New computational tool improves gene identification

Like finding a needle in a haystack, identifying genes that are involved in particular diseases can be an arduous and time consuming process. Looking to improve this process, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has developed a new bioinformatics tool that analyzes CRISPR pooled screen data and identifies candidates for potentially relevant genes with greater sensitivity […]

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Chemical modifiers tag-team to regulate essential mechanism of life: Basic science discovery explains a fundamental way human cells differ from yeast cells

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have made a key observation about one of the most fundamental biological processes: gene transcription. A gene’s job is to provide a cell with the instructions to create a specific protein. The first step of this process is called transcription, during which the DNA is copied into RNA. The scribe is an enzyme called RNA […]

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Low-dose radiation therapy improves delivery of therapeutic nanoparticles to brain tumors

A new study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds that radiation therapy may increase the uptake of therapeutic nanoparticles by glioblastomas, raising the possibility of using both growth-factor-targeted and immune-system-based therapies against the deadly brain tumor. The team describes how pretreatment with low-dose radiation increased delivery to tumors of nanoparticles carrying small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules and significantly […]

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Research implicates causative genes in osteoporosis, suggesting new targets for future therapy: Innovative functional genomics tools likely to aid discovery in other genetic diseases

Scientists have harnessed powerful data analysis tools and three-dimensional studies of genomic geography to implicate new risk genes for osteoporosis, the chronic bone-weakening condition that affects millions of people. Knowing the causative genes may later open the door to more effective treatments. “Identifying a disease’s actual underlying cause often helps to steer us toward correct, targeted treatments,” said study leader […]

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Therapy could improve and prolong sight in those suffering vision loss: Damping noise in hyperactive eye cells allows details to emerge

Millions of Americans are progressively losing their sight as cells in their eyes deteriorate, but a new therapy developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, could help prolong useful vision and delay total blindness. The treatment — involving either a drug or gene therapy — works by reducing the noise generated by nerve cells in the eye, which […]

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Imaging technique finds differences between radiation-sensitive and resistant tumors: Pilot clinical trials begun

Researchers have started pilot clinical studies in head and neck cancer patients to determine if Raman spectroscopy, a noninvasive imaging technique, can effectively spare some patients of the toxic side effects of ineffective radiation therapy. Researchers at the University of Arkansas, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) used the imaging technique and discovered differences […]

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Study reveals that night and weekend births have substantially higher risk of delivery complications

As if expecting mothers didn’t have enough to worry about, a new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal found that the quantity of delivery complications in hospitals are substantially higher during nights, weekends and holidays, and in teaching hospitals. Each year, nearly four million women give birth in U.S. hospitals, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization […]

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Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Dr. Abraham Palmer and colleagues compared genetic data with self-reported impulsive personality traits and history of drug experimentation from a large […]

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Method to ‘turn off’ mutated melanoma: New study provides novel insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of NRAS mutant melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and notorious for its resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Approximately 25 percent of melanoma is driven by oncogenic mutations in the NRAS gene, making it a very attractive therapeutic target. However, despite decades of research, no effective therapies targeting NRAS have been forthcoming. For the first time, an international group of researchers has […]

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Bioethicists call for more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing

University of Otago bioethicists are calling for a more robust system of ethical governance in human gene-editing in the wake of the Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children. In an opinion article in the latest issue of the Journal of Zhejian University-SCIENCE B, a major international journal based in China, Professor Jing-Bao Nie, Dr Simon Walker and Jing-ru […]

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