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Edible sensors that fit inside pills and tell your doctor when pills are taken predicted to be released in 2014

Edible sensors that fit inside pills and tell your doctor when pills are taken predicted to be released in 2014 | Science Lovers | Scoop.it

"If you look at every healthcare system in the world, it's finished," says Don Cowling, VP at Proteus Digital Health. "Instead of spending $10 billion (£6.4billion) trying to find a new molecule, why not spend half a billion getting today's products working properly?" That's what he is doing at California and London-based Proteus Digital Health, which harvests biological data using ingestible sensors and skin patches, to improve diagnosis and treatments already available. It's making edible sensors that fit inside pills and tell your doctor when pills are taken. They're expected to come to market in late 2014.

 

When a patient takes pills erratically and their condition worsens, a doctor may simply up the dose. Proteus is building silicon, copper and magnesium chips of about 1mm squared that can be inserted into tablets -- these report via Bluetooth when a pill's been taken.

 

In May, the firm announced a $62.5 million (£38.9 million) funding round, including investment from Oracle. But smart pills are just the start, says Cowling. Proteus's patch sensor can gather dozens of other data points, including heart rate, to present a sophisticated picture of patient health -- like a medical-grade FuelBand. "We can now get a formal classification of what disability looks like -- we can measure it." 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Modern Medicine,  is breaking your privacy?

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US Scientists Find That Chemotherapy Boosts Cancer Growth

US Scientists Find That Chemotherapy Boosts Cancer Growth | Science Lovers | Scoop.it

Chemotherapy can damage healthy cells? Say it isn't so? You don't need a degree to figure this one out. Poison kills indiscriminately-- always has and always will.

 

While damaging healthy cells, chemotherapy also triggers them to secrete a protein that sustains tumor growth and resistance to further treatment.

 

Researchers in the United States made the “completely unexpected” finding they claimed while seeking to explain why cancer cells are so resilient inside the human body when they are easy to kill in the lab.

 

Only through the forces that have carefully conspired to thwart meaningful advances in cancer research and treatment over the past century has chemotherapy succeeded. In what reality do we live in when cut, poison and burn are the only ways acceptable to treat cancer?

 


Via Sepp Hasslberger
Elvin Joel Estrada's insight:

I read that chemotherapy could lead the formation of cancer stem cells. This cells could hide into the tissue and regrowth Like a tumor. 

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, August 3, 2013 1:02 PM

Some years ago Australian scientists found chemo has an appalling success rate of only some 2 or 3 percent. Here is why...

Sepp Hasslberger's comment, August 3, 2013 1:05 PM
See also:

Millions Wrongly Treated for 'Cancer,' National Cancer Institute Panel Confirms

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/millions-wrongly-treated-cancer-national-cancer-institute-panel-confirms
Stephanie T Holland's curator insight, August 4, 2013 4:37 AM

The realisation that we are more than just the sum of our parts continues to boggle members of the scientific community. I'm glad to see that research is being influenced by the spirit of the truth.

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CRISPR: the next generation of genome editing tools

CRISPR: the next generation of genome editing tools | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
An arms race has been waged between bacteria and bacteriophage that would bring a satisfactory tear to Sun Tzu’s eye. Scientists have recently recognized that countermeasures developed by bacteria (and archaea) in response to phage infections can be retooled for use within molecular biology. In 2013, large strides have been made to co-opt this system (specifically and most commonly from Streptococcus pyogenes) for use in mammalian cells. This countermeasure, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), has brought about another successive wave of genome engineering initiated by recombineering and followed more recently by zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs).ZFNs and TALENs perform a similar function yet the learning curve appears to be more difficult for development due to the use of protein-DNA contacts rather than the simplicity of designing RNA-DNA homology contacts. Although the potential for CRISPR in regards to genome editing within mammalian cells will be of greatest interest to the reader, the CRISPR backstory is equally compelling. Just as we have evolved immune responses to pathogens, so too have bacteria. CRISPR is an adapted immune response evolved by bacteria to create an immunological memory to ward off future phage infections. When a phage infects and injects its DNA within a bacterium, the DNA commandeers bacterial proteins and enzymes for use towards lytic or lysogenic phases. However, exposure of phage DNA allows the bacterium to copy and insert snippets (called spacers) of phage DNA into its genomic DNA between direct repeats (DR). These snippets can later be expressed as an operon (pre-CRISPR RNA, pre-crRNA) alongside a trans-activating CRISPR RNA (tracrRNA) and an effector CRISPR associated nuclease (Cas). Together these components surveil for foreign crRNA cognate sequence and cleave the targeted sequence.Although hallmarks of CRISPR have been known since the late 80’s (CRISPR timeline) and was acronymed in 2002, Jinek et al. in August 2012 were the first to suggest the suitability of CRISPR towards genome editing. In February of 2013, Feng Zhang’s and George Church’s labs simultaneously published the first papers describing the use long oligos/constructs for editing via CRISPR in mammalian cells and made their plasmids readily available on Addgene. Zhang’s lab went one step further and has supplemented their papers with a helpful website and user forum. They have even gone so far as to publish a methods paper to streamline the use of their plasmids towards a plug-and-play, modular cloning approach with your target sequence of interest.CRISPR works fairly well out of the box yet still has some imperfections that are being addressed. For example, CRISPR relies upon a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM; S. pyogenes sequence: NGG) 3’ to the targeting sequence to permit digestion. Although the ubiquity of NGG within the genome may seem advantageous, it may be limiting in some regions. Other species make use of different PAM sites that can be considered when choosing a cut sites of interest. Since double-stranded cuts could potentially create DNA lesions (a byproduct of the cell using non-homologous end joining [NHEJ] instead of homologous recombination) some labs are choosing to use modified Cas enzymes that nick DNA, instead of creating a double-strand break. This potential weakness of CRISPR to create DNA lesions via NHEJ, however, has been exploited by Eric Lander’s and Zhang’s lab this month (Jan. 2014). They have capitalized on the cell’s use of NHEJ to manufacture DNA lesions (frameshift mutations) at cut sites within genes on a large scale as a means to perform large genetic screens. Using this technique knocks out a gene and has the obvious advantage of fully ablating a gene’s expression compared to RNAi where some residual expression can be expected.The advantages of CRISPR lends itself to future therapies. High efficiency, low-to-no background mutagenesis and easy construction put CRISPR front and center as the tool de jour for gene therapy. In combination with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), one can imagine the creation of patient-specific iPSCs created with non-integrative iPSC vectors and modified by CRISPR, devoid of any residual DNA footprint left behind by the iPSC vector or CRISPR correction. In conjunction with whole genome sequencing, genetically clean cell lines can be selected that are suitable for differentiation towards the germ layer of interest for subsequent autologous transplantation. Proof of principle experiments have already been published in models of cystic fibrosis and cataracts.For better or worse, CRISPR is catching on like wildfire with young investigators, as noted recently by Michael Eisen. What may be looming in the future and not as openly discussed at this time is the potential for CRISPR to open up the genome to large scale editing. We tend to think of any particular genome as fairly static with slight variations between any two individuals and increased variation down the evolutionary line. However, CRISPR has proven to be a fantastic multitasker, capable of modifying multiple loci in one fell swoop as demonstrated by the Jaenisch lab (five loci). With the creation of Caribou Biosciences and a surprising round of venture capital raised by a powerhouse team at Editas Medicine in November ($43 million), CRISPR appears to also have sparked an interest in the private sector. With large sums of money at their disposal, these companies can now begin to look at the genome, not as a static entity, but more akin to operating system, a code that now has a facile editing tool. George Church, an Editas co-founder, has speculated in the past about the potential use of the human genome as the backbone for recreating the Neanderthal genome in his recent book and interview with "Der Spiegel". In an era where the J. Craig Venter Institute can create an organism’s genome de novo and a collaboration between Synthetic Genomics and Integrated DNA Technologies has proposed to synthesize DNA upwards of 2Mbp, the combination of CRISPR, synthetic DNA and some elbow grease will make the genome more accessible and Church’s speculations a potential reality.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Elvin Joel Estrada's insight:
Although the potential for CRISPR in regards to genome editing within mammalian cells will be of greatest interest to the reader, the CRISPR backstory is equally compelling.
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Researchers develop powerful single-cell epigenetic methylation mapping to study environmental effects on DNA

Researchers develop powerful single-cell epigenetic methylation mapping to study environmental effects on DNA | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Researchers at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Centre, have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents. The technique can be used to map all of the ‘epigenetic marks’ on the DNA within a single cell. This single-cell approach will boost understanding of embryonic development, could enhance clinical applications like cancer therapy and fertility treatments, and has the potential to reduce the number of mice currently needed for this research. ‘Epigenetic marks’ are chemical tags or proteins that mark DNA and act as a kind of cellular memory. They do not change the DNA sequence but record a cell’s experiences onto the DNA, which allows cells to remember an experience long after it has faded. Placing these tags is part of normal development; they tell genes whether to be switched on or off and so can determine how the cell develops. Different sets of active genes make a skin cell different from a brain cell, for example. However, environmental cues such as diet can also alter where epigenetic tags are laid down on DNA and influence an organism’s long-term health. Dr Gavin Kelsey, from the Babraham Institute, said: “The ability to capture the full map of these epigenetic marks from individual cells will be critical for a full understanding of early embryonic development, cancer progression and aid the development of stem cell therapies. “Epigenetics research has mostly been reliant on using the mouse as a model organism to study early development. Our new single-cell method gives us an unprecedented ability to study epigenetic processes in human early embryonic development, which has been restricted by the very limited amount of tissue available for analysis.” The new research, published in Nature Methods, offers a new single-cell technique capable of analysing DNA methylation – one of the key epigenetic marks – across the whole genome. The method treats the cellular DNA with a chemical called bisulphite. Treated DNA is then amplified and read on high-throughput sequencing machines to show up the location of methylation marks and the genes being affected. These analyses will help to define how epigenetic changes in individual cells during early development drive cell fate. Current methods observe epigenetic marks in multiple, pooled cells. This can obscure modifications taking place in individual cells at a time in development when each cell has the potential to form in a unique way. The new method has already revealed that many of the methylation marks that differ between individual cells are precisely located in sites that control gene activity.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Mariaschnee
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New technique will help to reduce the reliance on animal research for this type of study Full map of ‘epigenetic marks’ from individual cells will be critical for understanding early embryonic development
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Mini simulated cardiovascular system could speed testing of medications

Mini simulated cardiovascular system could speed testing of medications | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
When scientists want to find out how a new medication will affect the cardiovascular system, the traditional way of doing so is via animal or human trials. ...
Via Ray and Terry's
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It incorporates a piece of live human heart tissue, which is mounted in such a way that it can contract and expand in response to electrical stimulation – much like the heart beats in the body. When a trial drug is introduced to the tissue, the array is able to detect any resulting changes in the force of the contractions.
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Combining aerobic, resistance exercise may be best for diabetes


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Learning ability in math and reading are tightly linked and highly genetic, scientists say

Learning ability in math and reading are tightly linked and highly genetic, scientists say | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King’s College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown. The finding deepens scientists’ understanding of how nature and nurture interact, highlighting the important role that a child’s learning environment may have on the development of reading and mathematics skills, and the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits.The collaborative study, published today in Nature Communications as part of the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium, used data from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) to analyse the influence of genetics on the reading and mathematics performance of 12-year-old children from nearly 2,800 British families.Twins and unrelated children were tested for reading comprehension and fluency, and answered mathematics questions based on the UK national curriculum. The information collected from these tests was combined with DNA data, showing a substantial overlap in the genetic variants that influence mathematics and reading. Dr Chris Spencer (Oxford University), lead author said: “We’re moving into a world where analysing millions of DNA changes, in thousands of individuals, is a routine tool in helping scientists to understand aspects of human biology. This study used the technique to help investigate the overlap in the genetic component of reading and maths ability in children. Interestingly, the same method can be applied to pretty much any human trait, for example to identify new links between diseases and disorders, or the way in which people respond to treatments.”
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Rick Frank's curator insight, July 14, 5:27 AM

I can hear the protesters screaming already :)

Diane Johnson's curator insight, July 14, 12:24 PM

Really interesting - the more we know about our genetic underpinnings, the more we know there is to learn.

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The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
"In the earliest days of microbiology, scientists were stumped about how to isolate bacteria. That is, until the family cook—a woman named Angelina—changed everything by bringing her culinary insight into the lab. Before Angelina, the work of classifying different bacteria seemed hopelessly complex. Unable to differentiate them, Linnaeus classified all bacteria in the order Chaos in 1763. (Today, Chaos is a genus of giant amoebae.) In the 1800s, scientists studying the spots of fungus growing on moldy bread and meat began to realize that each spot was an individual species of microorganism, which could be transferred to a fresh piece of food and grown in isolation. Inspired by these early food-based studies, Robert Koch used thin slices of potatoes as naturally occurring "Petri dishes" when he began his studies of bacterial pathogens."
Via Mariaschnee
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Justice!
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One injection stops diabetes in its tracks: Treatment reverses symptoms of type 2 diabetes in mice without side effects

One injection stops diabetes in its tracks: Treatment reverses symptoms of type 2 diabetes in mice without side effects | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
In mice with diet-induced diabetes -- the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans -- a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, July 29, 6:56 PM

This is cool.

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More than 99 percent of microbes and viruses populating the oceans have not yet been cultivated in the lab

More than 99 percent of microbes and viruses populating the oceans have not yet been cultivated in the lab | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.”Using lab-cultured bacteria as "bait," a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from an ocean water sample in a single experiment.The study, published online on July 14 by the journal Nature, revealed that the genomes of viruses in natural ecosystems fall into more distinct categories than previously thought. This enables scientists to recognize actual populations of viruses in nature for the first time."You could count the number of viruses from a soil or water sample in a microscope, but you would have no idea what hosts they infect or what their genomes were like," said Sullivan, an associate professor in the UA's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and member of the UA's BIO5 Institute. "Our new approach for the first time links those same viruses to their host cells. In doing so, we gain access to viral genomes in a way that opens up a window into the roles these viruses play in nature."Sullivan's team developed a new approach called viral tagging, which uses cultivated bacterial hosts as "bait" to fish for viruses that infect that host. The scientists then isolate the DNA of those viruses and decipher their sequence."Instead of a continuum, we found at least 17 distinct types of viruses in a single sample of Pacific Ocean seawater, including several that are new to science – all associated with the single 'bait' host used in the experiment," Sullivan said."Microbes are now recognized as drivers of the biogeochemical engines that fuel Earth, and the viruses that infect them control these processes by transferring genes between microbes, killing them in great numbers and reprogramming their metabolisms," explained the first author of the study, Li Deng, a former postdoctoral researcher in Sullivan's lab who now is a research scientist at the Helmholtz Research Center for Environmental Health in Neuherberg, Germany. "Our study for the first time provides the methodology needed to match viruses to their host microbes at scales relevant to nature."Getting a grip on the diversity of viruses infecting a particular host is critical beyond environmental sciences, Deng said, and has implications for understanding how viruses affect pathogens that cause human disease, which in turn is relevant for vaccine design and antiviral drug therapy.Sullivan estimates that up to 99 percent of microbes that populate the oceans and drive global processes such as nutrient cycles and climate have not yet been cultivated in the lab, which makes their viruses similarly inaccessible.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Surpriseeeeee! Wow
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Researchers use light to coax stem cells to regenerate teeth | KurzweilAI

Researchers use light to coax stem cells to regenerate teeth | KurzweilAI | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
A Harvard-led team is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue.The research, reported in Science Translational Medicine and led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., lays the foundation for a host of clinical applications in restorative dentistry and regenerative medicine more broadly, such as wound healing, bone regeneration, and more.
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Erasing and restoring our memories

Erasing and restoring our memories | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“ Neuroscientists have manipulated brain cells to both erase and then restore a memory, a finding that could help with treatment of brain diseases like Alzheimer's or PTSD.”
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Immunotherapy the new tool in cancer fight

Immunotherapy the new tool in cancer fight | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“ Immunotherapy has made great strides against cancers like melanoma, though scientists still do not understand why.”
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TED-ED: RNAi: Slicing, dicing and serving your cells - Alex Dainis - YouTube

TED-ED: RNAi: Slicing, dicing and serving your cells - Alex Dainis - YouTube | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
TEDView full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/rnai-slicing-dicing-and-serving-your-cells-alex-dainis RNA, the genetic messenger, makes sure the DNA recipe give...
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Mary Williams's curator insight, May 29, 2:43 AM

Includes petunia studies as important in the discovery of RNAi :)

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Nature Biotechnology: Simultaneous editing of three homoeoalleles in hexaploid bread wheat confers heritable resistance to powdery mildew (2014)

Nature Biotechnology: Simultaneous editing of three homoeoalleles in hexaploid bread wheat confers heritable resistance to powdery mildew (2014) | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Sequence-specific nucleases have been applied toengineer targeted modifications in polyploid genomes, but simultaneous modification of multiple homoeoalleles has not been reported. Here we use transcription activator–like effector nuclease (TALEN) and clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 technologies in hexaploid bread wheat to introduce targeted mutations in the three homoeoalleles that encode MILDEW- RESISTANCE LOCUS (MLO) proteins. Genetic redundancy has prevented evaluation of whether mutation of all three MLO alleles in bread wheat might confer resistance to powdery mildew, a trait not found in natural populations. We show that TALEN-induced mutation of all three TaMLO homoeologs in the same plant confers heritable broad-spectrum resistanceto powdery mildew. We further use CRISPR-Cas9 technologyto generate transgenic wheat plants that carry mutations inthe TaMLO-A1 allele. We also demonstrate the feasibility of engineering targeted DNA insertion in bread wheat through nonhomologous end joining of the double-strand breaks caused by TALENs. Our findings provide a methodological framework to improve polyploid crops.
Via dromius, Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Fesquet didier's curator insight, July 22, 5:22 AM

this open the way for developping non toxic wheat species...good for celiac people...maybe one day...hopes for a slice of pizza :-)

 

Mary Williams's curator insight, July 31, 6:33 AM

I'm trying to catch up with what I missed while traveling. I think this is one of the more exciting papers that came out in the past few weeks, and I'm a bit surprised that it didn't get more press coverage.

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RNA Silencing in Plants to Fight Aphids : IGTRCN

RNA Silencing in Plants to Fight Aphids : IGTRCN | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“ Can we use transgenic plants to limit aphid negative impact on plants? And if yes, which efficient technical means can we develop? Guo et al in the lab of Rongxiang Fang in Beijing, propose to generate in planta, small ...”
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Mashable: Chinese Researchers Create Disease-Resistant Wheat by Deleting Genes (2014)

Mashable: Chinese Researchers Create Disease-Resistant Wheat by Deleting Genes (2014) | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Advanced genome-editing techniques have been used to create a strain of wheat resistant to a destructive fungal pathogen — called powdery mildew — that is a major bane to the world's top food source, according to scientists at one of China's leading centers for agricultural research.To stop the mildew, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences deleted genes that encode proteins that repress defenses against the mildew. The work promises to someday make wheat more resistant to the disease, which is typically controlled through the heavy use of fungicides. It also represents an important achievement in using genome editing tools to engineer food crops without inserting foreign genes — a flashpoint for opposition to genetically modified crops.The gene-deletion trick is particularly tough to do in wheat because the plant has three genomes — with largely similar copies of the same genes — meaning all three must be deleted or the trait will not be changed. Using gene-editing tools known as TALENs and CRISPR, the researchers were able to do that without changing anything else or adding genes from other organisms."We now caught all three copies, and only by knocking out all three copies can we get this [mildew]-resistant phenotype," says Caixia Gao, who heads a gene-editing research group at the State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering at the Institute of Microbiology in Beijing.A paper describing the results appears in Nature Biotechnology http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2969.
Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Newly discovered fungus holds clues to stopping superbugs

Newly discovered fungus holds clues to stopping superbugs | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
A research team from McMaster University, the University of British Columbia and Cardiff University has discovered a fungus in the soil of the Canadian prov...
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Proteins could take the place of fats in diet cheeses and cakes

Proteins could take the place of fats in diet cheeses and cakes | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Dieters take note! It may soon be possible to buy low-fat cakes and cheeses that have the same taste and texture as their waistline-increasing counterparts....
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The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
"In the earliest days of microbiology, scientists were stumped about how to isolate bacteria. That is, until the family cook—a woman named Angelina—changed everything by bringing her culinary insight into the lab. Before Angelina, the work of classifying different bacteria seemed hopelessly complex. Unable to differentiate them, Linnaeus classified all bacteria in the order Chaos in 1763. (Today, Chaos is a genus of giant amoebae.) In the 1800s, scientists studying the spots of fungus growing on moldy bread and meat began to realize that each spot was an individual species of microorganism, which could be transferred to a fresh piece of food and grown in isolation. Inspired by these early food-based studies, Robert Koch used thin slices of potatoes as naturally occurring "Petri dishes" when he began his studies of bacterial pathogens."
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Can Stem Cells Treat Autism?

Can Stem Cells Treat Autism? | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“ Researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina are getting ready to launch a new clinical trial that will test the ability of cord blood-derived stem cells to treat autism, stroke and c...”
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Study shows how effects of starvation can be passed to future generations

Study shows how effects of starvation can be passed to future generations | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Evidence from human famines and animal studies suggests that starvation can affect the health of descendants of famished individuals. But how such an acquired trait might be transmitted from one generation to the next has not been clear. A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in so-called small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement. The study, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers, offers intriguing new evidence that the biology of inheritance is more complicated than previously thought. The study was published in the July 10, 2014 edition of the journal Cell.The idea that acquired traits can be inherited dates back to Jean Baptiste Larmarck (1744–1829), who proposed that species evolve when individuals adapt to their environment and transmit the acquired traits to their offspring. According to Lamarckian inheritance, for example, giraffes developed elongated long necks as they stretched to feed on the leaves of high trees, an acquired advantage that was inherited by subsequent generations. In contrast, Charles Darwin (1809–82) later theorized that random mutations that offer an organism a competitive advantage drive a species' evolution. In the case of the giraffe, individuals that happened to have slightly longer necks had a better chance of securing food and thus were able to have more offspring. The subsequent discovery of hereditary genetics supported Darwin's theory, and Lamarck's ideas faded into obscurity."However, events like the Dutch famine of World War II have compelled scientists to take a fresh look at acquired inheritance," said study leader Oliver Hobert, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at CUMC. Starving women who gave birth during the famine had children who were unusually susceptible to obesity and other metabolic disorders, as were their grandchildren. Controlled animal experiments have found similar results, including a study in rats demonstrating that chronic high-fat diets in fathers result in obesity in their female offspring.In a 2011 study, Oded Rechavi, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Hobert's laboratory, found that roundworms (C. elegans) that developed resistance to a virus were able to pass along that immunity to their progeny for many consecutive generations. The immunity was transferred in the form of small viral-silencing RNAs working independently of the organism's genome. Other studies have reported similar findings, but none of these addressed whether a biological response induced by natural circumstances, such as famine, could be passed on to subsequent generations.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New gene tests may give cancer patients quicker path to treatment

A new way of evaluating tumors may soon help cancer patients identify the underlying genetic link to their disease - and the best possible treatment – all in a single test.Researchers are set to begin clinical trials using a more comprehensive testing method that looks for all of the known genes that may be active in a tumor
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Weight of the world: 2.1 billion people obese or overweight

Weight of the world: 2.1 billion people obese or overweight | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
Obesity is imposing an increasingly heavy burden on the world's population in rich and poor nations alike, with almost 30 percent of people globally now either obese or overweight - a staggering 2.1 billion in all, researchers said on Wednesday.The researchers conducted what they called the most comprehensive assessment to date of one of the pressing public health dilemmas of our time, using data covering 188 nations from 1980 to 2013.
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The Case for Junk DNA

The Case for Junk DNA | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
With the advent of deep sequencing technologies and the ability to analyze whole genome sequences and transcriptomes, there has been a growing interest in exploring putative functions of the very large fraction of the genome that is commonly referred to as “junk DNA.” Whereas this is an issue of considerable importance in genome biology, there is an unfortunate tendency for researchers and science writers to proclaim the demise of junk DNA on a regular basis without properly addressing some of the fundamental issues that first led to the rise of the concept. In this review, we provide an overview of the major arguments that have been presented in support of the notion that a large portion of most eukaryotic genomes lacks an organism-level function. Some of these are based on observations or basic genetic principles that are decades old, whereas others stem from new knowledge regarding molecular processes such as transcription and gene regulation.
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Rescooped by Elvin Joel Estrada from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Nature: Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition

“Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies, causing a loss of 63[thinsp]million life-years annually. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.”A couple of related links from eLife (OA)"Hidden shift of the ionome of plants exposed to elevated CO2 depletes minerals at the base of human nutrition"http://elifesciences.org/content/3/e02245and
"Plant quality declines as CO2 levels rise"
http://elifesciences.org/content/3/e03233
Via Mary Williams
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Rescooped by Elvin Joel Estrada from Stem Cells & Tissue Engineering
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Dr James Chong - Stem Cells to Regenerate the Failing Heart

Dr James Chong - Stem Cells to Regenerate the Failing Heart | Science Lovers | Scoop.it
“ In this short video, Dr. James Chong talks about his recent paper published in Nature, where he used human embryonic stem cells (hESC)- derived cardiomyocytes for heart regeneration in non-human pr...”
Via Jacob Blumenthal
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