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Genomics at your fingertips: DNA Sequencing in the Primary Care Office - The Doctor Weighs In

Genomics at your fingertips: DNA Sequencing in the Primary Care Office - The Doctor Weighs In | Longevity science | Scoop.it
RT @EricTopol: Genomics at Your Fingertips http://t.co/iehVcVfP by @drkevincampbell HT @cyphergenomics #CDoM

Via Brian Shields
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Brian Shields's curator insight, February 9, 2013 2:17 AM

Interesting article on the possible future development of sequencing in the primary care office.  The article builds off a new technology reported by Anne Eisenberg in a recent NY Times article. This technology from a company called Knome, allows a single Lab or office to sequence a person's genome.  The technology costs about $125,000.

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Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain

Wellness Resources - Mind Blog: The Keys to a Better Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Growing older is not the same as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration.

But we can actually grow new brain connections and even create new neurons from stem cells as a result of our thoughts. If you want to keep your brain and body healthy, you can start by adapting our suggestions into your personal plan.

The Summer 2017 issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine features Ray & Terry’s recommendations for building a better brain. As a Ray & Terry’s subscriber, we are happy to share the full article with you (pdf).

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine offers powerful, practical tools, techniques, wisdom and inspiration for creating radiant happiness, health and healing.

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Massive RNAi Screens Probe for Genes Important to Cancer

Massive RNAi Screens Probe for Genes Important to Cancer | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In what appear to be the largest RNAi screening efforts in cancer to date, two groups of scientists have tamped down the expression of thousands of genes in hundreds of human cancer cell lines. Their results, published today (July 27) in two Cell papers and made freely available to researchers, confirm the roles of the usual genetic suspects in cancer and identify new potential therapeutic targets.

The Scientist spoke with the lead author of one of the studies, Rob McDonald, a senior investigator at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, about his team’s Project DRIVE endeavor. The study systematically knocked down more than 7,800 genes in nearly 400 cell lines. The other project, by researchers from the Broad Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, looked for genetic dependences for cancer growth or survival among 501 cell lines.
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DNA-based sunscreen gets more effective with more use

DNA-based sunscreen gets more effective with more use | Longevity science | Scoop.it
One of the hassles involved with using sunscreen is the fact that you shouldn't just apply it once – depending on who you ask, it should be reapplied at least once every few hours. That isn't the case, however, with an experimental new coating made from DNA. It actually gets more effective the longer it's left on the skin.
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Led by assistant professor of biomedical engineering Guy German, a team at New York's Binghamton University developed thin and optically transparent crystalline DNA films, then irradiated them with ultraviolet light. It was found that the more UV exposure the films received, the more their optical density increased, and the better they got at absorbing the rays.
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UMMC Implants the Worlds Smallest Pacemaker

UMMC Implants the Worlds Smallest Pacemaker | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The University of Maryland Medical Center’s Stephen Shorofsky, MD, PhD, was one of the first doctors in Maryland to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia.

 

Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

 

Micra is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S. Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm. As a result, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

 

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, physicians at UMMC have elected to use the Medtronic Micra TPS because unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Engineered Human Liver Tissue Grows in Mice

Engineered Human Liver Tissue Grows in Mice | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Engineering human livers is a lofty goal. Human liver cells, hepatocytes, are particularly difficult to grow in the laboratory as they lose liver functions quickly in a dish. Now, in a study published today (July 19) in Science Translational Medicine, researchers show that a “seed” of human hepatocytes and supporting cells assembled and patterned within a scaffold can grow out to 50 times its original size when implanted into mice.

These engineered livers, which begin to resemble the natural structure of the organ, offer an approach to study organ development and as a potential strategy for organ engineering.
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Oxygen therapy reverses brain damage in toddler saved from drowning

If medical professionals can intervene quickly enough, the heart can be restarted after a person has officially died, but the resulting brain damage often means they struggle to return to their former motor function and neurological capacity. Now, doctors at LSU Health New Orleans and the University of North Dakota have successfully reversed the brain damage of a two-year-old drowning victim using oxygen therapy techniques.

The doctors explain that the girl's heart stopped after she drowned in a swimming pool, but she was later resuscitated at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. When MRI scans were performed, they revealed deep gray matter injury, and the loss of both gray and white matter. She could no longer speak, walk or respond to voices, and she couldn't stop squirming and shaking her head.
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Anti-CRISPR Protein Reduces Off-Target Effects

Anti-CRISPR Protein Reduces Off-Target Effects | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Last December, two groups of scientists published their discoveries of several proteins that could block CRISPR-Cas9 activity. In a study published today (July 12) in Science Advances, researchers have now used one of those anti-CRISPR agents to reduce off-target effects in Cas9-mediated genome editing in human cells.

“CRISPRs have been recognized as bacterial immune systems for some time, and of course, one of the pretty common themes in biology is that if something develops a weapon, the target is going to develop a defense,” says study coauthor Jacob Corn, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley. “It turns out that . . . the phages have evolved ways to fight off the CRISPR systems, and that’s these anti-CRISPR proteins.”
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Study: Upping coffee consumption could help you live longer

As one of the world's most popular beverages, it is clear that us humans do love a good cup of coffee. And a new study drawing on data from over half a million Europeans suggests that this penchant for a little pick-me-up could have a range of health benefits, by revealing an association between higher coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death from all causes.
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Three thumbs up to this 3D-printed prosthetic thumb

We've all had a moment where an extra pair of hands would have been incredibly useful, but who has ever wondered what they could do with just an extra thumb? London-based designer Danielle Clode not only wondered, but went on to build one. Her 3D-printed, foot-controlled, Third Thumb offers an insight into how prosthetics can do more than just replace disabled limbs, but actually extend our natural abilities.
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3D-printed plastic bot can take biopsies inside an MRI scanner

Engineers at the University of Twente have developed a new biopsy robot made from 3D-printed plastic. This allows it to operate inside a MRI scanner so accurate biopsies can be taken with real-time visualization of the abnormal tissue. It's hoped the device will offer doctors a new way to accurately biopsy and diagnose breast cancer in its early stages.

The Stormram 4 has been designed to be free of all the conductive metals that robots usually consist of, making it functional under the strong magnetic field within an MRI scanner. The device is small, 3D printed from plastic, and is driven by air-pressure instead of electricity.
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The Future of Radiology and Artificial Intelligence - The Medical Futurist

The Future of Radiology and Artificial Intelligence - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it
What if an algorithm could tell you whether you have cancer based on your CT scan or mammography exam? While I am certain that radiologists’ creative work will be necessary in the future to solve complex issues and supervising diagnostic processes; AI will definitely become part of their daily routine in diagnosing simpler cases and taking over repetitive tasks. So rather than getting threatened by it, we should familiarize with how it could help change the course of radiology for the better.
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Synthetic Stem Cells Regenerate Heart Tissue in Mice | The Scientist Magazine®

Synthetic Stem Cells Regenerate Heart Tissue in Mice | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are typically derived from adult bone marrow and fat tissue and are currently being tested in hundreds of clinical trials. They secrete proteins and other molecules that, when released to tissues, can promote regeneration, acting “like a pharmacy that provides drugs for tissues to heal,” says Ke Cheng, a biomedical engineer at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

One limitation is that these cells need to be carefully frozen to keep them alive in storage, then defrosted, expanded, and gently maintained until used. “This process is tedious and sometimes can affect the potency of the cell,” Cheng says. He also points out that some cells will inevitably die during handling, and injecting dying or dead cells into a patient can activate an inflammatory response.
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Evidence for Human Lifespan Limit Contested | The Scientist Magazine®

Evidence for Human Lifespan Limit Contested | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In the 2016 study, Jan Vijg, a molecular geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed global demographic data over the last century and demonstrated that since the mid-1990s, peak age plateaued at around 115 years. Based on these results, the authors concluded that humans had natural age limit at 115, and that the probability of surviving to over the age of 125 was less than 1 in 10,000.

“It’s an extreme claim that they make that there is a limit to human lifespan, and I think an extreme claim deserves extreme scrutiny,” says Maarten Pieter Rozing, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Healthy Aging, who co-authored a rebuttal. “There is an alternative explanation, which is that [maximum age] is simply increasing over time, and what we see as a decline [in the extension of lifespan] is actually a spurious finding based on visual inspection and statistics that should not have been used in that way.”
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The Keys to Brain Health: 10 Supplements and Habits That Supercharge Your Brain

The Keys to Brain Health: 10 Supplements and Habits That Supercharge Your Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it
It is important to realize that growing older (and wiser!) is not the same thing as aging. Everyone grows older all the time, but we aren’t necessarily aging as we do so since, by definition, the aging process is one of deterioration in both physical health and brain health.


The Art of Staying Young: Are You Aging or Youthening?

You grew older today, but did you age as well? If you drank a few cups of green tea, had five servings of fruits and vegetables, exercised for at least 30 minutes at your target heart rate, took nutritional supplements optimized for your age and health situation, spent quality time with close friends and loved ones, consumed a glass of red wine, had a romantic (and sensual!) time with your spouse or significant other, and got eight hours of quality sleep, then you probably aged very little if at all.

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Genomic Analysis Leaves Tardigrade Phylogeny Unclear

Genomic Analysis Leaves Tardigrade Phylogeny Unclear | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Where tardigrades belong in the tree of life is a difficult question. Some previous work suggests that these tiny animals that can survive intense environmental challenges are most closely related to nematodes, while other studies and the animals’ morphology point to arthropods as water bears’ nearest relatives.

Now, an international team of scientists has compared detailed genome assemblies of two tardigrade species. While their analysis, published today (July 27) in PLOS Biology, sheds light on water bears’ ability to endure punishing circumstances, it does not resolve their evolutionary history.

“Even the full genomes of two tardigrades, which the authors report here, were not sufficient to decide whether tardigrades were closer to the arthropods or the nematodes,” Thorsten Burmester, a biologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany who did not participate in the study, writes in an email to The Scientist. “Genome sequences from related phyla, which are not yet available, may help in the future.”
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The fountain of youth might reside deep in our brains

According to some new research, the key to living longer may reside deep in our brains. In a major breakthrough for our understanding of how the brain controls aging, scientists managed to both speed up and slow down the aging process in mice by disrupting the volume of neural stem cells found in the hypothalamus.
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Back in 2013, a team from New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that a region of the brain called the hypothalamus seemed to play a key role in the way the body regulated its aging processes.
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Fighting Alzheimer's: It's all in how you slice it

Building on research that identified a rare genetic mutation in Italian people that leads to the early onset of Alzheimer's and one in Icelandic people that delays the onset of the condition, a researcher at the University of British Columbia has discovered that using an enzymatic scissor the right way could stave off the cognitive decline associated with the disease.
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Type 1 diabetes vaccine moving to human trials in Finland

It has long been hypothesized that viral infections play a significant role in the development of type 1 diabetes. Researchers in Finland have been investigating this connection for over 25 years and now believe they have targeted the particular virus group that can trigger the disease. After developing a prototype vaccine the team is now moving to human clinical trials in 2018.
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3D-printed artificial heart beats just like the real thing

The devices currently used to pump blood around the body in lieu of a healthy heart have their drawbacks. Whether huge washing machine-sized devices that keep patients anchored to a hospital bed or mechanical implants that cause other complications, there is plenty of room for improvement. With this in mind, scientists have now developed a soft silicone heart that beats much like the real thing, and could provide a safer and more comfortable way to keep the blood pumping.
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FDA panel backs Novartis' pioneering new cancer gene therapy

FDA panel backs Novartis' pioneering new cancer gene therapy | Longevity science | Scoop.it
(Reuters) - Novartis AG's (NOVN.S) pioneering new cancer drug won enthusiastic support from a federal advisory panel on Wednesday, paving the way for approval of the first U.S. gene therapy.

The panel unanimously recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve the drug, tisagenlecleucel, for patients ages 3 to 25 with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of U.S childhood cancer.

The drug uses a new technology known as CAR-T, or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, which harnesses the body's own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.
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Personalized Cancer Vaccines Show Promise for Melanoma

Personalized Cancer Vaccines Show Promise for Melanoma | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In combination with existing treatments, personalized vaccines may protect cancer patients against relapse, according to two studies published in Nature this week (July 5).

 

In two Phase 1 trials, 12 of 19 melanoma patients remained cancer free for up to two years after receiving vaccines that contained mutated proteins, or neoantigens, that were specific to their tumors.

 

“It’s potentially a game changer,” Cornelis Melief, a cancer immunologist at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands who wrote an accompanying commentary, tells Nature. “The two papers really strongly indicate that the patients experienced clinical benefit.”

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Carbon nanotubes found safe for reconnecting damaged neurons | KurzweilAI

Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) could safely help repair damaged connections between neurons by serving as supporting scaffolds for growth or as connections between neurons.

That’s the conclusion of an in-vitro (lab) open-access study with cultured neurons (taken from the hippcampus of neonatal rats) by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists in Italy and Spain, published in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine.
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Electrical Stimulation Steers Neural Stem Cells | The Scientist Magazine®

Electrical Stimulation Steers Neural Stem Cells | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Neural stem cells normally go with the flow of chemical guides. But with a little electrical stimulation they can be coaxed to go the other way, a new study shows.

When scientists applied electric current to human neural stem cells injected into rats’ brains, the cells moved toward the animals’ subventricular zone and lateral ventricle, instead of toward their olfactory bulb, the default destination. The result, published June 29 in Stem Cell Reports, suggests that electrical stimulation could one day be used to guide neural stem cells to damaged sites in the brain.

“This is the first study I’ve seen where stimulation is done with electrodes in the brain and has been convincing about changing the natural flow of cells so they move in the opposite direction,” stem cell expert Alan Trounson of the Hudson Institute in Australia tells The Scientist. “The technique has strong possibilities for applications because the team has shown you can move cells, and you could potentially move them into seriously affected brain areas.”
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RNA Protects

RNA Protects | Longevity science | Scoop.it
To protect their genes from being wrecked by retrotransposons, or jumping genes, mouse cells usually employ histone methylation to stop these rogue genetic elements from being transcribed. But how does the genome stay protected in the pre-implantation embryo, when methyl groups are temporarily stripped from cells’ DNA. A new study, published yesterday (June 29) in Cell, finds tRNA fragments are key.

Based on previous studies in fruit flies, Andrea Schorn and Rob Martienssen of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory thought the answer to what protects vulnerable mouse embryo genomes might lie in small RNAs. To find them, they made some tweaks to the usual techniques. As they explain in their paper, “many small RNA sequencing studies omit RNA fragments shorter than 19 [nucleotides] or discard sequencing reads that map to multiple loci in the genome, thus often discarding reads matching young, potentially active transposons…”
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Chinese scientists genetically engineer purple rice rich in antioxidants

Plain white rice is pretty nutritionally empty, so if you want something a little healthier, it's probably worth sticking to other varieties like black or red rice. But there may soon be another option after Chinese scientists genetically engineered purple rice that is rich in antioxidants and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
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Transgenic Mouse Illuminates Melanoma Metastasis | The Scientist Magazine®

Transgenic Mouse Illuminates Melanoma Metastasis | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Metastasizing cancer cells travel through the lymphatic vasculature, but it’s not clear what role the formation of lymph vessels, called lymphangiogenesis, plays in cancer progression. Now, an international team of researchers has used a new mouse model to link lymphangiogenesis to melanoma metastasis. Bioluminescent cells in the animals not only showed where tumors were spreading, but after tumor removal could indicate that cancer recurrence was imminent. Their findings were published today (June 28) in Nature.
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