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Archive for the ‘genetics’ category: Page 135

Oct 25, 2015

23andMe Launches New Consumer Test Service to Check for Genetic Disorders

Posted by in category: genetics

Two years after the FDA took action against the DNA-testing start-up, the company is now offering carrier screening tests for 36 conditions.

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Oct 24, 2015

Male And Female Hearts Don’t Age In The Same Way

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

After a 10 year study of 3000 people, researchers have made the surprising discovery that hearts age differently in men and women.

We need personalised medicine

We know people age differently, both inside and outside. This is down to a complex interplay of genetics and environment, which leads to significant variation in the aging process for all of us. What we didn’t expect was that such a striking difference would emerge between the genders. So what does this mean? Could there be more we’re missing?

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Oct 22, 2015

Key to longevity? Sharing DNA info is necessary to extend human life, Google exec says

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

The much pursued fountain of youth can become a reality if humans agree to share their DNA information, according to Google Ventures’ CEO Bill Maris, who has warned that “we’re all going to die” earlier if we keep our genetic codes secret.

Maris, who aims to digitize DNA, stressed during a Wall Street Journal technology conference in California that our genomes “aren’t really secret,” urging those protective of their genetic information to loosen the reins a bit.

Noting that genetic material is constantly left lying around in public, Maris addressed those who remain nervous about the digitization of DNA. “What are you worried about?” he said on Tuesday, adding that a person could easily gather information by fishing a used cup out of the trash and taking it to a lab for analysis.

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Oct 21, 2015

Scientists Have Genetically Engineered Dogs To Make Them More Muscly

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, health, military

As long as they don’t enter the food supply.


First micropigs, now dogs: Scientists in China have used a gene-editing technique to produce the world’s first genetically engineered pooches. Although these two endeavors share scientific roots, with their production aimed at assisting medical research, unlike the teeny tiny pigs, the researchers behind this latest project are not intending to sell their customized animals as pets.

So it probably won’t come as a surprise that the dogs weren’t engineered to be cuter, fluffier or more pocket-sized: they had their DNA tweaked to make them more muscly. The first of many potential edits the team would like to carry out, this was done with the forces in mind.

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Oct 20, 2015

Engineered viruses provide quantum-based enhancement of energy transport

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, genetics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

How cool is this!


Rendering of a virus used in the MIT experiments. The light-collecting centers, called chromophores, are in red, and chromophores that just absorbed a photon of light are glowing white. After the virus is modified to adjust the spacing between the chromophores, energy can jump from one set of chromophores to the next faster and more efficiently. (credit: the researchers and Lauren Alexa Kaye)

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Oct 19, 2015

Chinese Researchers Knock Out Myostatin Gene in Beagles with CRISPR, Generating First Gene-Edited Dogs

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

First Gene-Edited Dogs Reported in China.


An extra-muscular beagle has been created through genome engineering. Are we on our way to customizing the DNA of our pets?

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Oct 19, 2015

CEO Undergoes Gene Therapy To Reverse Aging

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

The first attempt at using gene therapy to prevent regular aging allegedly happened last month in what could spell the beginning of a new era in do-it-yourself genetic modification.

CEO and founder of BioViva Sciences USA Inc, Liz Parrish, claims she underwent gene therapy at an undisclosed location in Latin America where she received two forms of treatment, including muscle mass enhancement and therapy to increase the length of the telomeres, the DNA caps which protect the chromosome from deterioration and are associated with longer life span.

Parrish announced in a Reddit AMA that she had gone through the therapy and if successful she plans to roll out a public offering in three to five years despite neither treatment being FDA approved. The results of the therapy are yet unknown and she says she feels no different so far but believes it will be months before any changes occur. If successful her body, in theory, should begin to de-age.

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Oct 18, 2015

Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA

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

Micah's DNA
Brendan I. Koerner at Wired, explores the ramifications of the authorities requesting DNA from ancestry sites:

Mitch Morrissey, Denver’s district attorney and one of the nation’s leading advocates for familial DNA searching, stresses that the technology is “an innovative approach to investigating challenging cases, particularly cold cases where the victims are women or children and traditional investigative tactics fail to yield a solid suspect.” Familial DNA searches have indeed helped nab people who might otherwise have evaded justice. In the most celebrated example, Los Angeles police arrested a man believed to be the Grim Sleeper serial killer after discovering that the crime scene DNA shared a significant number of genetic markers with that of a convicted felon—who turned out to be the man’s son.

But the well-publicized success stories obscure the fact that familial DNA searches can generate more noise than signal. “Anyone who knows the science understands that there’s a high rate of false positives,” says Erin Murphy, a New York University law professor and the author of Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA. The searches, after all, look for DNA profiles that are similar to the perpetrator’s but by no means identical, a scattershot approach that yields many fruitless leads, and for limited benefit. In the United Kingdom, a 2014 study found that just 17 percent of familial DNA searches “resulted in the identification of a relative of the true offender.”

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Oct 17, 2015

Stanford researchers make artificial skin that senses touch

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, engineering, genetics

A team from Stanford University might have made a breakthrough that could change the lives of people with missing limbs. Researchers have developed an artificial substitute for skin that is capable of sensing when it is being touched and sending that data to the nervous system. It’s hoped that technology like this could be used to build futuristic prostheses that could be wired into the nervous systems of amputees. In addition, not only will these people be able to know if they’re touching something, they’ll also know how much pressure is being used.

Put very simply, the skin is comprised of two layers of rubbery plastic skin with a flexible circuit printed on, courtesy of the folks at Xerox Parc. Sandwiched between the two is a run of carbon nanotubes, which conduct electricity when they’re pushed closer together. The harder the compression, the more current passes between them, which is how the skin can understand differences in pressure.

That, however, isn’t enough, since that data would still have to be transmitted somehow into the user’s brain. In the end, the team opted to harness a field of science called optogenetics, which involves genetically-engineering cells so that they react to specific frequencies of light. By creating optogenetic neurons that are capable of sensing light patterns, the team proved that it’s possible to make this technology work in a person.

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Oct 15, 2015

Researchers use engineered viruses to provide quantum-based enhancement of energy transport

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Nature has had billions of years to perfect photosynthesis, which directly or indirectly supports virtually all life on Earth. In that time, the process has achieved almost 100 percent efficiency in transporting the energy of sunlight from receptors to reaction centers where it can be harnessed—a performance vastly better than even the best solar cells.

One way plants achieve this efficiency is by making use of the exotic effects of quantum mechanics—effects sometimes known as “quantum weirdness.” These effects, which include the ability of a particle to exist in more than one place at a time, have now been used by engineers at MIT to achieve a significant efficiency boost in a light-harvesting system.

Surprisingly, the MIT researchers achieved this new approach to solar energy not with high-tech materials or microchips—but by using genetically engineered viruses.

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