Archive for the ‘genetics’ category

Jul 6, 2019

New approach aids search for genetic roots of complex conditions

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, information science, neuroscience

A new method enables researchers to test algorithms for spotting genes that contribute to a complex trait or condition, such as autism.

Researchers often study the genetics of complex traits using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In these studies, scientists compare the genomes of people who have a condition with those of people without the condition, looking for genetic variants likely to contribute to the condition. These studies often require tens of thousands of people to yield statistically significant results.

GWAS have identified more than 100 genomic regions associated with schizophrenia, for example, and 12 linked to autism. Results are often difficult to interpret, however. Causal variants for a condition may be inherited with nearby sections of DNA that do not play a role.

Jul 6, 2019

David Sinclair Is Extending Human Lifespan | Rich Roll Podcast

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

David Sinclair PhD is a biologist and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging and author of the forthcoming book “Lifespan: The Revolutionary Science of Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To”.

This conversation is about the science behind aging and David’s research on the biology of lifespan extension, treating diseases of aging and extending human lifespan.

Continue reading “David Sinclair Is Extending Human Lifespan | Rich Roll Podcast” »

Jul 5, 2019

Using epigenetics to explain how Captain America and the Incredible Hulk gained their superpowers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

When I was kid I used to watch the Incredible Hulk on TV and wait for Bruce Banner to fly into a rage, his muscles inflating like balloons, pants torn to shreds while his entire body turns green as he transforms into the Hulk. As I grew up, and learned more about the advances in genetics, it never occurred to me that cutting-edge genome-editing techniques could explain the scientific principles behind the Hulk’s metamorphosis or his fellow Marvel Comics star-spangled hero Captain America. In a recent Stanford Report story, Sebastian Alvarado Opens in a new window, a postdoctoral research fellow in biology, creatively applies the concepts of epigenetics to illuminate the process by which average Joes become superheroes.

As Alvarado notes in the piece Opens in a new window and above video, over the past 70 years scientists have developed tools for selectively activating and deactivating individual genes through chemical reactions, a process termed epigenetics. Similar to flipping on a light, switch gene expression can be “turned on” or “turned off. ”We have a lot of genome-editing tools – like zinc finger nucleases, or CRISPR/Cas9 systems – that could theoretically allow you to epigenetically seek out and turn on genes that make your muscles physically large, make you strategically minded, incredibly fast, or increase your stamina,” he said.

Continue reading “Using epigenetics to explain how Captain America and the Incredible Hulk gained their superpowers” »

Jul 5, 2019

Dr. Steffanie Strathdee PhD. — UCSD Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, counterterrorism, defense, disruptive technology, existential risks, genetics, health, life extension

Jul 4, 2019

Neutral evolution shapes lifespan and aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, life extension

Different African killifish species vary extensively in their lifespans—from just a few months to several years. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne investigated how different lifespans have evolved in nature and discovered a fundamental mechanism by which detrimental mutations accumulate in the genome causing fish to age fast and become short-lived. In humans, mutations accumulate mainly in the genes that are active in old age.

Jul 4, 2019

Exclusive: Five couples lined up for CRISPR babies to avoid deafness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov plans to help five couples who are deaf try CRISPR gene-editing to avoid having a child that inherits the condition.

Jul 3, 2019

Bacteria engineered as Trojan horse for cancer immunotherapy

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

The emerging field of synthetic biology—designing new biological components and systems—is revolutionizing medicine. Through the genetic programming of living cells, researchers are creating engineered systems that intelligently sense and respond to diverse environments, leading to more specific and effective solutions in comparison to current molecular-based therapeutics.

At the same time, —using the body’s immune defenses to fight cancer—has transformed over the past decade, but only a handful of have responded, and often results in significant side effects. Designing therapies that can induce a potent, anti– immune response within a solid tumor without triggering systemic toxicity has posed a significant challenge.

Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) announced today that they are addressing this challenge by engineering a strain of non– that can colonize solid tumors in mice and safely deliver potent immunotherapies, acting as a Trojan Horse that treats tumors from within. The therapy led not only to complete tumor regression in a mouse model of lymphoma, but also significant control of distant, uninjected tumor lesions. Their findings are published today in Nature Medicine.

Jul 2, 2019

Cancer neoantigens provide new research leads for personalized vaccine development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Next-generation sequencing technologies are helping researchers to find mutations unique to an individual’s cancer as well as the genetic signatures that predict their immune response. Can they use these clues to develop long-lasting and effective anticancer vaccines?

Jul 2, 2019

Hidden layer of gene control influences everything from cancer to memory

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Chemical tags on RNA usher in new realm of epigenetics.

Jul 2, 2019

Mind-Uploading: The Impending Meta-System Transition of Humanity

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

The most probable mainstream non-invasive way to transfer human consciousness in the intermediate future, with initial stages in the 2030s, could be the convergence of optogenetics, nanotechnologies, neuroengineering, Cloud exocortex and an array of neurotechnologies allowing to connect our wetware directly to the Cloud.

Initially, each of us will have a personal exocortex in the Cloud, the third non-biological “de-cerebral” hemisphere, which will be in constant communication with the other two biological brain hemispheres.

At some point, this “third hemisphere,” will have a threshold information content and intimate knowledge of your biology, personality and other physical world attributes in order to seamlessly integrate with your persona as a holistic entity.

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