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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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Caloric restriction increases monkey lifespan, benefits health

Caloric restriction increases monkey lifespan, benefits health | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Can the lifespan of an animal be increased by restricting their intake of calories? The question has been the subject of study for decades, primarily through two concurrent long-term experiments using rhesus monkeys. Interestingly, these two studies came to conflicting conclusions, but by comparing their results and accounting for other variables, scientists have now determined that the answer is yes – caloric restriction does help monkeys stay healthier and live longer.
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Average life expectancy on the rise – but the US lags behind

Average life expectancy on the rise – but the US lags behind | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Drawing on long-term data on mortality and longevity, researchers from the Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO) have predicted the average life expectancies for people in 35 countries born in 2030. Residents of every country in the study can expect to live longer, with South Korean women topping the list at 90 years – but it's not such great news for the US.
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An Aging-Related Effect on the Circadian Clock | The Scientist Magazine®

An Aging-Related Effect on the Circadian Clock | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Some genes controlled by the body’s circadian clock are more active in older fruit flies compared to younger ones. And oxidative stress can induce the expression of these genes in young flies, according to a study published today (February 21) in Nature Communications. Disruption of the 24-hour circadian clock has previously been shown to be deleterious, exacerbating aging-related health issues. These latest results add to a body of evidence suggesting an anti-aging role of the circadian clock.

“The finding that the circadian transcriptional program changes with age is totally novel,” Amita Sehgal, who studies sleep and circadian rhythms in fruit flies at the University of Pennsylvania but was not involved in the work, wrote in an email to The Scientist.

The study’s results “are surprising, because the conventional wisdom in the field based on studies of mammals and human subjects is that circadian rhythms weaken with aging,” Michael Nitabach
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How Silicon Valley Is Trying to Hack Its Way Into a Longer Life

How Silicon Valley Is Trying to Hack Its Way Into a Longer Life | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The titans of the tech industry are known for their confidence that they can solve any problem--even, as it turns out, the one that's defeated every other attempt so far. That's why the most far-out strategies to cheat death are being tested in America's playground for the young, deep-pocketed and brilliant: Silicon Valley.

Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, has given more than $330 million to research about aging and age-related diseases. Alphabet CEO and co-founder Larry Page launched Calico, a research company that targets ways to improve the human lifespan. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, has also invested millions in the cause, including over $7 million to the Methuselah Foundation, a nonprofit focused on life-extension therapies.

Rather than wait years for treatments to be approved by federal officials, many of them are testing ways to modify human biology that fall somewhere on the spectrum between science and entrepreneurialism. It's called biohacking, and it's one of the biggest things happening in the Bay Area.
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Our Health Data Can Save Lives, But We Have to Be Willing to Share

Our Health Data Can Save Lives, But We Have to Be Willing to Share | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Organ donation has saved countless lives, but could donating our personal data have an even more transformative impact on healthcare?

The potential impact of Big Data and machine learning on healthcare is only just beginning to become apparent. Barely a month goes by without researchers unveiling algorithms giving human doctors a run for their money at diagnostic challenges like detecting skin cancer or identifying congenital cataracts.

The approach is particularly powerful for rare diseases. Human experts are only likely to have seen a handful of cases, which makes it hard for them to notice patterns. But a machine can churn through every historical case report to pick up the subtle cues.
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Talking to a Computer May Soon Be Enough to Diagnose Illness

Talking to a Computer May Soon Be Enough to Diagnose Illness | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In recent years, technology has been producing more and more novel ways to diagnose and treat illness. Urine tests will soon be able to detect cancer. Smartphone apps can diagnose STIs. Chatbots can provide quality mental healthcare.

Joining this list is a minimally-invasive technique that’s been getting increasing buzz across various sectors of healthcare: disease detection by voice analysis.

It’s basically what it sounds like: you talk, and a computer analyzes your voice and screens for illness. Most of the indicators that machine learning algorithms can pick up aren’t detectable to the human ear.
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Scientists create first 3-D synchronized-beating heart tissue | KurzweilAI

Scientists create first 3-D synchronized-beating heart tissue | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
York University scientists have created the first in vitro (lab) 3D heart tissue made from three different types of cardiac cells that beat in synchronized harmony. It may lead to better understanding of cardiac health and improved treatments.*

The researchers constructed the heart tissue from three free-beating rat cell types: contractile cardiac muscle cells, connective tissue cells, and vascular cells. No external scaffold was used and the cells were the only building blocks of the generated cardiac tissue. The researchers believe this is the first 3D in vitro cardiac tissue with three cell types that can beat together as one entity, rather than at different intervals, with high cell density and efficient cell contacts, and without the requirement of external electrical stimulation.
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Toward Killing Cancer with Bacteria | The Scientist Magazine®

Toward Killing Cancer with Bacteria | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A genetically manipulated version of the gastroenteritis-causing bacteria Salmonella typhimurium is a potent destroyer of mouse tumors, according to a report published today (February 8) in Science Translational Medicine. The paper adds to a growing body of research investigating bacterial cancer treatments, and reveals an immunological mechanism that contributes to bacteria-driven, cancer–killing activity.

“I am super excited about applications for microbiota to eliminate cancer,” MIT’s Susan Erdman, who was not involved in the work, wrote in an email to The Scientist. “This work is part of a promising frontier in using bacteria or their products to stimulate beneficial host immune responses to inhibit and suppress cancer development and growth.”
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Award-winning researcher develops "mini-suitcases" for more effective delivery of drugs, fertilizers - Media Relations

Award-winning researcher develops "mini-suitcases" for more effective delivery of drugs, fertilizers - Media Relations | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Medical researchers are making great strides as they design pharmaceuticals that attack a wide range of diseases. Plant researchers are finding ever more efficient ways to increase crop yields. But conventional approaches have their challenges: often, drugs travel to parts of the body where they’re not needed or, worse, to where they can harm healthy tissue. In agriculture, seeds sometimes germinate too early to escape a killing frost, or their growth potential is squandered when fertilizer washes from fields into streams and rivers.

Sometimes the problem, and the solution, is in the packaging.

Now a Western University team led by researcher Prof. Elizabeth Gillies is finding a better way – and delivering medicine or nutrients exactly where and when they will be of most benefit. Her team is building polymer (plastic) coatings custom-designed to biodegrade precisely when their payload will be most effective.
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First stable semisynthetic organism created | KurzweilAI

First stable semisynthetic organism created | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed the first stable semisynthetic organism — a bacterium with two new synthetic bases (called X and Y) added to the four natural bases (A, T, C, and G) that every living organism possesses. Adding two more letters to expand the genetic alphabet can be used to make novel proteins for new therapeutics, according to the researchers.

All life as we currently know it contains just four bases that pair up to form two “base pairs” — the rungs of the DNA ladder — which are simply rearranged to create different organisms.
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First blood biomarker for multiple sclerosis discovered

First blood biomarker for multiple sclerosis discovered | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Although there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), there are treatments that can help prevent new attacks and improve function after an attack. However, there are three subtypes of the disease and determining this, as well as the appropriateness and effectiveness of a patient's current treatment, involves an array of expensive, time-consuming tests. Now, after a search lasting 12 years, an international team of researchers has identified a biomarker that would allow MS subtypes to be determined with a simple blood test.

Currently, when patients are diagnosed with MS they face a wait before the subtype of the disease can be determined.
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A machine that used to be considered punishment is now a $1.4 billion fitness industry

A machine that used to be considered punishment is now a $1.4 billion fitness industry | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The tread wheel, a variation of what we know as the modern treadmill, was used in the 1800s to keep British prisoners from idleness but more so for hard labor.

“I can’t get my head around the fact that we now pay to run on machines that were the harshest form of punishment, short of the death penalty, for about 100 years,” said Vybarr Cregan-Reid, a senior lecturer at the University of Kent in England and author of “Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human.” The British outlawed the tread wheel as a punishment device near the start of the 20th century after outcries of it being seen as cruel and unusual.

Nevertheless, machines that evolved from those accounted for almost 40 percent of an estimated $3.5 billion in fitness equipment retail sales in North America
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Brain hormone triggers fat burning regardless of food intake

Brain hormone triggers fat burning regardless of food intake | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Although the neurotransmitter serotonin has previously been shown to play a central role in regulating appetite (amongst other things), the reasons for this remained unclear. In an attempt to shed some light on the subject, biologists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) conducted experiments on C. elegans roundworms and identified a brain hormone that selectively triggers fat burning in the gut, regardless of food intake – and the findings could have implications for humans.

TSRI Assistant Professor Supriya Srinivasan, senior author of the new study, and her colleagues made the discovery through a process of elimination. They started with C. Elegans roundworms, which are commonly used in biology as model organisms because their brains produce many of the same signaling molecules as humans. They then systematically deleted one gene after another in the roundworm in an attempt to identify which gene was responsible for fat burning.
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Scientists establish ‘tipping point’ molecular link between blood sugar and Alzheimer's disease

Scientists establish ‘tipping point’ molecular link between blood sugar and Alzheimer's disease | Longevity science | Scoop.it
For the first time a "tipping point" molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer's disease has been established by scientists, who have shown that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Abnormally high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycaemia, is well-known as a characteristic of diabetes and obesity, but its link to Alzheimer's disease is less familiar.

Diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to healthy individuals. In Alzheimer's disease abnormal proteins aggregate to form plaques and tangles in the brain which progressively damage the brain and lead to severe cognitive decline.
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Righty or lefty? Your spinal cord may have decided

Righty or lefty? Your spinal cord may have decided | Longevity science | Scoop.it
As you scroll through these words with a swipe of the finger or click of the mouse, you're likely doing it with the same hand you use to draw or swing a bat. But why? Science has told us that our favoring of our right or left hands could be traced back to our roots as thumb-sucking fetuses, where the brain directs such movements, but new research out of Germany is casting doubt on this thinking, suggesting that it all begins in the spinal cord instead.

Ultrasound scans in the 1980s revealed that we develop a preference for the right or left hand as early as the eighth week of pregnancy
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Fiber optics shine a light on blood clots during surgery

Fiber optics shine a light on blood clots during surgery | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Marathon surgery can be dangerous enough without the threat of blood clots forming in the patient. To counter that, surgeons administer blood thinning drugs throughout a procedure, but knowing when to do so often requires a separate lab test, which slows down the surgery. By shining light through the patient's blood, researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have developed a new system that gives surgeons real-time feedback and alerts them at the first sign of a clot.
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Vitamin D pills 'could stop colds or flu' - BBC News

Vitamin D pills 'could stop colds or flu' - BBC News | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Vitamin D supplements could spare more than three million people from colds or flu in the UK each year, researchers claim.

The sunshine vitamin is vital for healthy bones, but also has a role in the immune system.

The analysis, published in the British Medical Journal, argues food should be fortified with the vitamin.

But Public Health England (PHE) says the infections data is not conclusive, although it does recommend supplements.
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Researchers find clues to why diet with olive oil is tied lower heart disease risk

Researchers find clues to why diet with olive oil is tied lower heart disease risk | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A traditional Mediterranean diet with added olive oil may be tied to a lower risk of heart disease at least in part because it helps maintain healthy blood flow and clear debris from arteries, a Spanish study suggests.

“A Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil improves the function of high-density lipoproteins, HDL, popularly known as `good’ cholesterol,” said lead study author Dr. Alvaro Hernáez of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona.

This type of diet typically includes lots of fruits and legumes that are rich in antioxidants as well as plenty of vegetables, whole grains and olive oil. It also tends to favor lean sources of protein like chicken or fish over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.
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"Molecular lasso" helps bacteria catch-and-clamp onto your heart

"Molecular lasso" helps bacteria catch-and-clamp onto your heart | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Bacteria can be crafty little critters, and a new study from the University of Bristol has unveiled another example of that. Usually a harmless resident of your mouth, Streptococcus gordonii can turn lethal if it enters your bloodstream, where the researchers discovered it uses a "molecular lasso" to attach itself to host cells in what they call a catch-clamp mechanism. Understanding the process could lead to new treatments of a serious condition known as infective endocarditis.

This form of cardiovascular disease is caused by bacteria like S. gordonii creating blood clots on the heart valves, and it's fatal in as many as 30 percent of cases. While the new finding isn't exactly a new treatment, it could be the first step toward one.
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Researchers cast into doubt a tenet of the dominant evolutionary biology model

Researchers cast into doubt a tenet of the dominant evolutionary biology model | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A team of Université Laval researchers has cast into doubt a tenet of evolutionary biology according to which organisms with more than one copy of the same gene in their genome are more resilient to genetic perturbations. In an article to be published tomorrow in Science, the researchers show that this genetic redundancy can also make the genome more fragile, leaving organisms more vulnerable to the effects of harmful mutations.

To reach this finding, Professor Christian Landry and his team at the Faculty of Science and Engineering studied 56 pairs of paralogous genes—copies of a same gene—found in bread yeast. They began by characterizing the normal interactions between the proteins produced by these genes and the other protein complexes found in the yeast. They then repeated this exercise using variants whose genomes had been slightly modified.

In the course of the approximately 5,700 tests conducted by the researchers, they found that for 22 of the 56 gene pairs studies, the paralogous gene took over in the absence of its counterpart. "Gene function is maintained by the paralogous gene still present in the cell, which supports the hypothesis that genetic duplication ensures genome resilience," said Christian Landry. However, for 22 other pairs, the absence of one of the two paralogous genes interfered with cellular function.
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Multifunctional, inexpensive, and reusable nanoparticle-printed biochip for cell manipulation and diagnosis

Multifunctional, inexpensive, and reusable nanoparticle-printed biochip for cell manipulation and diagnosis | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Point-of-care diagnostics in the developing world and resource-limited areas require numerous special design considerations to provide effective early detection of disease. Of particular need for these contexts are diagnostic technologies featuring low costs, ease of use, and broad applicability. Here we present a nanoparticle-inkjet-printable microfluidics-based platform that fulfills these criteria and that we expect to significantly reduce the footprint, complexity, and cost of clinical diagnostics. This reusable $0.01 platform is miniaturized to handle small sample volumes and can perform numerous analyses. It can perform complex, minimally invasive analyses of single cells without specialized equipment and personnel. This inexpensive, accessible platform has broad applications in precision diagnostics and is a step toward the democratization of medical technologies.
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Walker mobility aid gets multifunctional redesign

Walker mobility aid gets multifunctional redesign | Longevity science | Scoop.it
​3D-printing has been used to great effect in the development of prosthetic aids, patient-tailored​​ medical devices and body parts. Now, Eliza Wrobel has used additive manufacturing to make the humble walker even more useful for those suffering from limb disabilities who want to stay active.
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Two cups of grapes a day may keep the Alzheimer's away

Two cups of grapes a day may keep the Alzheimer's away | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Chances are that you already like the taste of grapes. If you're looking for another reason to eat them, though, then how about this … a recent study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles indicates that consuming them helps protect against Alzheimer's disease.

The study involved 10 test subjects, half of them male and half female, all of whom were in the early stages of cognitive decline.
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Stem cells beat the clock for brain cancer

Stem cells beat the clock for brain cancer | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer that kills most patients within two years of diagnosis. In tests on mice last year, a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that adult skin cells could be transformed into stem cells and used to hunt down the tumors. Building on that, they've now found that the process works with human cells, and can be administered quickly enough to beat the ticking time-bombs.
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Tailored treatment? 107 genes found linked to high blood pressure

Tailored treatment? 107 genes found linked to high blood pressure | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In the US and the UK, high blood pressure (hypertension) affects approximately one in every three adults and is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Efforts to combat the condition through customized treatments might have just gotten a big boost thanks to a study led by Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London that teased out over 100 genes implicated in its development.
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Breath test for stomach and esophageal cancers shows promise

Breath test for stomach and esophageal cancers shows promise | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A new study collected samples from 335 people across four London hospitals. Around half of the group had been diagnosed with stomach or esophageal cancer and the other half had shown no evidence of cancer after having an endoscopy. After analyzing all the samples, the new breath test achieved an 85 percent accuracy rate, correctly identifying those both with and without cancer.

Around 1.4 million people worldwide are diagnosed with stomach or esophageal cancer every year. Both cancers are known to be especially terminal, with a combined five-year survival rate of only 15 percent, as symptoms are often frustratingly abstract resulting in frequent late-stage diagnosis.

"At present the only way to diagnose esophageal cancer or stomach cancer is with endoscopy," points out Dr Sheraz Markar

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