• Patient_receives_chemotherapy
    June 22, 2016

    First clinical trial using CRISPR approved by National Institutes of Health advisory panel

    A proposal for the first clinical trial involving CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has been approved by the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. The trial, which requires Food and Drug Administration approval will test the safety of using CRISPR to modify a persons own immune cells to target certain cancers.

    Dr. April Pyle, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles: "This is a very exciting development from a well-established team of scientists with a proven track record in engineered T cells for tumor targeting...

    Dr. David Schaffer, Professor, University of California, Berkley:"This ambitious approach fully harnesses the potential of CRISPR/Cas9 to target multiple genes in order to generate an anti-cancer T cell..."

  • restaurant-alcohol-bar-drinks
    June 20, 2016

    Social behavior affected by epigenetic modification of a single gene

    A study in the journal PNAS reports that epigenetic modification of a gene responsible for production of the hormone oxytocin impacts human social behaviors.

    Dr. Sarina Saturn, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Portland: "This study presents very intriguing data linking methylation of the OXT gene to attachment style, emotion recognition, superior temporal sulcus activity during social-cognitive tasks, and fusiform gyrus volume. This complements previous work linking similar epigenetic modification of this specific gene to maternal care, autism, social anxiety, and neural processing to social stimuli and emotional faces...

  • cup-166778_1920
    June 15, 2016

    WHO cancer agency: ‘Very hot beverages’ can probably cause cancer in humans

    Very hot beverages consumed at more than 65°C can probably cause cancer of the esophagus, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The classification only evaluates the potential of a substance to cause cancer and does not indicate the level of risk to people’s health, according to the agency.

    Dr. Thomas G. Sherman, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center: "Studies over the past 4–10 years have narrowed the list of suspected dietary habits associated...

    Dr. Robert Schiestl, Professor of Pathology, Environmental Health and Radiation Oncology, UCLA: "I have worked on lethal heat and genetic instability previously and found that lethal heat causes genetic instability...

  • Artemisia_annua_detail
    June 15, 2016

    Tobacco engineered for more efficient production of antimalarial drug

    By genetically engineering tobacco, scientists have developed a method of more efficiently producing artemisinin, the world’s most important malaria drug. Artemisinin occurs naturally in the plant Artemisia annua, which is difficult to cultivate.

    Dr. Tsafrir Mor, Professor, Arizona State University: “The major feat reported here is ‘lifting’ the whole metabolic pathway required for the biosynthesis of artemisinin from A. annua and transplanting it in..."

    Dr. Pamela Weathers, Professor, Biology & Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic University: “This new synthetic biology approach is a nice piece of technology, but it’s not terribly applicable to artemisinin production. Malaria hits the poorest..."

  • 14119720901_1fb41a566b_o
    June 8, 2016

    National Academies report on gene drives recommends field trials but not environmental release

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has published a report on the responsible use of gene drives...

    Dr. Todd Kuiken, Senior Program Associate and Co-Director Biology Collectives, Wilson Center: "Tasked with evaluating the non-human impacts of gene drives, the NAS report does an excellent job laying out the vast unanswered..."

    Dr. Kevin Esvelt, Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "There's much to admire in the NAS report on gene drive..."

    5 additional comments...

Latest Expert Analysis

Seal_of_the_United_States_Senate.svg
June 24, 2016

Senators reach agreement on mandatory labeling bill for genetically engineered foods

Senators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would require mandatory disclosure of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. If the bill passes it would supersede the Vermont labeling law due to go into effect July 1st. Continue reading


Patient_receives_chemotherapy
June 21, 2016

First clinical trial using CRISPR approved by National Institutes of Health advisory panel

A proposal for the first clinical trial involving CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has been approved by the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. The Phase I trial, which will require approval from the Food and Drug Administration, is designed … Continue reading


restaurant-alcohol-bar-drinks
June 20, 2016

Social behavior affected by epigenetic modification of a single gene

A study in the journal PNAS reports that epigenetic modification of one gene impacts human social behaviors. The OXT gene is responsible for production of the hormone oxytocin, which is known to play a role in human sociability. Continue reading


Artemisia_annua_detail
June 15, 2016

Tobacco engineered for more efficient production of antimalarial drug

By genetically engineering tobacco, scientists have developed a method of more efficiently producing artemisinin, the world’s most important malaria drug. Continue reading


cup-166778_1920
June 15, 2016

WHO cancer agency: ‘Very hot beverages’ can probably cause cancer in humans

Very hot beverages consumed at more than 65°C can probably cause cancer of the esophagus, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The classification only evaluates the potential of a substance to cause cancer and does not indicate the level of risk to people’s health, according to the agency. Continue reading


6908944281_9639c5a383_o
June 8, 2016

Mitochondrial replacement in human embryos edges towards treatment for genetic disease

The first results from mitochondrial replacement, which some refer to as ‘3-person IVF’, in normally fertilized human embryos has been reported in Nature. The researchers improved their technique to reduce mutant DNA to levels at which a child would be unlikely to develop mitochondrial disease Continue reading


14119720901_1fb41a566b_o
June 8, 2016

National Academies report on gene drives recommends field trials but not environmental release

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has published a report on the responsible use of gene drives, finding gene-drive modified organisms are not ready to be released into the environment, but recommends strictly controlled field trials. Continue reading


Medical_Laboratory_Scientist_US_NIH
June 2, 2016

‘Human Genome Project–Write’: Experts propose building synthetic human genome

Leading figures in synthetic biology have proposed a project to build large genomes from scratch, including human genomes, starting in 2016. Called the Human Genome Project – Write, the goal of the project is to test man-made genomes in cells within 10 years. Continue reading


Gyrus_Dentatus_40x
June 1, 2016

Genetic mutation explaining progressive multiple sclerosis identified

Scientists have identified a mutation strongly associated with the progressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS) and suggest the discovery presents a new drug therapy target for MS treatment. Continue reading


16578744517_ed4293d3e7_b
May 26, 2016

First US detection of bacteria with gene causing resistance to last-ditch antibiotic

A woman from Pennsylvania is the first US person found carrying bacteria with a gene which causes resistance to the last-ditch antibiotic colistin. Continue reading


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