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Firefly gene makes mice glow to track cancer and aging in real time | KurzweilAI

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have developed a strain of mice that turns on a gene from fireflies to provide a visual indication of aging and tumor growth in mice. The mice light up whenever another mouse gene, p16INK4a (p16) is is activated (in cells undergoing senescence, the p16 gene is switched on).

 

 

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Ordinary heart cells become 'biological pacemakers' with injection of a single gene

Ordinary heart cells become 'biological pacemakers' with injection of a single gene | Longevity science | Scoop.it
"Although we and others have created primitive biological pacemakers before, this study is the first to show that a single gene can direct the conversion of heart muscle cells to genuine pacemaker cells. The new cells generated electrical impulses spontaneously and were indistinguishable from native pacemaker cells," said Hee Cheol Cho, PhD., a Heart Institute research scientist.

Pacemaker cells generate electrical activity that spreads to other heart cells in an orderly pattern to create rhythmic muscle contractions. If these cells go awry, the heart pumps erratically at best; patients healthy enough to undergo surgery often look to an electronic pacemaker as the only option for survival.

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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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