Current Genetically Modified News and Events

Current Genetically Modified News and Events, Genetically Modified News Articles.
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New technique reveals switches in RNA
Scientists at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Torino (Italy), have developed a method to visualize and quantify alternative structures of RNA molecules. These alternative RNA 'shapes' can have important functional relevance in viruses and bacteria. The method was used to identify a conserved structural switch in the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (2021-02-22)

Store fat or burn it? Targeting a single protein flips the switch
As obesity becomes a growing issue worldwide - nearly tripling over the last-half century - scientists are trying to gain a better understanding of the condition at the molecular level. Now, new research led by UC San Francisco scientists suggests that a single protein could play an outsize role in weight gain. (2021-02-18)

Sweet coating for sour bones
Scientists invent a bioactive coating to improve the function of titanium implants in osteoporotic bones. This coating, comprising a chemically-modified glycan, can sequentially turn on and off inflammation on titanium surface upon implantation. This modulation stimulates the body's immune system to promote bone healing in an effective and safe way, without addition of bone-forming genes or drugs, according to the data from a rat osteoporotic model. (2021-02-12)

How the 3-D structure of eye-lens proteins is formed
Chemical bonds within the eye-lens protein gamma-B crystallin hold the protein together and are therefore important for the function of the protein within the lens. Contrary to previous assumptions, some of these bonds, called disulphide bridges, are already formed simultaneously with the synthesis of the protein in the cell. This is what scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and the French Institute de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble have discovered. (2021-02-10)

A new modifier increases the efficiency of perovskite solar cells
The research team of NUST MISIS has presented an improved structure of perovskite solar cells. Scientists have modified perovskite-based solar cells using MXenes -- thin two-dimensional titanium carbides with high electrical conductivity. The MXenes-based modified cells showed superior performance, with power conversion efficiency exceeding 19% (the reference demonstrated 17%) and improved stabilized power output with respect to reference devices. The results have been published in the Nano energy international scientific journal. (2021-02-09)

Immune response to insulin could identify, help treat those at risk for Type 1 Diabetes
Researchers from the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that immune responses to insulin could help identify individuals most at risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. (2021-02-08)

New methods for exploring the 'dark matter' of biology
New tools and methods have been described by WEHI researchers to study an unusual protein modification and gain fresh insights into its roles in human health and disease. The study - about how certain sugars modify proteins - was published today in Nature Chemical Biology. Led by WEHI researcher Associate Professor Ethan Goddard-Borger, this work lays a foundation for better understanding diseases like muscular dystrophy and cancer. (2021-02-04)

A single-molecule guide to understanding chemical reactions better
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) report measurement of electrical conductivity of single DNA molecules as a way of monitoring the formation of double-stranded DNA on a gold surface. In their latest paper, they investigate the time evolution of the reaction and report findings not observed previously, demonstrating the suitability of the single-molecule approach in elucidating reaction pathways and exploring novel chemical processes. (2021-02-04)

Some sperms poison their competitors
A genetic factor helps sperm cells outcompete their peers (2021-02-04)

When hyperactive proteins trigger illnesses
Autoimmune diseases, in which the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue, can be life-threatening and can impact all organs. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now found a possible cause for these self-destructive immune system attacks: a hyperactive RANK protein on the surface of B cells. The research opens the door to new therapeutic possibilities. (2021-02-02)

New protein neutralizes COVID in tiny human kidney
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a new protein that acts as a trickster to neutralize the COVID-19 infection in a human kidney organoid, a miniature organ made from stem cells in the lab. (2021-02-01)

New weapon for inflammation
Flinders University researchers have discovered a new anti-inflammatory role for well-known blood clot protein fibrinogen, which could support targeted new treatments for kidney, heart and other common diseases. The study in Redox Biology describes how fibrinogen can be protective against hypochlorite - a chemical generated by the body during inflammation - and so act as a kind of antioxidant in blood plasma. (2021-01-31)

Genetic analysis of symptoms yields new insights into PTSD
A new study led by researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) uncovers intriguing genetic similarities between PTSD and other mental health disorders such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The findings also suggest that existing drugs commonly used for other disorders might be modified to help treat individual symptoms of multiple disorders. (2021-01-28)

Study introduces mRNA-LNP as a safe therapeutic intervention for liver regeneration
When severely or chronically injured, the liver loses its ability to regenerate. A new study led by researchers at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) now describes a safe new potential therapeutic tool for the recovery of liver function in chronic and acute liver diseases. (2021-01-27)

Genetically-modified mosquitoes key to stopping Zika virus spread
In 2016, the World Health Organization called the Zika virus epidemic a ''public health emergency of international concern'' due to the virus causing birth defects for pregnant women in addition to neurological problems. (2021-01-26)

Study helps understand why kids of obese mothers may be susceptible to metabolic diseases
The phenomenon may be associated with a deficiency of the protein mitofusin-2 in the mother's eggs, which affects the shape and functioning of mitochondria. The finding was based on experiments with mice conducted at the Federal University of São Carlos and reported in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction. (2021-01-26)

Better diet and glucose uptake in the brain lead to longer life in fruit flies
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans. Looking at the brain cells of aging flies, they found that better glucose uptake compensates for age-related deterioration in motor functions, and led to longer life. The effect was more pronounced when coupled with dietary restrictions. This suggests healthier eating plus improved glucose uptake in the brain might lead to enhanced lifespans. (2021-01-16)

Scientists synthetize new material for high-performance supercapacitors
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with colleagues from the University of Lille (Lille, France) synthetized a new material based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) for supercapacitors, energy storage devices. The rGO modification method with the use of organic molecules, derivatives of hypervalent iodine, allowed obtaining a material that stores 1.7 times more electrical energy. The research findings are published in Electrochimica Acta academic journal (IF: 6,215; Q1). (2021-01-15)

The role of T cells in fighting cancer
Why do some hosts' immune systems reject tumors easily, while others have a harder time doing so? It depends on the types of the immune cells known as CD8 T cells and how a host's specific T cells match up with the neoantigens present in the tumor. (2021-01-14)

Killing cancer by unleashing the body's own immune system
The body's immune system is the first line of defense against infections like bacteria, viruses or cancers. Some cancers, however, have developed the art of molecular deception to avoid destruction by the body's immune system. Now, a University of Missouri researcher might have found a new way to help the body's immune system get past that deception and destroy the cancer. (2021-01-12)

Same difference: predicting divergent paths of genetically identical cells
DALLAS - Jan. 11, 2021 - A set of biomarkers not traditionally associated with cell fate can accurately predict how genetically identical cells behave differently under stress, according to a UT Southwestern study. The findings, published by Cell Reports as a Dec. 1 cover story, could eventually lead to more predictable responses to pharmaceutical treatments. (2021-01-11)

Breakthrough on diarrhea virus opens up for new vaccines
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have for the first time at the atomic level succeeded in mapping what a virus looks like that causes diarrhea and annually kills about 50,000 children in the world. The discovery may in the long run provide the opportunity for completely new types of treatments for other viral diseases such as COVID-19. (2021-01-11)

Protein that can be toxic in the heart and nerves may help prevent Alzheimer's
A protein that wreaks havoc in the nerves and heart when it clumps together can prevent the formation of toxic protein clumps associated with Alzheimer's disease, a new study led by a UT Southwestern researcher shows. The findings, published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, could lead to new treatments for this brain-ravaging condition, which currently has no truly effective therapies and no cure. (2021-01-07)

Intelligence deficit: Conclusion from the mouse to the human being
Impaired intelligence, movement disorders and developmental delays are typical for a group of rare diseases that belong to GPI anchor deficiencies. Researchers now used genetic engineering methods to create a mouse that mimics these patients very well. Studies in this animal model suggest that in GPI anchor deficiencies, a gene mutation impairs the transmission of stimuli at the synapses in the brain. The results are published in the journal PNAS. (2021-01-07)

Cooling vests alleviate perceptual heat strain perceived by COVID-19 nurses
Wearing cooling vests during a COVID-19 shift ensures that nurses experience less heat during their work. During their shifts, nurses wear protective clothing for three hours in a row, during which the temperature can rise to as much as 36 degrees. The cooling vests offer such effective cooling that they are now part of the standard work clothing for nurses in the COVID nursing departments at Radboud university medical center. (2021-01-07)

Bone fracture risk may increase when critical enzymatic processes decline
A loss of enzymatic processes within the body can increase a person's risk of bone fracture. This new insight was recently published in eLife by an international team of scientists and engineers led by Deepak Vashishth, the director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (2021-01-05)

Fluoride to the rescue?
Scientists have long been aware of the dangerous overuse of antibiotics and the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant microbes that have resulted. While over-prescription of antibiotics for medicinal use has unsettling implications for human health, so too does the increasing presence of antibiotics in the natural environment. The latter may stem from the improper disposal of medicines, but also from the biotechnology field, which has depended on antibiotics as a selection device in the lab. (2021-01-04)

Sugars influence cell-to-surface adhesion
An international team of researchers examined how movement and adhesion in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can be manipulated. To this end, the researchers altered the sugar modifications in proteins on the cell surface. As a result, the so-called adhesion force was also altered. The results have now been published in the open access scientific journal eLife. (2020-12-29)

New mechanism of force transduction in muscle cells discovered
Researchers at the University of Münster (Germany) have now discovered how the muscle-specific adhesion molecule metavinculin modulates mechanical force transduction on the molecular level. The research results have just been published in the journal Nature Communications. (2020-12-18)

Optogenetic method can reveal how gut microbes affect longevity
Optogenetics offers a direct way to manipulate gut bacterial metabolism in a temporally, quantitatively and spatially controlled manner and enhance host fitness. (2020-12-17)

Scientists create a new phototoxic protein, SuperNova2
Scientists have developed an enhanced version of SuperNova, a genetically encoded phototoxic synthesizer, that helps control intracellular processes by light exposure. 'We expect that the genetically encoded photosensitizer SuperNova2 will find use in a wide range of experimental models,' Konstantin Lukyanov, a professor at the Skoltech Center of Life Sciences (CLS), comments. (2020-12-17)

Mission to MAARS: Long non-coding RNA may play a key role in cardiovascular disease
Through utilization of genetically modified high-risk atherosclerotic mice, a research team from Brigham and Women's Hospital identified and characterized Macrophage-Associated Atherosclerosis lncRNA Sequence (MAARS), which is expressed specifically in macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques and contributes to the progression of the disease. (2020-12-17)

Molecule holds promise to reprogram white blood cells for better cancer treatment
Cancer immunotherapy using ''designer'' immune cells has revolutionized cancer treatment. In this type of therapy, T cells, a type of white blood cell, are collected from a patient's blood and genetically engineered to produce T cells carrying a synthetic molecule termed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that enables T cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Then these genetically modified CAR T cells are expanded and infused back to the patient. (2020-12-14)

The uncharted molecular language of the brain
A novel method that looks at the molecular composition of brain synapses has revealed three times more proteins than previously thought, finds research published in PNAS. (2020-12-14)

A protein has been identified as a potential therapeutic target for leishmaniasis vaccines
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), leishmaniasis causes between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths a year, and there is currently no vaccine for humans. A research team led by the Complutense University of Madrid has described the mechanism by which the Leishmania parasite avoids detection: through the SHP-1 protein, which is responsible for basic cellular functions. The finding positions this protein as a potential therapeutic target for the development of vaccines against the disease. (2020-12-11)

Tasmanian devils may survive their own pandemic
Researchers have found strong evidence that a transmissible cancer that has decimated Tasmanian devil populations likely won't spell their doom. For the first time, a research team employed genomic tools of phylodynamics, typically used to track viruses, such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 , to trace the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease. The approach they pioneered has opened the door for application to other genetically complex pathogens. (2020-12-10)

Tomatoes offer affordable source of Parkinson's disease drug
Scientists have produced a tomato enriched in the Parkinson's disease drug L-DOPA in what could become a new, affordable source of one of the world's essential medicines. (2020-12-09)

How to use antibodies to control chemical reactions
In a collaborative effort a group of international scientists has recently demonstrated a way to control different synthetic chemical reactions with specific antibodies. Their work has been now published in Nature Communications. (2020-12-07)

CAR T-cell therapy found highly effective in patients with high-risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma
A CAR T-cell therapy known as axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel) drove cancer cells to undetectable levels in nearly 80% of patients with advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a phase 2 clinical trial, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators report at the virtual 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. (2020-12-05)

Researchers create ingredients to produce food by 3D printing
Food engineers in Brazil and France developed gels based on modified starch for use as ''ink'' to make foods and novel materials by additive manufacturing (2020-12-03)

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