Scientists Gene-Hack Human Cells to Turn Invisible

They gave human cells squid-like active camouflage.

By Dan Robitzski

Active Camo

By tinkering with the genetics of human cells, a team of scientists gave them the ability to camouflage.

To do so, they took a page out of the squid’s playbook, New Atlas reports. Specifically, they engineered the human cells to produce a squid protein known as reflectin, which scatters light to create a sense of transparency or iridescence.

Not only is it a bizarre party trick, but figuring out how to gene-hack specific traits into human cells gives scientists a new avenue to explore how the underlying genetics actually works.

Salamander DNA Could Regenerate Human Body Parts

By Dan Robitzski  – Re-Blogged From Futurism

“It’s hard to find a body part they can’t regenerate: the limbs, the tail, the spinal cord, the eye, and in some species, the lens, even half of their brain has been shown to regenerate.”

For the first time, scientists have completely sequenced the genome of the axolotl, a bizarre salamander that’s capable of regenerating many of its body parts after an injury.

By unlocking the entirety of the axolotl’s genetic code, according to a press release, doctors from the University of Kentucky hope that they may be able to use it in human medicine. By developing new genetic treatments, they hope that someday humans may be able to regenerate missing limbs or reverse other damage, like salamanders do.

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Study Uncovers Genetic Links Between Psychiatric Disorders

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism
The biological causes of mental health issues are starting to become clear.

Psychiatric disorders affect 25 percent of the population in any given year. But despite their prevalence, researchers still don’t know what causes many mental health issues, and that can make treating them incredibly difficult.

But now, a new study has identified more than a hundred gene variants that can affect a person’s risk of developing multiple psychiatric disorders — a biological clue that could lead to more effective treatments for the disorders in the future.

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Chinese Researcher Claims First Gene-Edited Babies

By Christina Larsen – Re-Blogged From APNews

HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.

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Blood Pressure Study Could Prevent Thousands of Heart Attacks, Strokes

By Zoe Papadakis – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

A breakthrough blood pressure study could prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes each year and it all has to do with genetics, experts announced Monday.

The discovery was made by researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London, who conducted the largest global genetic study and found over 500 new gene regions responsible for influencing a person’s blood pressure.

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Early Results Boost Hopes for Historic Gene Editing Attempt

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Early, partial results from a historic gene editing study give encouraging signs that the treatment may be safe and having at least some of its hoped-for effect, but it’s too soon to know whether it ultimately will succeed.

The results announced Wednesday are from the first human test of gene editing in the body, an attempt to permanently change someone’s DNA to cure a disease — in this case, a genetic disorder called Hunter syndrome that often kills people in their teens.

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New Gene Editing Method Could Revolutionize Cancer Treatment

By Solange Reyner – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Scientists at the University of California San Francisco have found a way to edit genomes, a method they say could revolutionize treatments for cancer, infections like HIV and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

The research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is a “turning point,” Vincenzo Cerundolo, director of the Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University, told The Washington Post. “It is a game-changer in the field, and I’m sure that this technology has legs.”

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Life-Extending Discovery Renews Debate Over Aging as a ‘Disease’

By – Re-Blogged From Seeker

Even if a new drug proves to prolong human life, it won’t receive regulatory approval for that purpose unless the FDA accepts that aging is a treatable medical condition.

“We’re not going to see people spend longer in nursing homes. We’re going to see them spend more time out of nursing homes.”

“I think this is probably the most exciting thing to happen in aging research yet, and I think that’s going to be true no matter how the trial results turn out.”

Outwitting Climate Change With a Plant ‘Dimmer’?

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (TUM) and the “dim and dimmer” department comes this finding that suggests GMO tweaking of plant DNA is the way to “outwit” the apparent nefarious intelligence of climate change.

Molecular mechanism responsible for blooming in spring identified

For many plant species, such as the thale cress, which is often used in research, but also for food crops such as corn, rice and wheat, there are now initiatives currently mapping the genome of many subspecies and varieties. CREDIT Photo: Regnault/ TUM

Outwitting climate change with a plant ‘dimmer’?

Plants possess molecular mechanisms that prevent them from blooming in winter. Once the cold of win-ter has passed, they are deactivated. However, if it is still too cold in spring, plants adapt their blooming behavior accordingly. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered genetic changes for this adaptive behavior. In light of the temperature changes resulting from climate change, this may come in useful for securing the production of food in the future.

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The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System

By – Re-Blogged From http://www.LewRockwell.com

How can the life of such a man

Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?

To see him obviously framed

Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land

Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane

Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

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