Expert Analysis:
Human & Medicine

July 15, 2016

First case of Zika sexual transmission from female to male reported

The first case of female-to-male Zika virus transmission has been reported in New York City, according a press release from the CDC. Previously, only incidents of male transmission to other partners had been reported. Continue reading

July 12, 2016

Red hair gene variants associated with increased mutations in skin cancer

Skin cancer patients who have variations in the MC1R gene, linked to red hair and freckles, have more mutations in their tumors, according to a study in Nature Communications. Continue reading

July 8, 2016

Patient deaths halt clinical trial testing genetically engineered cells to treat cancer

Three patients have died in a clinical trial that is testing the use of genetically engineered immune cells known as CAR-T cells to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults. Continue reading

July 6, 2016

Genetic risk scores associated with Alzheimer’s marker in young people

A genetic risk score for Alzheimer’s is associated with a known marker of the disease in healthy, young adults, according to the results of a new study. Continue reading

June 28, 2016

First primate model of Zika virus infection allows scientists to study new treatments

Scientists report in Nature Communications that healthy, pregnant rhesus macaque monkeys can be infected with Zika, providing a means for studying the mechanisms of infection. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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