Posts Tagged ‘scinews’

Immunotherapy: Using the Immune System to Treat Cancer – National Cancer Institute

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Geneticists tap human knockouts

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Sequenced genomes reveal mutations that disable single genes and can point to new drugs.

Ewen Callaway

28 October 2014 Corrected:
29 October 2014

You should also read the Corrections to this article


The poster child for human-knockout efforts is a new class of drugs that block a gene known as PCSK9 (see Nature 496, 152–155; 2013). The gene was discovered in French families with extremely high cholesterol levels in the early 2000s. But researchers soon found that people with rare mutations that inactivate one copy ofPCSK9 have low cholesterol and rarely develop heart disease. The first PCSK9-blocking drugs should hit pharmacies next year, with manufacturers jostling for a share of a market that could reach US$25 billion in five years.

“I think there are hundreds more stories like PCSK9 out there, maybe even thousands,” in which a drug can mimic an advantageous
loss-of-function mutation, says Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. Mark Gerstein, a bio­informatician at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, predicts that human knockouts will be especially useful for identifying drugs that treat diseases of ageing. “You could imagine there’s a gene that is beneficial to you as a 25-year-old, but the thing is not doing a good job for you when you’re 75.”


How to Build a Smarter Rock

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Interesting discussion about the creation of smart rocks and smart pebbles, which allow the tracking of current. These contain a data logger embedded in either aluminum or plastic. The tricky bit is how one finds them after they have been dropped off. Some ways might be radio transmitters, metal detectors and so forth but all of these have downsides.

How to Build a Smarter #Rock? Put a data #logger into aluminum or plastic; then track via radio or metal detector

Half a Million DVDs in Your DNA | Science/AAAS | News

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Half a Million DVDs in Your #DNA: Nice writeup of Goldman et al paper, highlighting 3X density incr. to >2 PB / g DNA

Very interesting discussion outside of science about the potential of storing large quantities of archival data on DNA. The statistic is that you can store a little more than 2 petabytes in a gram of DNA. This is actually cost effective relative to magnetic tape if one wants to do storage for >500 years. However one imagines that as the price of DNA sequencing and synthesis goes down this will become more favorable, perhaps being reasonable for archival storage in the ~50 year regimen. One of the issues with DNA storage, of course, is the lack of random access and the inability to rewrite over already stored media. But for long-term archival storage DNA is considerably more stable than the magnetic storage on tape or disk.

Battle for the Barrel

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Battle for the Barrel: Going from E10 to E25 gas (%ethanol) is a battle between #biofuel hopefuls & big #oil

Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. Google | Science/AAAS | News

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. #Google. Nice use of co-associated #search queries by @Rbaltman et al.

A Call to Cyber Arms

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A Call to Cyber Arms: Highlights the effectiveness of #stuxnet & the potential of future cyberweapons #security

Interesting discussion of various bits of computer security in relation to the United States and China. There is mention that by far the most successful weapon developed thus far is the Stuxnet virus, which has not been publicly claimed by the United States or Israel but is suggested to have originated with them. There is also mention of a Snowden-like character from China who gave an interview to a US publication in relation to the extent of Chinese hacking.

Outpaced by Innovation: Canceling an XPRIZE | Peter Diamandis

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Outpaced by Innovation: Canceling an #XPRIZE – A unique achievement for nextgen #sequencing tech via @theraltweet

Europe Pumps $50M into Genome-based International Rare Disease Projects

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Behind the scenes of a brain-mapping moon shot : Nature News & Comment

Friday, March 8th, 2013