Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 14

Feb 17, 2024

Injections of brain protein reverse memory loss in mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The challenge is huge: There’s a lot we don’t understand about Alzheimer’s disease, but we do know that patient’s brains tend to accumulate toxic tau and amyloid-beta proteins, so most research has focused on those targets.

That approach has led to new drugs that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s to a small degree, but we’ve yet to find anything that can reverse the damage the disease does to the brain.

The big idea: Synapses — the connections between brain neurons — need a protein called “KIBRA” in order to form memories, and there’s a link between certain variants of the KIBRA gene and developing Alzheimer’s.

Feb 17, 2024

The intersection of bottom-up synthetic cell engineering and nanobiotechnology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is intimately intertwined with efforts to bring bottom-up synthetic cell research to the forefront, and only strengthening these bonds will expand the scope of what this might achieve.

Feb 17, 2024

End-to-end design of ingestible electronics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics

This Review explores the development of ingestible electronics and provides a step-by-step guide for the design of ingestible electronic capsules at the system level.

Feb 17, 2024

Near-gapless and haplotype-resolved apple genomes provide insights into the genetic basis of rootstock-induced dwarfing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Near-gapless and haplotype-resolved genome assemblies of the dwarfing ‘M9’ and semi-vigorous ‘MM106’ rootstocks and a major apple cultivar ‘Fuji’ provide insights into the genetic basis of rootstock-induced dwarfing traits.

Feb 17, 2024

Large-scale gene expression alterations introduced by structural variation drive morphotype diversification in Brassica oleracea

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

To construct a pan-genome that encompasses the full range of genetic diversity in B. ole racea, we analyzed the resequencing data of 704 globally distributed B. ole racea accessions covering all different morphotypes and their wild relatives (Supplementary Tables 1 and 2). We identified 3,792,290 SNPs and 528,850 InDels in these accessions using cabbage JZS as reference genome22. A phylogenetic tree was then constructed using SNPs, which classified the 704 accessions into the following three main groups: wild B. ole racea and kales, arrested inflorescence lineage (AIL) and leafy head lineage (LHL; Fig. 1a and Supplementary Note 2). The phylogenetic relationship revealed in our study was generally consistent with those reported previously4,5,24,25. Based on the phylogeny and morphotype diversity, we selected 22 representative accessions for de novo genome assembly (Table 1).

We assembled genome sequences of the 22 accessions by integrating long-reads (PacBio or Nanopore sequencing), optical mapping molecules (BioNano) or high-throughput chromosome conformation capture data (Hi-C) and Illumina short-reads (Methods; Supplementary Note 2 and Supplementary Tables 3–7). The total genome size of these assemblies ranged from 539.87 to 584.16 Mb with an average contig N50 of 19.18 Mb (Table 1). An average of 98% contig sequences were anchored to the nine pseudochromosomes of B. ole racea. The completeness of these genome assemblies was assessed using benchmarking universal single-copy orthologs (BUSCO), with an average of 98.70% complete score in these genomes (Supplementary Table 8).

To minimize artifacts that could arise from different gene prediction approaches, we predicted gene models of both the 22 newly assembled genomes and the five reported high-quality genomes5,21,22,23 using the same annotation pipeline (Methods). Using an integrated strategy combining ab initio, homology-based and transcriptome-assisted prediction, we obtained a range of 50,346 to 55,003 protein-coding genes with a mean BUSCO value of 97.9% in these genomes (Table 1). After gene prediction, a phylogenetic tree constructed based on single-copy orthologous genes clustered the 27 genomes into three groups, similar to the results observed in the population (Fig. 1a and b).

Feb 17, 2024

Breakthrough: New Blood Test Predicts Schizophrenia Risk

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Diagnosing schizophrenia as early as possible helps minimize the toll the neurological disorder takes on the body and the mind. Unfortunately the condition’s signs can be difficult to spot in the early stages.

That’s why researchers led by a team from the Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a test which offers a relatively simple and reliable way to check for current schizophrenia severity and future risk.

“Psychosis usually manifests in young adulthood – a prime period of life,” says neuroscientist Alexander Niculescu from the Indiana University School of Medicine. “Stress and drugs, including marijuana, are precipitating factors on a background of genetic vulnerability.”

Feb 17, 2024

Computational drug development for membrane protein targets

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Drug discovery is being transformed by advances in computational protein structure prediction and protein design.

Feb 17, 2024

Researchers 3D print functional human brain tissue with active neural networks

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) have developed a novel approach for 3D printing functional human brain tissue.

The 3D printing process can create active neural networks in and between tissues that grow in a matter of weeks.

The researchers believe that their 3D bioprinted brain tissue provides an effective tool for modeling brain network activity under physiological and pathological conditions, and can also serve as a platform for drug testing.

Feb 17, 2024

An evolutionarily conserved pathway that achieves a peaceful co-existence with genomic parasites

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

Transposable elements are mobile genetic elements that can relocate within the genome and disrupt the normal function of genes, but are at the same time a source of evolutionary diversity. The lab of Tugce Aktas at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics has identified a novel pathway that keeps the activity of transposons in somatic cells in check after they have been transcribed.

Their findings have now been published in Nature. The work is a collaboration with the labs of Zachary D. Smith at the Yale Stem Cell Center, U.S., and Franz-Josef Müller from the Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Over the course of evolution, the genomes of many organisms have become cluttered with ancient genetic remnants from evolution or parts of retroviruses that inserted their genetic code millions of years ago. Nearly half of the human genome consists of these transposable elements, or transposons.

Feb 17, 2024

CRISPR-COPIES: New Tool Accelerates and Optimizes Genome Editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

CRISPR/Cas systems have undergone tremendous advancement in the past decade. These precise genome editing tools have applications ranging from transgenic crop development to gene therapy and beyond. And with their recent development of CRISPR-COPIES, researchers at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) are further improving CRISPR’s versatility and ease of use.

“CRISPR-COPIES is a tool that can quickly identify appropriate chromosomal integration sites for genetic engineering in any organism,” said Huimin Zhao, CABBI Conversion Theme Leader and Steven L. Miller Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) at the University of Illinois. “It will accelerate our work in the metabolic engineering of non-model yeasts for cost-effective production of chemicals and biofuels.”

Gene editing has revolutionized scientists’ capabilities in understanding and manipulating genetic information. This form of genetic engineering allows researchers to introduce new traits into an organism, such as resistance to pests or the ability to produce a valuable biochemical.

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