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The Bank Where Doctors Can Stash Your Genome

The Bank Where Doctors Can Stash Your Genome | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A new company offers a “gene vault” for doctors who want to add genomics to patient care.

 

Genomic sequencing might be more common in medicine if doctors had a simple way to send for the test and keep track of the data.

 

That’s the hope of Coriell Life Sciences in Camden, N.J., a startup that grew out of a partnership between the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and IBM. The company wants to facilitate the process of ordering, storing and interpreting whole-genome-sequence data for doctors. The company launched in January and is now working with different health-care providers to set up its service.

 

“The intent is that the doctor would order a test like any other diagnostic test they order today,” says Scott Megill, president of Coriell Life Sciences. The company would facilitate sequencing the patient’s DNA (through existing sequencing companies such as Illumina or Ion Torrent), store it in its so-called gene vault, and act as the middleman between doctors and companies that offer interpretation services. Finally, “we will return the genetic result in the human readable form back to the electronic medical record so the doctor can read it and interpret it for the patient,” says Megill.

 

“You need a robust software infrastructure for storing, analyzing, and presenting information,” says Jon Hirsch, who founded Syapse, a California-based company developing software to analyze biological data sets for diagnosing patients. “Until that gets built, you can generate all the data you want, but it’s not going to have any impact outside the few major centers of genomics medicine,” he says.

 

The company will use a board of scientific advisors to guide them to the best interpretation programs available. “No one company is in position to interpret the entire genome for its meaning,” says Michael Christman, CEO of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research. “But by having one’s sequence in the gene vault, then the physician will be able to order interpretative engines, analogous to apps for the iPhone,” he says. Doctors could order an app to analyze a patient’s genome for DNA variants linked to poor drug response at one point, and later on, order another for variants linked to heart disease.

 

The cloud-based workflow could help doctors in different locations take advantage of expert interpretations anywhere, says Christman. “This would allow a doctor who’s at a community clinic in Tulsa, Okla., order an interpretation of breast cancer sequences derived at Sloan Kettering,” he says.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New method of mass-producing high-quality DNA molecules | KurzweilAI

New method of mass-producing high-quality DNA molecules | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods.

 

The new method can be of value to development of drugs consisting of DNA fragments and to DNA nanotechnology research.

 

The novel technique for manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules — or oligonucleotides — has been developed by researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Harvard University.

 

 

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Bladderwort Study Adds To The Debate On “Junk” DNA

Bladderwort Study Adds To The Debate On “Junk” DNA | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Only about two percent of the human genome contains genes. The other 98 percent has been likened to cosmology’s dark matter that fills the space between stars – there’s a lot of it, but nobody really knows what it does. Over the years scientists have put faith into the logic of evolution: if it’s there, it must serve a purpose. But a recent study shows that not all genomes are created equally. Unlike human genomes, the carnivorous bladderwort’s genome makes the most of its allotted bases having only an estimated 2 percent of non-coding DNA, or so-called “junk” DNA.

 

The genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant (Utricularia gibba) is minuscule compared to the human genome – 82,000 bases versus our near 3 billion. But while it’s small, the genome is extremely efficient. About 97 percent of its genome codes for an estimated 28,500 genes and the short sequences that control those genes. The authors of a study mapping the bladderwort genome surmise that, through many generations, the non-coding portion of the carnivorous bladderwort’s genome has been systematically removed, resulting in just 3 percent of non-coding DNA.

 

 

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Cancer checkpoint: Mitochondrial metabolic regulator SIRT4 guards against DNA damage

Cancer checkpoint: Mitochondrial metabolic regulator SIRT4 guards against DNA damage | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Healthy cells don't just happen. As they grow and divide, they need checks and balances to ensure they function properly while adapting to changing conditions around them.

 

Researchers studying a set of proteins that regulate physiology, caloric restriction and aging have discovered another important role that one of them plays. SIRT4, one of seven sirtuin proteins, is known for controlling fuel usage from its post in the mitochondria, the cell's energy source. It responds to stressful changes in the availability of nutrients for the cell.

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Muscadinex's curator insight, April 8, 2013 3:29 PM

This is an interesting article on the SIRT4 gene. Resveratrol plays an important part in activating these cells longevity properties.

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Starting with one mouse, scientists create 581 successive clones

Starting with one mouse, scientists create 581 successive clones | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Using the technique that created Dolly the sheep, researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, have identified a way to produce healthy mouse clones that live a normal lifespan and can be sequentially cloned indefinitely.

 

In an experiment that started in 2005, the team led by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama has used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SNCT) to produce 581 clones of one original "donor" mouse through 25 consecutive rounds of cloning.

 

 

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Check Up: DNA test analyzes genes known to contribute to cancer

Check Up: DNA test analyzes genes known to contribute to cancer | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Embracing the promise of personalized medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center is offering a high-tech DNA test that can identify the genetic mutations driving an individual patient's cancer.

Via Brian Shields
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Brian Shields's curator insight, February 4, 2013 2:44 PM

This is a great step forward in the treatment of cancer by Fox Chase Cancer Center.  Hopefully in the future, similar offerings will become the standard of care.

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Correcting faulty DNA: stronger bodies, smarter minds, longer lives

Correcting faulty DNA: stronger bodies, smarter minds, longer lives | Longevity science | Scoop.it
What if you could improve your memory, become smarter and stronger, and live in an ageless disease-free body – just by taking a pill?

 

Though this may sound like the stuff of science fiction, experts are developing a better understanding of our genetic mysteries, including the powerful influence that DNA wields on our lives. It's becoming clear that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity; most mental disorders, and many other ailments, could all be the result of a clash between genes we inherited from our past, and today's modern environment.

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Are You Scared of What’s in Your Genome?

Are You Scared of What’s in Your Genome? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

I’m sick of reading about the dangers of the genome. There are lots of popular articles I could point to, but let’s start with a recent series in Time that included eight online features and the Dec. 13 cover story, ominously titled “The DNA Dilemma.”

 

The series, written by Bonnie Rochman, is thoroughly reported, balanced, and full of fascinating personal stories about children whose genomes have been sequenced. It’s also timely: The primary question Rochman raises—how much information is too much information?—has been dominating commentaries about genetic testing in the medical literature.

 

But this is the wrong question, or at least one that’s becoming increasingly irrelevant.

 

 

Ray and Terry's 's insight:

With the wealth of genetic information (at a reasonable price) available to the public, there are ethical questions that arise. Some might panic about individuals having too much information about their own DNA, but this author suggests that we can handle it.

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The Future of Medicine Is Now

The Future of Medicine Is Now | Longevity science | Scoop.it
From cancer treatments to new devices to gene therapy, a look at six medical innovations that are poised to transform the way we fight disease.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Technology can propel us towards a healthier future. The advances of recent years provide ammunition to protect and repair our biology.

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Telomerase Gene Therapy Extends Mouse Lifespan by 24%

Telomerase Gene Therapy Extends Mouse Lifespan by 24% | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Inducing cells to express telomerase, the enzyme which is supposed to slow down the metabolic clock, has enabled researchers boost the lifespan of mouse by 24% with a single treatment.

 

The gene therapy acts on specific genes and is applied in adult life, not from the embryonic stage. Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) have demonstrated that the mouse lifespan can be extended by the application of one treatment acting directly on the animal’s genes in adult life. The therapy has been found to be safe and effective in mice.

 

Adult and aged mice were treated with the gene therapy, delivering a rejuvenating effect. On average, the mice lived 24% longer. The older mice lived 13% longer. The therapy produces an appreciable improvement on the animal’s health and delayed the onset of age-related diseases.

 

The genes were treated with a DNA-modified virus. The viral genes were replaced by those of the telomerase enzyme, which plays a key role in aging. Telomerase repairs the extreme ends of chromosomes, and slows the cells and therefore the body’s biological clock.

 

There is a potential to develop a telomerase-based anti-aging gene therapy that won’t increase the risk of cancer. Telomeres are the caps that protect the end of chromosomes, but each time the cell divides, the telomeres get shorter until they lose all functionality. The cell then stops dividing or dies. Telomerase prevents telomeres from shortening or even rebuilding them.

 

In most cells, telomerase is only active before birth. The cells of adult organisms contain no telomerase. There are some exceptions such as adult stem cells and cancer cells, which divide limitlessly and could be immortal.

 

The risk of cancer tumor promotion is a risk that has set back telomerase-based anti-aging therapies. The kind of virus employed to carry the telomerase gene to the cells is very important. The viruses used is in this study have been successfully used in gene therapy treatment of hemophilia and eye disease. They are non-replicating viruses derived from others that are non-pathogenic in humans.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New technique replaces diseased DNA, but would give kids two mothers

New technique replaces diseased DNA, but would give kids two mothers | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists hope to prevent mitochondrial disease by removing chromosomes from the eggs of affected women, and putting them into donor eggs.

 

Any children that would be born would not carry the mother’s mitochondrial mutations – but would have the mitochondrial DNA from the woman who donated her eggs.

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Scientists build ‘smart’ material made of DNA | KurzweilAI

Scientists build ‘smart’ material made of DNA | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

UC Santa Barbara scientists Omar Saleh and Deborah Fygenson have created a dynamic gel made of DNA that mechanically responds to stimuli in much the same way that cells do.

 

The project has potential applications in smart materials, artificial muscle, understanding cytoskeletal mechanics, research into nonequilibrium physics, and DNA nanotechnology.

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Battle of the Next-Generation DNA Sequencers Heating Up | Singularity Hub

Battle of the Next-Generation DNA Sequencers Heating Up | Singularity Hub | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Today’s standard sequencing method uses an indirect approach to DNA sequencing based on fluorescently-tagged nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. However, Ion Torrent has developed a simple, yet ingenious way to detect the sequence of nucleotides in a sample of DNA. Exploiting the fact that a hydrogen ion is released whenever a nucleotide attaches to a strand of DNA, sensors in Ion Torrent’s microchip have been designed to detect this chemical signature.

 

Equality in gene sequencing ahead?

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Supreme Court OKs patenting of human DNA if synthetic

Supreme Court OKs patenting of human DNA if synthetic | Longevity science | Scoop.it

In a first of its kind ruling on human genes, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday decided that synthetically produced genetic material can be patented but naturally occurring DNA extracted from the human body cannot.

 

 

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‘Junk DNA’ plays active role in cancer progression, researchers find | KurzweilAI

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have found that a genetic rogue element produced by sequences until recently considered “junk DNA” could promote cancer progression.

 

The researchers, led by Dr Cristina Tufarelli, in the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health Sciences, discovered that the presence of this faulty genetic element — known as chimeric transcript LCT13 — is associated with the switching off of a known tumor suppressor gene (known as TFPI-2) whose expression is required to prevent cancer invasion and metastasis. Their findings suggest that LCT13 may be involved in switching off TFPI-2.

 

 

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Extracting human DNA with full genetic data in minutes | KurzweilAI

Extracting human DNA with full genetic data in minutes | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

University of Washington engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.

The device will give hospitals and research labs a much easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples, which will help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis and forensic investigations.

 

 

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Biological transistor enables computing within living cells | KurzweilAI

Biological transistor enables computing within living cells | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Stanford University bioengineers have taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology by creating the “transcriptor” — a biological transistor made from DNA and RNA.

In electronics, a transistor controls the flow of electrons along a circuit. Similarly, a transcriptor controls the flow of a specific protein, RNA polymerase, as it travels along a strand of DNA.

 

 

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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 8, 2013 11:17 PM

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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Polymer patches could replace needles and enable more effective DNA vaccines

Polymer patches could replace needles and enable more effective DNA vaccines | Longevity science | Scoop.it
MIT researcher are developing a new dissolvable polymer film that replaces the vaccination needle with a pain-free patch.
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Caloric restriction has a protective effect on chromosomes

Caloric restriction has a protective effect on chromosomes | Longevity science | Scoop.it

According to a study carried out by a team led by María Blasco, the director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and head of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group, a sustained lowering of food intake over time results in an increase of telomere length -- the ends of chromosomes -- in adult mice, which has a protective effect on the DNA and genetic material.

 

 

Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Caloric restriction is step 6 of the Transcend program. Moderate CR (10%) is manageable and easier to sustain over the long term.

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How to sequence an entire genome from a single cell | KurzweilAI

How to sequence an entire genome from a single cell | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The notion that police can identify a suspect based on the tiniest drop of blood or trace of tissue has long been a staple of TV dramas, but scientists at Harvard have now taken the idea a step further. Using just a single human cell, they can reproduce an individual’s entire genome.

 

The researchers developed a method — dubbed MALBAC, short for Multiple Annealing and Looping-based Amplification Cycles — that requires just one cell to reproduce an entire DNA molecule.

 

 

Ray and Terry's 's insight:

As reported by KurzweilAI.net, this technique could lead to more nimble cancer treatments and enhanced prenatal screening.

 

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Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments | e! Science News

Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments | e! Science News | Longevity science | Scoop.it
What worker bees do depends on how old they are. A worker a few days old will become a nurse bee that devotes herself to feeding larvae (brood), secreting beeswax to seal the cells that contain brood and attending to the queen.
Ray and Terry's 's insight:

The research explores the connection between RNA and behavior. Bees and other social insects provide insight into collective behavioral patterns and genetically-programmed behaviors. Gaining better understanding of this connection adds to our arsenal of information on genetics.

 

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Automated drug design using synthetic DNA self-assembly | KurzweilAI

Automated drug design using synthetic DNA self-assembly | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Using a simple “drag-and-drop” computer interface and DNA self-assembly techniques, Parabon NanoLabs researchers have developed a new automated method of drug development that could reduce the time required to create and test medications, with the support of an NSF Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships grant.

 

 

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Will we ever reveal all the secrets of life from DNA? It's very, very hard!

Will we ever reveal all the secrets of life from DNA? It's very, very hard! | Longevity science | Scoop.it

We may have sequenced the human and other species’ genomes, but we are still nowhere near predicting how this creates a living, breathing organism. Here’s why:

 

In 2001, the Human Genome Project gave us an almost complete draft of the 3 billion letters in our DNA. We joined an elite club of species that have had their genome sequenced, one that is growing with every passing month. As our technologies and understanding advance, will we eventually be able to look at a pile of raw DNA sequence and glean all the workings of the organism it belongs to? Just as physicists can use the laws of mechanics to predict the motion of an object, can biologists use fundamental ideas in genetics and molecular biology to predict the traits and flaws of a body based solely on its genes? Could we pop a genome into a black box, and print out the image of a human? Or a fly? Or a mouse? Not easily. In complex organisms, some traits can be traced back to specific genes. If, for instance, you’re looking at a specific variant of the MC1R gene, chances are you’ve got a mammal in front of you, and it has red hair. Indeed, people have predicted that some Neanderthals were red-heads for precisely this reason. But beyond that, predicting if something is a mouse or a whale or a armadillo, we still can't do it.

 

Bernhard Palsson from the University of California, San Diego agrees. “Sequencing a woolly mammoth will not predict its properties,” he says. “But you might be able to do a lot better with bacteria.” Their simpler and smaller genomes should in theory make it easier to predict the basic features of their metabolism, or whether they grow using oxygen or not. But even though we can sequence a bacterial genome in under a day, and for just $80, we would still struggle to determine important traits, like how good a disease-causing microbe is at infecting its host.

 

Finding all the genes even in a small genome is hard. Earlier this year, scientists discovered a new gene in a flu virus whose genome consists of just 14,000 letters (small enough to fit into 100 tweets), and had been sequenced again and again. So it should be unsurprising that our own genome, with 3 billion letters, is full of errors and gaps, despite ostensibly being “complete”. In May, another group showed that the reference human genome is missing a gene that may have shaped the evolution of our large brains. “There’s no genome that is completely understood even in terms of the genes within it,” says Markus Covert from Stanford University. “Typically, no function is known for a fourth to a fifth of the genes, even in smaller genomes.”

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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‘Drag and Drop’ DNA Design | Singularity Hub

‘Drag and Drop’ DNA Design | Singularity Hub | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Imagine if DNA compilation was as easy to understand as Windows or iOS. Scientific study would no longer be necessary to engineer new combinations and just about anyone could drag and drop bits of genetic code into a workable sequence.

 

Amirav-Drory wants to create a graphic user interface to empower people in just this way.

 

His new software, Genome Compiler (free and available for download at www.genomecompiler.com), converts the various parts of a DNA sequence into easy-to-understand, and easily manipulable, icons.

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