Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 1923

Oct 21, 2016

Autism study identifies defect in sufferers’ cells and existing medication could treat it

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

Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital identified a defect that causes a genetic disorder in 50% of autism sufferers — and two existing classes of drugs that counter the defect.

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Oct 21, 2016

Caloric restriction can be beneficial to the brain, study shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension, neuroscience

Studies of different animal species suggest a link between eating less and living longer, but the molecular mechanisms by which caloric restriction affords protection against disease and extends longevity are not well understood.

New clues to help solve the mystery are presented in an article published in the September issue of Aging Cell by scientists at the Center for Research on Redox Processes in Biomedicine (Redoxoma), one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by FAPESP.

The results of in vitro and in vivo experiments performed by the Redoxoma team included the finding that a 40% reduction in dietary caloric intake increases mitochondrial calcium retention in situations where intracellular calcium levels are pathologically high. In the brain, this can help avoid the death of neurons that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke, among other neurodegenerative conditions.

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Oct 20, 2016

The key to better rechargeable batteries may be in your blood

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mobile phones

Traditional lithium-ion batteries may be on the way out, as scientists continue to overcome the obstacles holding back the longer-lasting lithium-oxygen batteries. The main issue is lack of efficiency and the build-up of lithium peroxide, which reduces the electrodes’ effectiveness. But now a team at Yale has used a molecule found in blood as a catalyst that not only improved the lithium-oxygen function, but may help reduce biowaste.

Lithium-oxygen, or lithium-air batteries, have the potential to hold a charge for much longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries and extend the life of devices like phones to several weeks before they’d need to be recharged. But before those dreams can become a reality, the problems of efficiency and lithium peroxide build-up need to be solved.

Previous studies have tried to fight lithium peroxide by keeping the oxygen in the cell as a solid, and by modifying the electrode to produce lithium superoxide instead. In this case, the Yale researchers were looking for a new catalyst that allowed lithium oxide in the cell to decompose back into lithium ions and gaseous oxygen, and they found one in an unexpected place: animal blood.

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Oct 20, 2016

From mice to babies: Lab-grown mice egg cells give hope to infertility cure

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Japanese scientists have successfully grown healthy eggs from mouse skin cells – all within the perimeters of a lab dish. Led by Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi of Kyushu University, this achievement marks the first time the entire process has taken place outside a mouse and raises a tantalizing question for the reproductive science community: What if you could do the same with human cells?

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Oct 19, 2016

CRISPR-based startups rush to IPO and don’t seem to care that we don’t know who officially owns CRISPR

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

CRISPR Therapeutics—a Swiss startup hoping to harness the gene-editing technology it’s named after to develop treatments for genetic illnesses like sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis— went public today (Oct. 19), raising $56 million in its initial public offering. It’s the third CRISPR-related biotech to IPO this year despite a pitched battle over who owns the patent to the breakthrough technique.

The market for CRISPR (short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic sequences”) is projected to be worth more than $5.5 billion by 2021, nearly double its current value, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. The potential of the cheap, easy-to-use technology—which could do everything from creating a mushroom that doesn’t brown to curing cancer by cutting and pasting snippets of DNA—has companies rushing to develop new applications even though no one knows who will ultimately control it.

“It’s a race,” says Fabien Palazzoli, head of biotech intellectual property (IP) analytics for the consulting firm IPStudies. “It’s a race for the IPO, for the scientific results, for the FDA recommendation, for the IP.”

Continue reading “CRISPR-based startups rush to IPO and don’t seem to care that we don’t know who officially owns CRISPR” »

Oct 19, 2016

PGC-1α Gene Therapy Slows Alzheimer’s Progression in Mouse Model

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health, life extension, neuroscience

PCG-1α therapy shows promise in treating age-related decline.

It is always a good idea to look closely at the biochemistry involved in any potential Alzheimer’s disease therapy that shows promise in mouse models. There is perhaps more uncertainty for Alzheimer’s than most other age-related conditions when it comes to the degree to which the models are a useful representation of the disease state in humans — which might go some way towards explaining the promising failures that litter the field. In the research here, the authors are aiming to suppress a step in the generation of amyloid-β, one of the proteins that aggregates in growing amounts and is associated with brain cell death in Alzheimer’s disease. They achieve this goal using gene therapy to increase the level of PGC-1α, which in turn reduces the level of an enzyme involved in the production of amyloid-β. Interestingly, increased levels of PGC-1α have in the past been shown to produce modest life extension in mice, along with some of the beneficial effects to health associated with calorie restriction.


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Oct 19, 2016

Toothpaste significantly reduces dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension

Time to get the toothbrush out and brush for longevity!

For decades, research has suggested a link between oral health and inflammatory diseases affecting the entire body — in particular, heart attacks and strokes.

The results released today from a randomized trial of a novel plaque identifying toothpaste, (Plaque HD®), show statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation throughout the body is accurately measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for future heart attacks and strokes. These results, published today online ahead of print in the American Journal of Medicine, with an accompanying editorial by the editor-in-chief, show that Plaque HD®, produced statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body as measured by hs-CRP.

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Oct 19, 2016

Humanized organs in gene-edited animals

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical, genetics, life extension

Humanized organs in gene-edited animals is one potential way medicine can deal with the demand for transplant organs.

One potential avenue for research and to help solve the organ shortage is to modify animals to be closer matched to humans in order to have organs capable of being used for transplant. This short paper is an interesting primer into the subject and touches upon the technical and ethical concerns involved here.

It is one possible solution to the problem, however, 3D bioprinting increases in sophistication and other methods are also being developed that would render this approach needless. Still this is an interesting insight into regenerative medicine and one possible path research might take.

#LifespanIO #aging #crowdfundthecure

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Oct 18, 2016

Your light bulbs could be playing havoc with your health – here’s why

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, neuroscience

A recent newspaper article under the headline “High street eye test can provide early indication of dementia” highlighted yet another complex connection between the eye and the brain.

This important eye-brain interface is still being researched and many disciplines are now working together to make fresh findings. But while most of us know that regular physical activity and eating healthily can help maintain or improve our well-being, few are aware of the importance of feeding our eyes with the right kind of light. Indeed, not experiencing the right quality and quantity of light could have adverse effects on hormonal changes, sleep patterns and may even be linked to obesity.

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Oct 18, 2016

A tiny metal mesh that looks like a fishing net could stop Parkinson’s symptoms in their tracks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Novel treatments for neurological diseases might be possible with a flexible mesh that can prod individual brain cells.

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