DNA

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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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Intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity

The uncanny influence of our gut flora

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem demonstrated in mice that intestinal bacteria reprogram DNA activity in cells of the gut mucosa and thus have a considerable impact on the development of the healthy gut. Acute intestinal inflammation induced under experimental conditions led to a huge increase in the activity of inflammation-related…

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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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Gene editing

Taking CRISPR one step further

Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously. The biotechnological method CRISPR-Cas offers a relatively quick and easy way to manipulate single genes in cells, meaning they can be precisely deleted, replaced or modified. Furthermore, in recent years,…

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Fixed DNA Molecule Array

World’s fastest DNA testing method created

A group of scientists from Vilnius University have developed the world’s fastest DNA testing method, reducing DNA testing costs by 90%. It identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins to determine a genetic condition or eliminate the chance of the formation or passing on of a gene-based disorder amongst humans and animals. At present, the sole method of genetic testing is the DNA…

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Pathogenic microbes

Cigarette smoke makes MRSA superbug bacterium more drug-resistant

Cigarette smoke can make MRSA bacterial strains more resistant to antibiotics, new research from the University of Bath has shown. In addition cigarette smoke exposure can make some strains of Staphylococcus aureus – a microbe present in 30-60% of the global population and responsible for many diseases, some fatal – more invasive and persistent, although the effect is not universal across all…

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Collaboration

Partnership to enhance pharma drug development and single cell research

Olympus and Cytosurge AG, developer of the disruptive and patented FluidFM technology, announced their collaboration to significantly expand the awareness and availability of the FluidFM BOT* – a cutting-edge system for single cell manipulation and live cell imaging – in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). By pooling together each other’s world-class competences and by listening to…

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In future pregnancies

Identifying the risk of recurrence of developmental disorder

Having a child with a developmental disorder can cause parents to worry about the outcome of further pregnancies. In cases where the genetic mutation causing the disorder is not present in either parent it is assumed to be a one-off event with a very small chance of recurrence. But in some families, the risk of having another affected child is as high as 50%. Identifying such high-risk families…

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Common DNA structure

Nano-signature discovery could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

A quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis. The test has been developed by University of Queensland researchers Dr Abu Sina, Dr Laura Carrascosa and Professor Matt Trau, who have discovered a unique DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all cancers. Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable…

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Spectrophotometry

1 measurement, 1000 different results

Of course every lab needs a spectrophotometer to measure its DNA, RNA or protein concentrations. In most cases, this is a small and easy-to-use instrument. Normally you pipette approximately 1 µl of your liquid onto a pedestal, close the lid to cover your drop of liquid and, after pressing the measuring button, you will know the concentration of your sample. Since the procedure is so simple and…

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Survival of the fittest

How bacteria can adapt to resist antibiotic treatment

In a joint collaboration, researchers from Denmark and Switzerland have shown that bacteria produce a specific stress molecule, divide more slowly, and thus save energy when they are exposed to antibiotics. The new knowledge is expected to form the basis for development of a new type of antibiotics. All free-living organisms are under constant pressure to survive. Darwin dubbed this…

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Personalized treatment

Genome analytics become affordable for daily hospital use

Today, on the occasion of the international DNA day, imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and its partners revealed their Genome Analytics Platform (GAP) platform, a unique platform that can perform a full genome analysis of 48 samples in only 48 hours and at an acceptable cost. The platform paves the way to genome sequencing as a daily…

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Encyclopaedia

'Fingerprint database' helps to identify new cancer culprits

Scientists from King's and Cambridge have developed a catalogue of DNA mutation ‘fingerprints’ that could help doctors pinpoint the environmental culprit responsible for a patient’s tumour – including showing some of the fingerprints left in lung tumours by specific chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Our DNA, the human genome, comprises of a string of molecules known as nucleotides. These…

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Genetics

Sequencing methods – unfold the full potential for hospitals

Gene sequencing has been progressing in leaps and bounds over the past few years. The process of determining the order of nucleotides in DNA has become faster and more precise. Moreover, today both microbial DNA and host DNA can be identified in the blood sample of an infected patient, isolated and sequenced. “We are facing a technological revolution, but we still struggle with actually…

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