DNA

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dPCR and HSAFM

Low-cost technique for missed genetic mutations

A new low-cost method targeting genetic mutations often missed by existing diagnostic approaches has been developed. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States noted…

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CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially…

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Mitochondria research

Colorectal cancer: Mutations in overlooked DNA could have huge impact on survival

DNA errors in the cell’s energy ‘factories’ increases the chances of survival for people with bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, according to a new study. Studying how DNA errors…

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Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

AI to help fight asbestos-related cancer

International genomics research led by the University of Leicester has used artificial intelligence (AI) to study an aggressive form of cancer, which could improve patient outcomes. Mesothelioma is…

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53,831 genomes analysed

Rare diseases: huge dataset brings new insights

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from…

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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require…

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Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV-3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. This could not only lay the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection with new corona viruses that may develop in the future.

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For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, “for the development of a method for genome editing”, more commonly known as the 'gene scissors' CRISPR/Cas9.

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DNA analysis platform

Performing whole genome data analysis in just a few hours

Research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, imec, announced elPrep5, the newest version of its software platform for DNA analysis. Obtaining identical results, elPrep5 is eight to 16 times faster than the genome analysis toolkit (GATK) — the widely-accepted standard reference. The imec platform encompasses the full analysis pipeline from data preparation to variant…

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G-quadruplexes

Quadruple DNA structures in breast cancer found

Four stranded DNA structures – known as G-quadruplexes – have been shown to play a role in certain types of breast cancer for the first time, providing a potential new target for personalised medicine, say scientists at the University of Cambridge. In 1953, Cambridge researchers Francis Crick and James Watson co-authored a study published in the journal Nature which showed that DNA in our…

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Lesion segregation

Explaining the extreme complexity of mutations in tumor genomes

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have been studying the evolution of tumors following chemical damage. They discovered that the DNA lesions caused by the chemical are not eliminated immediately, but are passed on unrepaired over several rounds of cell division. This "lesion segregation" can drive unexpectedly…

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Molecular electronics

Biosensor chips for infection surveillance and more

Roswell Biotechnologies, Inc., a manufacturer of molecular electronics sensor chips, and imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, announced a partnership to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips are the brains behind Roswell Technologies' new platform for DNA sequencing, to support precision medicine,…

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Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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Study offers new insights

Sepsis treatment: Destroying DNA to save the genome

Sepsis—the body's own immune response gone against it—is a major health problem worldwide. It is basically a "hyper" immune response by the body to infection or injury, and is characterized by hyperinflammation, immune system paralysis, cell death, liver and kidney failure, blood clots, and even hemorrhage. An estimated 30 million people suffer from sepsis every year, of which 20%…

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COVID-19 status

Whole genome sequencing to map coronavirus spread

The Government and the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser have backed the UK’s leading clinicians and scientists to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome sequencing. Through a £20 million investment, the consortium will look for breakthroughs that help the UK respond to this and future pandemics, and save lives. COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium - comprised of the NHS, Public…

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Evonetix and imec team-up

Collaboration for next generation DNA synthesis platform

Evonetix, a synthetic biology company developing a desktop platform for scalable, high-fidelity and rapid gene synthesis, announced it has partnered with imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub active in the fields of nanoelectronics and digital technologies, to increase production of Evonetix’s proprietary microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based silicon chips, enabling the…

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Biological aging

Wearables link insufficient sleep to cardiovascular disease risk

Getting a good night’s sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies. Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease…

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Transporting DNA

An easier way of sneaking antibodies into cells

For almost any conceivable protein, corresponding antibodies can be developed to block it from binding or changing shape, which ultimately prevents it from carrying out its normal function. As such, scientists have looked to antibodies as a way of shutting down proteins inside cells for decades, but there is still no consistent way to get them past the cell membrane in meaningful numbers. Now,…

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CRISPR 2.0

Is 'prime editing' the next step in gene editing?

A team from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has developed a new CRISPR genome-editing approach by combining two of the most important proteins in molecular biology – CRISPR-Cas9 and a reverse transcriptase – into a single machine. The system, called “prime editing,” is capable of directly editing human cells in a precise, efficient, and highly versatile fashion. The approach…

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Inherited neuromuscular disease HSP

Genetic cause for hereditary spastic paraplegia identified

Scientists at St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the USA, Tunisia and Iran have identified a new gene associated with the neuromuscular disorder, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). The study, published in Nature Communications, also highlights a potential mechanism for the disease, which is already being targeted in drug trials for Alzheimer’s…

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The Estonian Genome Project

Everyone’s DNA recorded for disease risks

When it comes to genetics, Estonia is considered a trailblazer, as the ambitious Estonian Genome Project (Eesti Geenivaramu) shows. Its objective is to test the genome of every citizen for the risk of diseases. Dr Jaanus Pikani talks about the initial difficulties which the genome project encountered and about its potential for Estonian – and possibly worldwide – healthcare.

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Sexual orientation & DNA

A single 'gay gene'? Doesn't exist, says science

Genes alone cannot be used to determine an individual’s sexual orientation. A study published in the journal Science found only five out of hundreds of thousands genetic variants occurred somewhat more often in people who had had same-sex partners. This suggests human sexuality is influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, according to the researchers. The study is based…

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