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Gene Genie

Gene Genie

The microcarnival of human genes and personalized genetics.
Blog
Amira
A New Programming Language That Can Shape Our DNA. Get ready for a time when telling a cell to do something is as easy as coding a website - http://www.fastcoexist.com/3019370...
A New Programming Language That Can Shape Our DNA. Get ready for a time when telling a cell to do something is as easy as coding a website
"Last month, a team led at the University of Washington announced they had devised and successfully tested a programming language that can guide the assembly of synthetic DNA molecules into a circuit that can perform a task, just as a software developer would write code to send commands to a computer. Chemists have always used mathematical models to study how molecules behave in mixtures. “Instead of thinking of this as a descriptive language that allows you to understand the chemistry, we said, we’re going to create a prescriptive language that allows you to program something.” (...) [P]ossible future uses for being able to design and assemble DNA to perform a specified function are wide-ranging. Seelig imagines programming molecules to act as embedded sensors inside cells that could respond to changing conditions, just as internal electronics guide the operation of automobiles or home appliances. For example, he says DNA systems could be instructed to release a drug every certain... more... - Amira from Bookmarklet
Amira
Can They Patent Your Genes? According to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in the US, patents now cover some 40% of the human genome http://www.nybooks.com/article...
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"[Thomas] Jefferson’s language emphasized the requirement of newness, or novelty, and bespoke the necessity of an inventive step. It also implied that products made by nature, which were held to belong to everyone, were not to be removed from common possession. Thus products of nature such as the naturally occurring elements in the periodic table or the creatures of the earth, being neither new in the world nor made by man, were taken to be ineligible for patents. So, tacitly, were laws of nature, natural manifestations, abstract ideas, and thought. (...) Judge Moore did acknowledge that Myriad’s patents “raise substantial moral and ethical issues” about the allowance of property rights in “human DNA—the very thing that makes us humans, and not chimpanzees,” and she allowed that BRCA DNA “might well deserve to be excluded from the patent system.” But she considered such a “dramatic” destruction of property rights properly the province of Congress, not the courts. Against this strict... more... - Amira
"A famous example cited in numerous briefs in the current appeal involved Dr. Jonas Salk's development and invention of the polio oral vaccine in 1952. When his life-saving treatment was announced, he said the people would "own" the vaccine, adding "Could you patent the sun?" -- http://www.cnn.com/2013... // A ruling from the court is expected in June. // See also: Biological patent, Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki... - Amira
Amira
ENCODE: The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements - study produces 'Google Maps' for human genome - http://www.youtube.com/watch...
ENCODE: The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements - study produces 'Google Maps' for human genome
Play
"Over the last 10 years, an international team of 442 scientists have assailed 147 different types of cells with 24 types of experiments. Their goal: catalogue every letter (nucleotide) within the genome that does something. The results are published today in 30 papers across three different journals, and more." // "The NHGRI-funded project, dubbed ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements), linked more than 80 percent of the human genome sequence to a specific biological function and mapped more than 4 million regulatory regions where proteins specifically interact with the DNA. Among other things, these findings refute past research suggesting that most of our genetic code is essentially useless. NHGRI program director, Elise Feingold, likened the ENCODE catalog to “Google Maps for the human genome.” Researchers can use the ENCODE maps to navigate through the chromosomes, genes, functional elements and individual nucleotides in the human genome just as Google Maps users can adjust... more... - Amira from Bookmarklet
The data can be accessed through the ENCODE project portal: http://www.encodeproject.org/ENCODE... You can read more about the project here: http://www.genome.gov/27549810. See also: ENCODE: the rough guide to the human genome http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrock... - Amira
Hey, there's my house...er...protein! - Todd Hoff
wow! See also: Genome Brings Ancient Girl to Life -- complete picture of girl over 50,000 years old "In a stunning technical feat, an international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of an archaic Siberian girl 31 times over, using a new method that amplifies single strands of DNA. The sequencing is so complete that researchers have as sharp a picture of this ancient genome as... more... - Amira
Amira
DNA could have existed long before life itself | New Scientist - http://www.newscientist.com/article...
DNA could have existed long before life itself | New Scientist
"The latest twist in the origin-of-life tale is double helical. Chemists are close to demonstrating that the building blocks of DNA can form spontaneously from chemicals thought to be present on the primordial Earth. If they succeed, their work would suggest that DNA could have predated the birth of lifeMovie Camera. DNA is essential to almost all life on Earth, yet most biologists think that life began with RNA. Just like DNA, it stores genetic information. What's more, RNA can fold into complex shapes that can clamp onto other molecules and speed up chemical reactions, just like a protein, and it is structurally simpler than DNA, so might be easier to make. After decades of trying, in 2009 researchers finally managed to generate RNA using chemicals that probably existed on the early Earth. Matthew Powner, now at University College London, and his colleagues synthesised two of the four nucleotides that make up RNA. Their achievement suggested that RNA may have formed spontaneously - powerful support for the idea that life began in an "RNA world". (...)" - Amira from Bookmarklet
"Nucleotides consist of a sugar attached to a phosphate and a nitrogen-containing base molecule - these bases are the familiar letters of the genetic code. DNA nucleotides, which link together to form DNA, are harder to make than RNA nucleotides, because DNA uses a different sugar that is tougher to work with. (....) That could have important implications for our understanding of life's... more... - Amira
Amira
Book written in DNA code. Scientists who encoded the book say it could soon be cheaper to store information in DNA than in conventional digital devices - http://www.guardian.co.uk/science...
Book written in DNA code. Scientists who encoded the book say it could soon be cheaper to store information in DNA than in conventional digital devices
"Scientists have for the first time used DNA to encode the contents of a book. At 53,000 words, and including 11 images and a computer program, it is the largest amount of data yet stored artificially using the genetic material. The researchers claim that the cost of DNA coding is dropping so quickly that within five to 10 years it could be cheaper to store information using this method than in conventional digital devices. Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA – the chemical that stores genetic instructions in almost all known organisms – has an impressive data capacity. One gram can store up to 455bn gigabytes: the contents of more than 100bn DVDs, making it the ultimate in compact storage media. A three-strong team led by Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School has now demonstrated that the technology to store data in DNA, while still slow, is becoming more practical. They report in the journal Science that the 5.27 megabit collection of data they stored is more than 600 times bigger than the largest dataset previously encoded this way. (...)" - Amira from Bookmarklet
"DNA has numerous advantages over traditional digital storage media. It can be easily copied, and is often still readable after thousands of years in non-ideal conditions." Digital data is traditionally stored as binary code: ones and zeros. Although DNA offers the ability to use four "numbers": A, C, G and T, to minimise errors Church's team decided to stick with binary encoding, with... more... - Amira
Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA by G. M. Church, Y. Gao, S. Kosuri http://www.sciencemag.org/content... - Amira
Amira
Scottish lecturer found to be 'grandfather of everyone in Britain' - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science...
Scottish lecturer found to be 'grandfather of everyone in Britain'
"A retired lecturer who took a DNA test to find out where his ancestors came from has been found to be directly descended from the first woman on earth, who lived 190,000 years ago. Ian Kinnaird, 72, has a genetic marker inherited from his mother that traces his ancestry to an African lineage that has not been found before in Western Europe. Researchers from Britain’s DNA, who carried out the tests, said the result meant that in genetic terms he was a “thoroughbred”, and could be described as the “grandson of Eve, or the grandfather of everyone in Britain”. They were so surprised by the results that they phoned Mr Kinnaird, a widower who lives in the far north of Scotland, to break the news to him. They told him his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), passed through the female line, was 30,000 years old and only two genetic mutations removed from the first woman, while most men have a genome with around 200 mutations since the earliest humans. (...)" - Amira from Bookmarklet
"It is further proof that even white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are descended from a black Eve.” The project has now tested 2,000 people across the United Kingdom and most have markers that trace their ancestry back up to 3,500 years, These defined them as descendants of various groups including the earliest Britons, the Ancient Irish, Vikings, hunter gatherers and cave painters." - Amira
Amira
"Certain genes and proteins that promote growth and development of embryos also play a surprising role in sending chemical signals that help adults learn, remember, forget and perhaps become addicted, University of Utah biologists have discovered. "We found that these molecules and signaling pathways [named Wnt] do not retire after development of the organism, but have a new and surprising role in the adult. They are called back to action to change the properties of the nervous system in response to experience," (...) "Almost certainly what we have discovered is going on in our brain as well," (...)" - Amira from Bookmarklet
"Synapse Plasticity is the Basis of Learning and Memory (...) Proteins known as receptors are delivered to the synapses or removed from them to strengthen or weaken the connection. (...) The Wnt signaling identified in the new study "tells the depot to put more receptors into the synapse -- or not," (...) By crippling various genes in the worms, the researchers identified the "signaling... more... - Amira
Amira
Scientists recreate evolution of complexity using ‘molecular time travel’ - http://aminotes.tumblr.com/post...
Scientists recreate evolution of complexity using ‘molecular time travel’
“Much of what living cells do is carried out by “molecular machines” – physical complexes of specialized proteins working together to carry out some biological function. (…) In a study published early online on January 8, in Nature, a team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the University of Oregon demonstrate how just a few small, high-probability mutations increased the complexity of a molecular machine more than 800 million years ago. By biochemically resurrecting ancient genes and testing their functions in modern organisms, the researchers showed that a new component was incorporated into the machine due to selective losses of function rather than the sudden appearance of new capabilities. (...) The increase in complexity was due to complementary loss of ancestral functions rather than gaining new ones. (...) “It’s counterintuitive but simple: complexity increased because protein functions were lost, not gained,” Thornton said. “Just as in society, complexity... more... - Amira from Bookmarklet
"The accumulation of simple, degenerative changes over long periods of times could have created many of the complex molecular machines present in organisms today. Such a mechanism argues against the intelligent design concept of “irreducible complexity,” the claim that molecular machines are too complicated to have formed stepwise through evolution. (...) “These really aren’t like... more... - Amira
Amira
The Genographic Project ☞ A Landmark Study of the Human Journey (Migration, Population, Genetics) | National Geographic - http://aminotes.tumblr.com/post...
The Genographic Project ☞ A Landmark Study of the Human Journey (Migration, Population, Genetics) | National Geographic
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"Where do you really come from? And how did you get to where you live today? DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who—about 60,000 years ago—began a remarkable journey. The Genographic Project is seeking to chart new knowledge about the migratory history of the human species by using sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. In this unprecedented and of real-time research effort, the Genographic Project is closing the gaps of what science knows today about humankind's ancient migration stories." - Amira from Bookmarklet
See also: Evolution of Language tested with genetic analysis http://ff.im/Bd8em - Amira
Amira
Early humans' route out of Africa 'confirmed' (A six-year effort to map the genetic patterns of humankind) - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news...
Early humans' route out of Africa 'confirmed' (A six-year effort to  map the genetic patterns of humankind)
"A six-year effort to map the genetic patterns of humankind appears to confirm that early people first left Africa by crossing into Arabia. Ancestors of modern people in Europe, Asia and Oceania migrated along a southern route, not a northern route through Egypt as some had supposed. (...) It suggests an important role for South Asia in the peopling of the world. The ancestors of present-day non-African people left their ancestral homeland some 70,000 years ago. The researchers found that Indian populations had more genetic diversity - which gives an indication of the age of a population - than either Europeans or East Asians. This supports the idea that pioneering settlers followed a southern coastal route as they populated east Asia and continued into Oceania. (...)" - Amira from Bookmarklet
"A route out of Africa via the Arabian Peninsula, along the southern coast of Asia, explained the observed patterns in genetic diversity much better than a route through Egypt's Sinai desert. This agrees with other evidence showing that sea levels might have been low enough around 60-70,000 years ago for humans to cross from the horn of Africa into Arabia (...) The latest findings are... more... - Amira
Berci Mesko, MD
Scripps launches whole genome sequencing study to find root causes of idiopathic diseases - http://medicalxpress.com/news...
Berci Mesko, MD
Illumina Reports Drop in Preliminary Q3 Revenues | GenomeWeb Daily News - http://www.genomeweb.com/illumin...
Berci Mesko, MD
The Future Is Now: 23andMe Now Offers All Your Genes For $999 (will be even cheaper) - http://www.forbes.com/sites...
Amira
Human Nature. Sapolsky, Maté, Wilkinson, Gilligan, discuss on human behavior and the nature vs. nurture debate (video) http://aminotes.tumblr.com/post...
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“Nothing is genetically programmed. (...) An epigenetic effect. “Epi” means on top of, so that the epigenetic influence is what happens environmentally to either activate or deactivate certain genes. (…) Life experiences that not only shape the person’s personality and psychological needs but also their very brains in certain ways. And that process begins in utero. (...) The great British child psychiatrist, D.W. Winnicott, said that fundamentally, two things can go wrong in childhood. One is when things happen that shouldn’t happen and then things that should happen but don’t. (…) “Interpersonal Neurobiology” which means to say that the way that our nervous system functions depends very much on our personal relationships, in the first place with the parenting caregivers, and in the second place with other important attachment figures in our lives and in the third-place, with our entire culture. (...) " - Amira
"On a certain level the nature of our nature is not to be particularly constrained by our nature. We come up with more social variability than any species out there. More systems of belief, of styles, of family structures, of ways of raising children. The capacity for variety that we have is extraordinary. (…) The myth in our society is that people are competitive by nature and that... more... - Amira
Berci Mesko, MD
PLoS ONE: Efficient Replication of over 180 Genetic Associations with Self-Reported Medical Data - http://www.plosone.org/article...
Berci Mesko, MD
Doctors' knowledge of personalized medicine and genomics research remains poor - http://community.jax.org/genetic...
Berci Mesko, MD
Your Genome Structure, Not Genetic Mutations, Makes You Different | Wired Science - http://www.wired.com/wiredsc...
Berci Mesko, MD
Will people pretend to be African-Americans to get free @23andMe tests? - http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp...
Berci Mesko, MD
Genetic Music Project: An open source genetic art project combining music and science. - http://www.geneticmusicproject.com/
Berci Mesko, MD
When sociology meets statistical genetics | Discover Magazine - http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp...
Berci Mesko, MD
Genomic research: Faster, cheaper, more hope - Boing Boing - http://www.boingboing.net/2011...
Amira
"Drew Berry is a biomedical animator whose scientifically accurate and aesthetically rich visualisations reveal the microscopic world inside our bodies to a wide range of audiences. His animations have exhibited at venues such as the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Royal Institute of Great Britain and the University of Geneva. In 2010 he received a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Award"." More: http://tedxsydney.com/site... - Amira from Bookmarklet
Berci Mesko, MD
Biotechnology 101 Slides for Singularity University are available! - http://divabiotech.wordpress.com/2011...
Berci Mesko, MD
Berci Mesko, MD
DTC Genetic Testing and the FDA: is there an end in sight to the regulatory uncertainty? - http://www.genomicslawreport.com/index...
Berci Mesko, MD
Berci Mesko, MD
Press Release - @23andMe Database Surpasses 100,000 Users - https://www.23andme.com/about...
Berci Mesko, MD
FDA Approves New Test To Determine If Breast Cancer Patients Would be Candidates for Herceptin Treatment - http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2011...
Berci Mesko, MD
Berci Mesko, MD
WHO Seeks Genomics Public Health Challenges | GenomeWeb Daily News - http://www.genomeweb.com/who-see...
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