Archive for the ‘genetics’ category

May 31, 2023

This Woman Feels No Pain. Decoding Her DNA Could Bring Relief to Millions

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Jo Cameron is a 75-year-old Scottish woman who has gone through life without experiencing significant pain of any kind. Even major surgery and childbirth failed to deliver the discomfort most of us would experience.

According to an interview with the BBC in 2019, Cameron only knows her skin is burning if she smells or sees it. To her, suffering is nothing more than an abstract concept.

The quirk that Cameron was born with is shared with just a few other people in th e world. Called congenital analgesia, it is a one-in-a-million condition with multiple genetic causes that may come with other symptoms, such as sweating more or having no sense of smell.

May 31, 2023

Geneticists discover hidden ‘whole genome duplication’ that may explain why some species survived mass extinctions

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

Geneticists have unearthed a major event in the ancient history of sturgeons and paddlefish that has significant implications for the way we understand evolution. They have pinpointed a previously hidden “whole genome duplication” (WGD) in the common ancestor of these species, which seemingly opened the door to genetic variations that may have conferred an advantage around the time of a major mass extinction some 200 million years ago.

The big-picture finding suggests that there may be many more overlooked, shared WGDs in other species before periods of extreme environmental upheaval throughout Earth’s tumultuous history.

The research, led by Professor Aoife McLysaght and Dr. Anthony Redmond from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Genetics and Microbiology, has just been published in Nature Communications.

May 31, 2023

Brain Computer Interfaces in 2050: Top 10 Future Technologies

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, bioengineering, business, genetics, robotics/AI, transhumanism

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May 31, 2023

First-of-Its-Kind Gene Therapy Can Be Applied to Skin Instead of Injected

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The root cause is frustratingly simple: one gene mutation, which affects a critical protein that helps support skin integrity. The single genetic error makes the illness a perfect candidate for gene therapy. Yet with the skin already fragile, injections—a current standard for gene therapy—are hard to tolerate.

What about a genetic moisturizer instead?

This month, the FDA approved the first rub-on gene therapy. Similar to aloe vera for treating sunburns, the therapy comes in a gel that’s gently massaged onto blisters and wounds to help with healing. Dubbed Vyjuvek, it directly delivers healthy copies of the mutated gene onto damaged skin. An alternative version is configured into eye drops to reconstruct the eye’s delicate architecture to better support sight.

May 31, 2023

Chinese scientists say their new gene-editing tool is precise and safe

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

‘Base editors’ fix specific sites in the genome without cutting the DNA double helix, according to team.

May 30, 2023

Unveiling a Genetic Breakthrough: Enhancing Cancer-Killing Cells and Extending Lifespan

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


In the pursuit of extending healthy human lifespans, scientists have achieved a remarkable breakthrough that marks a significant milestone in the field. Researchers from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan have uncovered a genetic modification in mice that can empower cancer-killing cells, increasing their effectiveness by two to seven times while extending their lifespan by up to 20 percent.

Building upon last year’s groundbreaking study, the scientists have now successfully replicated these extraordinary outcomes in ordinary mice through a single transplant of blood stem cells. The findings, published in the scientific journal Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, hold immense importance, according to Che-Kun James Shen, the lead researcher of the study. He believes that these findings could have profound implications for human health and anticipates that clinical trials could commence as early as the end of this year or next year.

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May 30, 2023

The Woman Who Doesn’t Feel Pain — New Study Reveals Her Unique Molecular Machinery

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

New research from UCL, investigating the biology of a rare genetic mutation that enables carrier Jo Cameron to live virtually without pain and fear while also healing quickly, discovered that the mutation in FAAH-OUT gene ‘turns down’ FAAH gene expression, affecting molecular pathways related to wound healing and mood, thereby offering potential new targets for drug discovery.

New research from University College London (UCL) has unraveled the biology behind a unique genetic mutation that results in its carrier experiencing minimal pain, enhanced healing, and lower levels of anxiety and fear.

Published in the journal Brain, the research is a follow-up to the team’s 2019 discovery of the FAAH-OUT gene and its rare mutations, which make Jo Cameron almost immune to pain, and devoid of fear and anxiety. The latest study elucidates how this mutation reduces the expression of the FAAH gene and impacts other molecular pathways associated with mood and wound healing. The insights garnered from these findings could potentially pave the way for novel drug targets and foster further research in these domains.

May 29, 2023

Hope for age-related hearing loss with novel gene therapy

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

Age-related hearing loss impacts one in three adults between the ages of 64 and 75 in the US, and around half of these numbers are down to genes.

The extra kicker, though, is that because hearing involves a complex genetic toolkit, it also makes this kind of hearing loss incredibly difficult to treat.

A team of researchers has for the first time targeted age-related genetic hearing loss in a much older cohort of mice, which had a mutation of the human transmembrane serine protease 3 (TMPRSS3) gene that results in autosomal recessive deafness 8/10 (DFNB8/DFNB10).

May 29, 2023

A Mutation Turned Ants Into Parasites in One Generation

Posted by in category: genetics

A new genetics study of ant “social parasites” shows how complex sets of features can emerge rapidly and potentially split species.

May 29, 2023

We’re analysing DNA from ancient and modern humans to create a ‘family tree of everyone’

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

How we’re linking together genetic material from thousands of people — modern and ancient — to trace our ancestors and the history of our evolution.

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