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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Health Research: Changing the Color of Light ♦ Changing the Color of Light ♦ Fighting mosquito resistance to insecticides ♦ Clues to turning genes off

Changing the Color of Light Researchers have developed a method that could improve medical imaging and cancer treatments and increase the efficiency of commercial solar cells by 25 to 30 percent.
Gene-sequence swap using CRISPR to cure hemophilia For the first time, chromosomal defects responsible for hemophilia have been corrected in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases. Hemophilia A occurs in about 1 in 5,000 male births and almost half of severe cases are caused by identified "chromosomal inversions." In a chromosomal inversion, the order of the base pairs on the chromosome are reversed so the gene doesn't express properly and the sufferer lacks the blood coagulation factor VIII (F8) gene, which causes blood to clot in healthy people.
Fighting mosquito resistance to insecticides Controlling mosquitoes that carry human diseases is a global health challenge as their ability to resist insecticides now threatens efforts to prevent epidemics. Scientists have identified new genetic markers for mosquito resistance to insecticides, which could improve its detection in the field.
Simple flip of genetic switch determines aging or longevity in animals When does aging really begin? Scientists now have a molecular clue. In a study of the roundworm C. elegans, they found that adult cells abruptly begin their downhill slide when an animal reaches reproductive maturity. A genetic switch starts the aging process by turning off cell stress responses that protect the cell by keeping important proteins folded and functional. Germline stem cells throw the switch in early adulthood, after the animal starts to reproduce, ensuring its line will live on.
Clues to turning genes off Scientists have unraveled how an important plant protein, known as TOPLESS, interacts with other molecules responsible for turning genes off. The findings in plants provide a general model across species for this type of gene silencing, which is linked to several vital biological functions in humans.

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