Genetics, Mind & Brain, News

Schizophrenia is not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

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A new study concluded that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease, but rather a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms, and likely, its own treatment. The study could be the first step in finally understanding the condition and how it can be dealt with. Currently, schizophrenia is thought of as a complex mental disorder, often associated…

Anatomy, Genetics, News

Japanese woman is first recipient of next-generation stem cells

Researchers were able to grow sheets of retinal tissue from induced pluripotent stem cells, and have now implanted them for the first time in a patient.

A Japanese woman in her 70s is the world’s first recipient of cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, a technology that promises to work wonders and has the scientific community excited about the perspectives. Surgeons working on the case created the retinal tissue after reverting the patient’s own cells to ‘pluripotent’ state. If you’d like to benefit from stem cells, but…

Biology, Genetics, News

Whole organ ‘grown’ in animals for the first time

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A whole functional organ has been successfully grown in animals for the first time; a group of Scottish researchers created a group of cells which, when transplanted into a mouse, developed into a fully functional thymus – a critical part of the immune system. The findings could lead to a revolution in organ transplant. The thymus is a specialized organ…

Animals, Genetics, News

Scientists find how lizards regenerate their tails

The green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) can lose and then regrow its tail, using cartilage and fat to replace the bone.

It’s one of the most remarkable adaptations in the animal world – growing a tail or a limb. Some lizards do it, salamanders do it, and by learning how they do it, we may soon be able to do it as well; with technology, that is. A team of researchers have discovered the genetic “recipe” for lizard tail regeneration which, at…

Genetics, News

Resetting the immune system back 500 million years

The normal mouse thymus (left) contains only a small fraction of B-cells (red). If the gene FOXN4 is activated, a fish-like thymus with many B-cells develops. Image: Max Planck

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE)  re-activated the expression of an ancient gene in mice. To their surprise, the gene in question which is dormant in all mammalian species caused the mice to develop  fish-like thymus. The thymus is an organ of paramount importance to the adaptive immune system, but in this particular instance, the thymus produced…

Genetics, Health & Medicine, News

PMS may have evolved to disrupt infertile relationships

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A brave Australian professor of molecular biology thinks he may have found out  why women get premenstrual syndrome (PMS). According to his findings, following genetic screenings, PMS has evolved as a mechanism for breaking up infertile relationships and thus increase the chance of fostering a fertile relationship in the future. Effectively, nature designed PMS to give men hell. As a…

Biology, Genetics, News

Fish oil could be grown in plants

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When you think about fish oil, you probably wouldn’t think of the English countryside – but that’s exactly where scientists are trying to grow it; yep, grow it! They’re using Camelina sativa plants genetically modified to produce long chain omega-3 fatty acids—the primary component of “fish oil.” Things you didn’t know about fish oil Most of the fish oil we use goes to…

Biology, Discoveries, Genetics, News

Genetic response to starvation is passed down to at least three generations

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In 1944, the Nazis caused widespread famine in Western Netherlands after they blocked food supplies. A group of pregnant women living in the Netherlands, labouring under starvation conditions imposed by a harsh winter and food embargo, gave birth to relatively small babies. When their children grew up, in relative prosperity, to have children of their own their babies were unexpectedly small. …

Genetics, Mind & Brain, News, Technology

Computer games sometimes better than medication in treating elderly depression

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Computer games could be the key to treating elderly people who have been diagnosed with depression, but who aren’t responding to conventional treatment. A new study has shown that playing a certain type of computer games was more effective at reducing symptoms of depression than the “gold standard” – the antidepressant drug escitalopram. Recently, we’ve been bombarded about the positive effects that video…

Diseases, Genetics, News, Science

Potential HIV-1 cure works by deleting the virus’ DNA from the genome

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HIV is maybe one of the most resilient and tenacious viral infections known to medical science. Unlike other infections, even if all traces of HIV are gone from the body – the virus itself – it can still resurface and infect the patient later on. That’s because HIV inserts itself permanently into the patient’s genome, slumbering in a latent state…