Thanks to recent advances in genome sequencing that allow scientists to analyze DNA faster and more affordably than ever before, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say they have found that many types of cancer are driven by the same genetic mutations.
Sometimes a concept is simple but the tech behind it is not. This is the case with a new approach to identifying new viruses, which could ultimately lead to screening patients for viruses that haven't even been identified. (Think of the one currently rearing its deadly head in the Middle East.)
Researchers at Saint Louis University are using the next-gen sequencing approach transcriptome subtraction, and it really does employ basic arithmetic -- with very fancy tools. They take a human blood sample. Then they subtract the entire human genetic sequence from the genetic material in the sample. Then they … Read more
Oxford University Ph.D. student Jessica Richman, who today finished raising some $350,000 from more than 2,500 people wanting to take part in the uBiome project, isn't shying away from reality: "Yes, we are going to be sampling people's poo," she told the Guardian this week.
And for the squeamish, she offered an asterisk: "You'll only have to wipe it on the toilet paper."
The uBiome project is a "citizen science" effort to sequence the genomes of the trillions of bacteria that colonize our bodies and likely play pivotal … Read more
As if pulling a storyline from the movie "Jurassic Park," a Harvard University professor says it would be possible to clone the long-extinct Neanderthal. One little hitch is that he'd need a woman willing to carry the offspring.
Contrary to a flurry of headlines following his interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, however, Harvard molecular geneticist George Church is not currently taking applications from would-be surrogate moms.
"The real story here is how these stories have percolated and changed in different ways," Church, a well-respected genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, told the Boston Herald following a slew of recent impossible-to-ignore headlines such as "I can create Neanderthal baby, I just need willing woman," and, from the Daily Mail, "Wanted: 'Adventurous woman' to give birth to Neanderthal man - Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby." … Read more
Wax is a video special effects and editing tool. While not as complicated as some of the larger video-editing and special effects suites on the market, Wax is intended to be general purpose, easy to work with, and powerful enough to satisfy most users' requirements for video creation and manipulation. Wax installs cleanly and easily.
The Wax interface presents a list of files and effects in the top left, a feed of the video in the top right, a timeline and track display in the bottom right, and some controls in the bottom left. It takes only a few minutes … Read more
Slideshows are a great way to display your digital images at parties, presentations, family gatherings, and many other events. There's no shortage of software designed to help users create slideshows, and with so many to choose from, it makes no sense to compromise with substandard software. Unfortunately, that's exactly what AVD Slide Show is. We wanted to like this program, but functional problems made that all but impossible.
AVD Slide Show has a simple but attractive interface, with a toolbar across the top and a navigation pane down the left side that lets users select the images they … Read more
Unipro's Ugene is a free bioinformatics modeling and visualization tool. You can use it to visualize, analyze, and annotate DNA and protein sequences. It's widely compatible with a variety of platforms, tools, and methods and includes an integrated Muscle alignment tool, integrated Hmmer2 package, an OpenGL viewer for PDB macromolecular structures, and a custom workflow designer.
Ugene isn't difficult to set up, though much of what it does depends on access to other files and tools. Ugene's functions are based around Projects, Tasks, and Logs. Under Application Settings, we could configure everything from system resource allocation … Read more
At CES, scientific-equipment giant Life Technologies unveiled a DNA sequencer designed to decode an entire human genome in a day for $1,000 by the end of 2012.
The Ion Proton Sequencer, priced at $149,000, isn't your typical hot commodity on the show floor. But the benchtop sequencer costs far less than its bulkier, slower predecessors (typically in the $500,000 to $750,000 range), and the $1,000 price tag--once costs fall to that level--could put personal gene sequencing directly into the hands of the masses.
"This is such an amazing moment in history," said … Read more
What does it take to make it to 100 years old? The Archon Genomics X Prize hopes to find out.
As I've researched "extreme" aging in recent years--that is, the genes and lifestyles of centenarians (100 and older) and supercentenarians (110 and older)--a common refrain I hear from my younger peers is, "I don't want to get that old. It sounds miserable."
Whether or not that's true is something most of us will never find out. The reality is that those who make it past 100 are an exceedingly rare breed of … Read more
Earlier this year, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, published a study identifying genetic markers found in people's stomachs that appear related to obesity and other diseases.
After that, "I got between 50 and 100 e-mails from regular people having problems with the stomach or diarrhea and wondering if we can help them," Peer Bork, a biochemist at the lab, told Nature last week. "They were long e-mails. There must be a lot of frustrated people out there."