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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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AI to help identify breast cancer risk and reduce unnecessary surgeries

Every year thousands of woman undergo painful and invasive surgeries to remove breast lesions that current diagnostic tools identify as of a high risk for cancer. The vast majority of these procedures reveal the lesions to be benign, so improving current detection and diagnosis tools is a major priority for many researchers. Now an AI system that uses machine learning has been developed to predict which high-risk lesions are most likely to become cancerous.

 

Mammograms are still the most important diagnostic tool for uncovering breast cancer. Suspicions lesions that are discovered through a mammogram will subsequently be tested with a needle biopsy. Generally if that biopsy is found to be abnormal a patient will undergo surgery to remove the lesion, but 90 percent of the time these lesions are found to be benign rendering the surgical procedure unnecessary.

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Macrophages Are the Ultimate Multitaskers

Macrophages Are the Ultimate Multitaskers | Longevity science | Scoop.it
For more than a century, macrophages—which means “big eaters” in Greek—were considered relatively simple cells whose sole job was to engulf bacteria, other microbes, and cellular debris. Averaging around 20 μm across in humans, they are among the largest cells in the body, which helps them to physically surround and digest their microscopic meals. “You can think of them as the vacuum cleaners of the body,” Babak Razani, a physician and researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, writes in an email.

But over the last 10 years, research has demonstrated that this is only part of the picture. In terms of immune defense, investigators now understand that macrophages mount a three-stage response to infection.
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Need another reason to eat your broccoli? Science just found one

It's no secret that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts are good for your health. Broccoli, for instance, has been shown to have cancer-fighting powers as well as the potential to slash blood glucose levels to help diabetics. (And brussels sprouts have been used to power up a Christmas tree, but we digress.)

But if you find it hard to get down these nutrient powerhouses, you might want to pay attention to a new study from Pennsylvania State University – especially if you suffer from digestive issues.

By working with mice, researchers there have figured out that when the rodents ate broccoli, they could better tolerate digestive issues that presented like leaky gut and colitis than mice who weren't fed the veg.
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Controlled by a synthetic gene circuit, self-assembling bacteria build working electronic sensors | KurzweilAI

Bacteria create a functioning 3D pressure-sensor device. A gene circuit (left) triggers the production of an engineered protein that enables pattern-forming
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Microglia Turnover in the Human Brain

Microglia Turnover in the Human Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A RENEWABLE RESOURCE?
Evidence has emerged that some of the brain’s cells can be renewed in adulthood, but it is difficult to study the turnover of cells in the human brain. When it comes to microglia, immune cells that ward off infection in the central nervous system, it’s been unclear how “the maintenance of their numbers is controlled and to what extent they are exchanged,” says stem cell researcher Jonas Frisén of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
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Effects of Neanderthal DNA on Modern Humans

Effects of Neanderthal DNA on Modern Humans | Longevity science | Scoop.it
People of Caucasian descent have, within their genomes, small amounts of Neanderthal DNA. Previous studies have shown this ancient DNA may influence a person’s health, but a new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics today (October 5) reveals that the effects of one’s inner Neanderthal are even more wide-reaching.

“[This study] is looking at a huge cohort and at a different set of traits than have been directly analyzed before, many of which are nonmedical,” says evolutionary and computational geneticist Tony Capra of Vanderbilt University
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X-ray shield lets researchers look in worms for cancer clues

Every day, millions of stem cells zip around our bodies, creating new tissue and helping our organs function correctly. But when one of these cells travels somewhere it's not supposed to go, the result can lead to a tumor. So studying just how these vital cells move is a critical step to understanding cancer. Researchers at the University of Oxford have just provided a window into this process by building a machine that beams flatworms with x-rays that kill just enough stem cells to allow the others to move freely around while being tracked.
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Color-changing tattoos monitor blood glucose at a glance

Tattoos are fast becoming more than just a means of self-expression: soon they could be used for more practical applications, like tracking blood alcohol levels or turning the skin into a touchscreen. Now, a team from Harvard and MIT has developed a smart ink that could make for tattoos that monitor biometrics like glucose levels, and change color as a result.

Currently, bodily biomarkers can be monitored through a wardrobe-load of wearables, but they usually need batteries for power and wireless communication systems to transmit data. Using biosensitive inks (bio-inks), the Harvard and MIT design is self-contained, and since it works on simple chemical reactions it doesn't require power for any data processing or transmission.
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Neuroscientists restore vegetative-state patient’s consciousness with vagus nerve stimulation | KurzweilAI

Neuroscientists restore vegetative-state patient’s consciousness with vagus nerve stimulation | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A 35-year-old man who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years after a car accident has shown signs of consciousness after neurosurgeons in France implanted a vagus nerve stimulator into his chest — challenging the general belief that disorders of consciousness that persist for longer than 12 months are irreversible.

In a 2007 Weill Cornell Medical College study reported in Nature, neurologists found temporary improvements in patients in a state of minimal consciousness while being treated with bilateral deep brain electrical stimulation (DBS) of the central thalamus. Aiming instead to achieve permanent results, the French researchers proposed use of vagus nerve stimulation* (VNS) to activate the thalamo-cortical network, based on the “hypothesis that vagus nerve stimulation functionally reorganizes the thalamo-cortical network.”
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3D-printable synthetic muscle is three times stronger than you

The classic image of a robot is one clad in a rigid metal shell, but that might not be practical in situations where man and machine will need to work together. The emerging field of soft robotics is helping to make that collaboration safer, but recreating muscle is no easy task. Now, mechanical engineers from Columbia University have developed a synthetic soft muscle that's said to be much more simple to make and run than others, and is three times stronger than the real thing.
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The Role of DNA Base Modifications

The Role of DNA Base Modifications | Longevity science | Scoop.it
One day in 2006, while a postdoc in the Rockefeller University laboratory of Nathaniel Heintz, I had an unexpected eye-opener. Heintz showed me some electron microscopy images of Purkinje neuron nuclei in the murine cerebellum. They stunned me—the heterochromatin localization in the nucleus was different from anything I’d ever seen before. Rather than the dispersed, irregular patches with enrichment near the nuclear membrane typical of many cells, nearly all the heterochromatin was in the center of the nucleus, adhered to the single large nucleolus. Not only did heterochromatin organization look different, the volume of it in Purkinje neurons seemed much lower, too. Because links between DNA methylation and heterochromatin proteins were suggested in the literature, we thought that DNA methylation might be depleted in Purkinje neurons.
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Accidental discovery reveals bacteria reduces the effectiveness of chemotherapy drug

Many great scientific discoveries have arisen out of laboratory accidents, from the mistake that led to penicillin, to revelations of LSD's psychedelic properties after Albert Hoffman unexpectedly absorbed a dose through his fingertips in 1943. The latest serendipitous discovery comes from a cross-contamination accident that has revealed how a certain bacteria can stifle the efficacy of cancer drugs.
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Study suggests dangers in blood transfusions between men and women

Traditionally the sex of a blood donor has been considered irrelevant when giving a blood transfusion, but a compelling study is raising new concerns suggesting blood transfusions delivered to men using blood from previously pregnant women could increase their risk of dying in the years following the transfusion.

The study from a group of Dutch researchers looked at 31,118 patients who received blood transfusions and not only broke the data down by sex, but also by whether the female blood donors had ever been pregnant. Mortality rates over a three-year follow up period were consistent across all datasets except one.
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Artificial pancreas learns your behavior and regulates insulin through a smartphone

Last year the FDA approved the first artificial pancreas for general use. The technology is designed to automatically monitor and inject insulin as needed, in patients with type 1 diabetes. Now a team at Harvard has developed an even more sophisticated system that connects to a patient's smartphone and learns their habits, enabling glucose levels to be kept within a certain healthy range.
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Cancers Relapse by Feeding Off Immune Signals

After a seemingly successful cancer treatment, a few hearty cancer cells can remain in patients’ bodies, a dangerous persistence known as minimal residual disease (MRD). A new study, published today (October 16) in Cancer Immunology Research, finds that these cells can later respond to signals from the body’s immune system and form new tumors—and that during this recurrence, they use signals of their own to blind immune cells to their presence.

The researchers find that treating mice with immunotherapies takes the blindfolds off the immune system and enables it to fend off the tumors.
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Advisors to FDA Recommend Approval of Gene Therapy for Blindness

Advisors to FDA Recommend Approval of Gene Therapy for Blindness | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A panel of 16 independent advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously today (October 12) to recommend the approval of Luxturna, a gene therapy meant to treat Leber congenital amaurosis—a rare, inherited form of childhood blindness—and other retinal disorders, STAT News reports. If the agency agrees with the panel’s recommendation, Luxturna would be the first gene therapy aimed at correcting a congenital defect approved in the U.S.
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"Wired" bandage delivers meds on a schedule

Imagine if a wound dressing could release fresh doses of medication over time, or even different types of medication at specific times. Well, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have developed just such a thing … and it could be controlled by a smartphone.

The bandage is made of electrically conductive fibers that are coated in a hydrogel. That gel can in turn contain medication such as antibiotics, growth factors or painkillers – this means that various medications could be present within one bandage, loaded onto different fibers.
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"Body-on-a-chip" pieced together from lab-grown micro-organs

Before new drugs can be approved for use, they have to be put through rigorous safety tests on animals and artificial models, but the results don't always carry over to the human body. Miniature organs grown in labs have been helpful test subjects in the past, but the problem is that they don't replicate how drugs affect other parts of the body. Now, researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have combined several of these organ models into one system, to create a more detailed "body-on-a-chip."

Mini brains, kidneys and hearts have all been grown in the lab, and in other cases, cells of various organs have been implanted onto chips to mimic their function. Called organs-on-chips, these systems are used to test the effectiveness and safety of drugs, as well as modeling diseases or lifestyle effects like smoking on certain cells. But testing on just one organ model at a time means the bigger picture is often missed.
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Black tea found to shrink guts by working inside them

According to the researchers, compounds in green tea called polyphenols are smaller than those found black tea, so they can be absorbed through the body's tissues and can impact energy metabolism in the liver. But black tea polyphenols are too big to pass through the small intestine into the rest of the body, so it was unclear whether or not they could have a beneficial weight-loss effect.

"It was known that green tea polyphenols are more effective and offer more health benefits than black tea polyphenols since green tea chemicals are absorbed into the blood and tissue," said Susanne Henning, the study's lead author and an adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. "Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans."
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World-first trial for universal flu vaccine | University of Oxford

World-first trial for universal flu vaccine | University of Oxford | Longevity science | Scoop.it
More than 10,000 people aged 65 and over will be asked to take part in a study supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and delivered by the University of Oxford in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The recruitment target is 500. Researchers believe the vaccine could have a major impact on the worldwide fight against the virus, which affects about a billion people worldwide a year with 250,000 to 500,000 annual deaths, mainly in the over-65 age group. Current vaccines are only effective in 30 to 40% of over 65s as the immune system weakens with age and researchers believe the new vaccine could increase this. For those who receive the jab but still get the flu, researchers believe the new vaccine could also reduce the severity and duration of the illness.
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Printable medication delivers several drugs in one dose

By adapting a technology used to build electronic components, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new way to manufacture medication. The technique could eventually allow hospitals, pharmacies and doctor's offices to print drugs on demand, mixing different medications into one easy-to-administer dose.

This latest technique was adapted from organic vapor-jet printing

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New gene therapy prevents MS and reverses paralysis in mice

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new gene therapy that shows promise in fighting multiple sclerosis (MS). Testing the technique in mice, the team found that the treatment was effective in preventing animals from developing the mouse equivalent of the disease, and almost completely reversed the symptoms in those that were already suffering from it.

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This Radical New Method Regenerates Failing Lungs With Blood Vessels Intact

This Radical New Method Regenerates Failing Lungs With Blood Vessels Intact | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Save for the occasional burning pain that accompanies a run, most people don’t pay much attention to the two-leafed organ puffing away in our chests.

But lungs are feats of engineering wonder: with over 40 types of cells embedded in a delicate but supple matrix, they continuously pump oxygen into the bloodstream over an area the size of a tennis field. Their exquisite tree-like structure optimizes gas exchange efficiency; unfortunately, it also makes engineering healthy replacement lungs a near-impossible task.

Rather than building lungs from scratch, scientists take a “replace and refresh approach”: they take a diseased lung, flush out its sickly, inflamed cells and reseed the empty matrix with healthy ones.
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Why haven't we evolved immortality? The answer is in our genes

If evolution works by selecting for the most advantageous genes, it begs the question: why haven't we evolved immortality? According to a decades-old hypothesis, certain genes that promote reproductive success also promote aging later in life, and now a study from Johannes Gutenberg University has identified some of these genes. The team also found that switching off those genes dramatically extended the lifespan of worms.

Getting old and dying is a natural part of life, but that doesn't mean we aren't interested in slowing or stopping it.
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Could a skin patch melt away unwanted fat?

omeday in the not-too-distant future, getting rid of those unwanted "love handles" may be as easy as applying skin patches to your lower abdomen. In experiments on obese mice, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina have successfully used such patches to slim the creatures down.

There are already drugs that convert energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, while also raising the body's metabolism. These have to be taken orally or via injections, however, so they affect the whole body. This causes side effects such as stomach upset, bone fractures and (ironically) weight gain.
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