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You may have billions and billions of good reasons for being unfit

You may have billions and billions of good reasons for being unfit

Although our chromosomes are relatively stable within our lifetimes, the genetic material found in our mitochondria is highly variable across individuals and may impact upon human health, say researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital. Genomes are changing, not just from generation to generation, but even and in fact within our individual cells Continue reading

You may have billions and billions of good reasons for being unfit

You may have billions and billions of good reasons for being unfit

Although our chromosomes are relatively stable within our lifetimes, the genetic material found in our mitochondria is highly variable across individuals and may impact upon human health, say researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital. Genomes are changing, not just from generation to generation, but even and in fact within our individual cells Continue reading

Male or female? First sex-determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 million years ago

Male or female? First sex-determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 million years ago

Man or woman? Male or female? In humans and other mammals, the difference between sexes depends on one single element of the genome: the Y chromosome Continue reading

Enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects disovered

Enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects disovered

Purdue University researchers have identified an important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases. Mark Hall, associate professor of biochemistry, found that near the end of cell division, the enzyme Cdc14 activates Yen1, an enzyme that ensures any breaks in DNA are fully repaired before the parent cell distributes copies of the genome to daughter cells. Continue reading

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer segments in a living cell

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer segments in a living cell

Purdue University researchers have developed a way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using tiny gold particles with tails of synthetic DNA. A team led by Joseph Irudayaraj, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, used gold nanoparticles to target and bind to fragments of genetic material known as BRCA1 messenger RNA splice variants, which can indicate the presence and stage of breast cancer. Continue reading

Hundreds of genetic mutations found in healthy blood of a supercentenarian

Hundreds of genetic mutations found in healthy blood of a supercentenarian

Genetic mutations are commonly studied because of links to diseases such as cancer; however, little is known about mutations occurring in healthy individuals. In a study published online in Genome Research , researchers detected over 400 mutations in healthy blood cells of a 115-year-old woman, suggesting that lesions at these sites are largely harmless over the course of a lifetime. Our blood is continually replenished by hematopoietic stem cells that reside in the bone marrow and divide to generate different types of blood cells, including white blood cells Continue reading

Neuroimaging Technique: Live from inside the cell in real-time

Neuroimaging Technique: Live from inside the cell in real-time

A novel imaging technique provides insights into the role of redox signaling and reactive oxygen species in living neurons, in real time. Continue reading

Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses

Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses

A computational tool developed at the University of Utah (U of U) has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases, U of U researchers and their colleagues report in a new study in The American Journal of Human Genetics . The software, Phevor (Phenotype Driven Variant Ontological Re-ranking tool), identifies undiagnosed illnesses and unknown gene mutations by analyzing the exomes, or areas of DNA where proteins that code for genes are made, in individual patients and small families. Sequencing the genomes of individuals or small families often produces false predictions of mutations that cause diseases. Continue reading

Turoctocog alfa in patients with hemophilia A: Added benefit not proven

Turoctocog alfa in patients with hemophilia A: Added benefit not proven

Turoctocog alfa (trade name: NovoEight) has been approved since November 2013 for the prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients with hemophilia A. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the “Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products” (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) examined whether this new active ingredient offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy Continue reading

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans — a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year — are so malleable and dangerous Continue reading