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MD Biosciences Blog

Weekly Science News: Spinal Cord Regeneration, CRIPSR Advancements and AI Technology

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on Feb 19, 2019 10:58:42 AM

It's Tuesday, which means MD Biosciences is providing coverage of the latest fascinating and innovative discoveries happening all over the world across a wide variety of disciplinary areas. This week's blog is compiling posts from science journals including Gen News, Nature Communications, Sci News and Nature Biotechnology. Skim the titles below to catch up on what is happening and follow the links to read more about something that catches your eye!  


CRIPSR Advancements Improving Target Ranges for Gene Editing

CRISPR technology is always being advanced and optimized in its capabilities and clinical applicability. Using structure-guided engineering, scientists are discovering particular Cas enzymes that are improving target ranges used in gene editing. Reported by Genen News.


AI Technology Speeds Up Ovarian Cancer Prognosis

Researchers at University of Melbourne and Imperial College London recently developed an AI software that is allegedly more accurate in its ability to predict ovarian cancer prognosis than other currently used methods, also bringing light to which treatments will be most effective based on individual patients. The tool is called TEXLab and it uses machine learning to analyze four biological characteristics (including shape, structure, size, genetic makeup) to evaluate ovarian tumors, providing personalized treatment options. Reported by Gen News and published in Nature Communications. 



Somatic Mosaicism Reveals New Discoveries in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Research

The University of Virginia School of Medicine identified an explanation for specific cell death seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, among other neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers are suggesting that due to a naturally occurring gene variation in brain cells called somatic mosaicism, neurons are dying in the temporal lobe. This also could explain why dopaminergic neurons are the first to die in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. Reported by Neuroscience News. 



Spinal Cord Regenerates Twice in Lampreys

A study reported by the National Science Foundation discusses lampreys' ability to regenerate their spinal cord and completely recover function after the cord had been severed twice in the same location. The Marine Biological Laboratory team, led by Tissue Engineering Director Jennifer Morgan, is isolating descending neurons to evaluate their transcriptional profiles to assess gene activities with a goal of determining what makes some cells regenerate while others die in the spinal cord. Their works invites new avenues for developing regenerative models and identifying therapeutic targets for human spinal cord injuries. 


105 New Species of Human Gastro Intestinal Bacteria

Imbalances in the human gut microbiome contributes to complex diseases, most of which are rooted in inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. Since bacteria can be quite difficult to grow and maintain, there is not eroding knowledge on the topic, which is what inspired Dr. Forster and colleagues from Wellcome Sanger Institute to study 20 fecal samples of UK and Canada adults. Their analyses revealed 737 bacterial strains, of which 273 were separate bacterial strains and 173 of those had never been sequenced before. Reported by Sci News and published in Nature Biotechnology.


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