DNA News

Scientists Overcome Key CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing Hurdle

December 3, 2015

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Researchers Develop a Highly Specific Genome-Editing Tool

Using structural knowledge of Cas9, scientists have overcome a key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle and developed a highly specific genome-editing tool. Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT have engineered changes to the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system that significantly cut down on “off-target” […]

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Scientists Discover Genes for a Longer, Healthier Life

December 1, 2015

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Researchers Discover Genes for a Longer Healthier Life

A team of scientists has discovered genes that are involved in physical aging. By influencing only one of these genes, the healthy lifespan of laboratory animals is extended – and possibly that of humans, too. Driven by the quest for eternal youth, humankind has spent centuries obsessed with the question of how it is exactly […]

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New Epigenetic Algorithm Accurately Predicts Male Sexual Orientation

October 12, 2015

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Epigenetic Algorithm Accurately Predicts Male Sexual Orientation

By using epigenetic information from just nine regions of the human genome, a new algorithm can predict the sexual orientation of males with up to 70 percent accuracy. “To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers,” said Tuck C. Ngun, PhD, first author on […]

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Bioengineers Develop a New System for Human Genome Editing

September 29, 2015

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Scientists Develop a New System for Human Genome Editing

A team of scientists from MIT, Harvard and Wageningen University have developed a new system for human genome editing that has potential to increase the power and precision of DNA engineering. A team including the scientist who first harnessed the CRISPR-Cas9 system for mammalian genome editing has now identified a different CRISPR system with the […]

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New Protein-Based Sensor Detects Viral Infection, Kills Cancer Cells

September 22, 2015

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Protein-Based Sensor Detects Viral Infection and Kills Cancer Cells

Biological engineers from MIT have designed a modular system of proteins that can detect a particular DNA sequence in a cell and then trigger a specific response, such as cell death. This protein-based sensor can be customized to detect any DNA sequence in a mammalian cell and then trigger a desired response, including killing cancer […]

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Nanoscale Cage Allows Before-and-After Sequencing of DNA Strand

February 13, 2015

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Nanoscale Cage Could Improve Nanopore Technology

Brown University researchers have designed a nanoscale cage that can trap a single DNA strand and allow before-and-after sequencing of the same DNA strand. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Despite having a diameter tens of thousands of times smaller than a human hair, nanopores could be the next big thing in DNA sequencing. By […]

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Scientists Create the First 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

December 15, 2014

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The First High-Resolution 3D Maps of Entire Folded Genomes

A team of researchers has created the first 3D maps of entire folded genomes, identifying approximately 10,000 folding loops in the human genome. In a triumph for cell biology, researchers have assembled the first high-resolution, 3-D maps of entire folded genomes and found a structural basis for gene regulation, a kind of “genomic origami” that […]

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New Computer Model Designs Complicated 3D Structures from DNA

December 4, 2014

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MIT Engineers Design Complex DNA Shapes

Biological engineers from MIT have developed a new computer model that enables them to design the most complicated 3D structures ever made from DNA, including rings, bowls, and geometric structures such as icosahedrons that resemble viral particles. This design program could allow researchers to build DNA scaffolds to anchor arrays of proteins and light-sensitive molecules […]

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Engineered Bacteria Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

November 17, 2014

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Engineered Bacteria Can Store Memories of Chemical Exposure

New research from MIT reveals that engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure and other events in their DNA. MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well suited for applications […]

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Certain Peptides Exposed to UV Radiation Transition to More Reactive Triplet Quantum States

October 21, 2014

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Peptides Exposed to UV Radiation Transition to More Reactive Triplet Quantum States

New research shows that certain peptides degrade under UV light by first passing through a triplet quantum state, a reactive arrangement that can cause greater damage than fragmentation alone. The most obvious effects of too much sun exposure are cosmetic, like wrinkled and rough skin. Some damage, however, goes deeper—ultraviolet light can damage DNA and […]

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Yale Biologists Describe DNA’s Security System

October 13, 2014

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Surveillance of Nuclear Pore Complex Assembly

In a newly published study, Yale biologists and colleagues describe a key quality control mechanism that protects new cells from inheriting defective nuclear pore complexes. As befitting life’s blueprint, DNA is surrounded by an elaborate security system that assures crucial information is imparted without error. The security is provided by a double membrane perforated by […]

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Engineers Develop New Method to Detect Epigenetic Modifications

August 15, 2014

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Identifying Epigenetic Markers Reveals Tumor Weaknesses

Chemical engineers from MIT have developed a new method to detect epigenetic modifications, which could offer a new way to choose the best treatment for individual patients. Scientists have known for decades that cancer can be caused by genetic mutations, but more recently they have discovered that chemical modifications of a gene can also contribute […]

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Lambda Virus Architecture Finally Rendered

August 13, 2014

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Researchers Produce a Depiction of the DNA Protein Complexes the Lambda Virus

After more than 50 years of research, biologists now have a picture of the molecular machines that allow the lambda virus to insert or remove DNA from the cells that it infects. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — For half a century biologists have studied the way that the lambda virus parks DNA in the […]

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Scientists Engineer First Living Organism with an Expanded Genetic Alphabet

May 8, 2014

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Scientists Engineer First Living Organism that Transmits Added Letters in DNA Alphabet

A newly published study details how researchers at The Scripps Research Institute were able to create the first living organism with an expanded genetic alphabet. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA “letters,” or bases, not found in nature. The cells of […]

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Study Shows Nanoparticles in Consumer Products Can Damage DNA

April 9, 2014

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Nanoparticles in Consumer Products Can Damage DNA

Using high-speed screening technology to analyze DNA, a newly published study found that nanoparticles commonly added to consumer products can significantly damage DNA. Thousands of consumer products — including cosmetics, sunscreens, and clothing — contain nanoparticles added by manufacturers to improve texture, kill microbes, or enhance shelf life, among other purposes. However, several studies have […]

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MIT Researchers Reverse a Rare Liver Disorder in Mice

April 3, 2014

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MIT Researchers Reverse a Liver Disorder in Mice

In a newly published study, MIT researchers show that a new gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. The findings, […]

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Regular Exercise Induces Changes in DNA

August 1, 2013

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Exercise Changes Expression of Our Innate DNA

A study from scientists at Lund University found that exercise induces genome-wide changes in DNA methylation in human adipose tissue, potentially affecting adipocyte metabolism. Exercise, even in small doses, changes the expression of our innate DNA. New research from Lund University in Sweden has described for the first time what happens on an epigenetic level […]

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The Search for “Microbial Dark Matter”

July 19, 2013

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Illuminating Biologys Dark Matter

In a newly published study, an international team of researchers detail the search for “microbial dark matter.” Is space really the final frontier, or are the greatest mysteries closer to home? In cosmology, dark matter is said to account for the majority of mass in the universe, however its presence is inferred by indirect effects […]

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