaning up waste to generating $57 billion for the U.S. economy alone.

Today, many species are faced with extinction. When National Geographic caught up with MacNeal in Los Angeles, he explained why this would be catastrophic for life on Earth and why a genetically engineered bee could save hives—and our food supply—worldwide.

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Feb 19, 2019

Studying evolution to banish ageing — a new frontier in gerontological drug development

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, biotech/medical, DNA, evolution, futurism, genetics, health, life extension


Feb 19, 2019

Landmark research creates “universal” stem cells using CRISPR gene editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

In an incredible milestone, scientists have for the first time created “universal” stem cells by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to produce pluripotent stem cells that can be transplanted into any patient without generating an immune system response.

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