Around mile 10 of a recent half marathon, my quadriceps started to tighten and my feet increasingly felt like lead. Along with improving my training, perhaps in the future I will use zinc-finger nuclease scissors to snip out a gene called IL-15Rα, so I can run long distances with ease.
Mice that lack this gene, which is related to muscle contraction, can run much farther than their counterparts, a new study says — suggesting a genetic predisposition to endurance in some athletes.
A new “find-and-replace” genome editing method enables scientists to make large-scale changes to the genetic code of a living cell, faster than previous editing technology by a factor of two. The new method could be used to engineer cells that produce new proteins, or to design genetic “firewalls” that would prevent engineered cells from spreading their DNA.
A targeted snip through DNA’s double helix can take out a mutated gene that causes hemophilia, curing mice of the disease, a new study found. It’s the first study to use this form of genome editing in a living animal, and it could have implications for genetic treatment of other diseases, notably AIDS.
Scientists say the research is a major step forward for gene therapy, which has long promised to cure disease by editing genetic sequences.
The sex habits of mice have long been an intriguing subject for scientists. Now, mouse sex just got a lot more interesting for the rest of us.
A group of Korean geneticists has altered the sexual preferences of female mice by removing a single gene linked to reproductive behavior. Without the gene, the mice gravitated toward mice of the same sex.
In 1997, Jeanne Louise Calment of France died at the age of 122, making her the oldest documented human to have ever lived. People who live to be 100 years or older are rare, and only about 1 in 600,000 people in industrialized nations live that long. But is there something genetically unique about centenarians that enables them to age gracefully and relatively disease-free? According to the results of a long-term study at Boston University School of Medicine, the answer is yes.
Researchers have found a novel method for stopping the spread of influenza viruses, a finding that could lead to a universal treatment for flu. The method involves stopping the genetic process by which the virus replicates itself. Researchers can essentially flip a switch that stops RNA in its tracks.
Think all of your genetic material came straight down to you from further up your family tree? A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington doesn't think so. In a finding that shakes up the prevailing theory that mammals pass on genetic material vertically from parent to progeny, researchers have found hard evidence of horizontal DNA transfer -- swapping genetic material between non-mating species -- between some parasites and their vertebrate hosts.
RNA interference (RNAi) has steadily advanced the promise of using gene silencing to block the spread of viruses or even cancer. Now the technique has proven effective in humans for the first time as a nasal spray which shuts down a common respiratory virus, New Scientist reports.
By Mike RosenwaldPosted 04.20.2010 at 10:27 am 5 Comments
Every day for the past three years, 600 or so additional British citizens file into medical offices around the country. They are responding to a letter, stamped “BioBank” in blue letters, that begins: “We are writing to ask for your help in studying the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, dementia, and many other serious diseases.” The British government wants to collect peoples’ blood, urine and saliva; measure their waistlines and heart rates; sequence their DNA; and ask them questions like “How hot do you drink your tea?”
In a move that could significantly alter the future of genetic medicine and the industry around it, a US District Court judge invalidated seven patents for human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, on the grounds that genes are discovered, not created. The ruling opens up challenges against the patents held by numerous companies on thousands of human genes, and jeopardizes an industry business model based on exclusive rights to gene treatment.