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Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

120px-Ifosfamide-3D-spacefillIn the decade since the sequencing of the human genome, there has been a steadily increasing flow of knowledge about the detailed molecular landscape of cancer, and this is now moving from research into clinical practice. The falling price of molecular analysis, in particular sequencing of DNA, is allowing us to routinely interrogate cancer tissues at a level of detail that was hard to imagine at the beginning of this century, and this in turn is posing challenges for the way we conduct clinical trials. It seems likely that our old models, which served well at a time when cancers were classified by their tissue of origin, will progressively give way to both a new taxonomy and new ways of determining the value of therapies for the entities that we define.

Peter Johnson, Chief Clinician at Cancer Research UK, provides insight into molecular stratification and the changing face of cancer trials…

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_66758600_cellsA collaborative Scottish team, drawn from the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and the West of Scotland, are developing a new technique which could help patients with spinal injuries grow new bone. They call it “nanokicking”. It plays on the potential our bodies’ stem cells possess to turn into any other kind of tissue – blood, muscle or, in this case, bone.

Persuading stem cells to become bone has been done in the laboratory before. But existing techniques typically involve complex and expensive engineering or cocktails of chemicals. Instead, this technique mimicks a natural process – when broken bones need to knit, they vibrate.

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Brian-Cox-in-Wonders-of-t-007The first in a new much-hyped BBC series presented by Professor Brian Cox, Wonders of Life starts by asking, What is life? Cox uses his natural enthusiasm to communicate the complexities of such a question. This programme achieves that rare balancing act of being both entertaining and educational. The layperson and the science undergraduate will find much to applaud in this series.

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An outbreak of the hospital superbug MRSA has been brought to an end by UK doctors cracking the bacterium’s genetic code. The original research article appeared in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, which is available full-text from Science Direct. Access Science Direct via the A-Z of databases, or use the SFX system to locate the journal.

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Scientists have published the most detailed analysis to date of the human genome. They’ve discovered a far larger chunk of our genetic code is biologically active than previously thought. The researchers hope the findings will lead to a deeper understanding of numerous diseases, which could lead to better treatments. The BBC have provided a link to the 30 open-access papers that outline the researchers’ work. Nature magazine also provides a link to the function and findings of ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements).

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Learn.Genetics delivers educational materials on genetics, bioscience and health topics. They are designed to be used by students, teachers and members of the public. The materials meet selected US education standards for science and health. Learn.Genetics website is one of the most widely-disseminated education sites in the world. It is an activity-rich approach to science.

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Learn.Genetics delivers educational materials on genetics, bioscience and health topics. They are designed to be used by students, teachers and members of the public. The materials meet selected US education standards for science and health. Learn.Genetics website is one of the most widely-disseminated education sites in the world. It is an activity-rich approach to science.

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