Posts Tagged: GENETICS

Scientists discover origin of cell mask that hides stomach cancer

Scientists discover origin of cell mask that hides stomach cancer

A layer of cells that look like normal stomach lining on top of sites of stomach cancer can make it difficult to spot after removal of a Helicobacter pylori infection. In a recent study, researchers from Hiroshima University have uncovered the origin of this layer of cells: it is produced by the cancer tissue itself. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that lives in people’s stomachs. To survive the harsh environment these bacteria can neutralize stomach acid. H. pylori is the leading cause of stomach cancer, one of the most common types of cancer which can have a low survival rate. The bacteria cause inflammation by injecting… Read more

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

Engineers safely control genetically engineered microalgae   Hiroshima University (HU) researchers successfully developed a biocontainment strategy for genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Their new method prevents genetically modified cyanobacteria from surviving outside of their test environment, enabling ways to more safely research the effects of GMOs. Their results were published in ACS Synthetic Biology. The applications of bioengineered microbes have appeared in a number of fields, including agriculture and energy production. Engineered microalgae, for example, can help clean up oil refinery wastewater and work as a source of biofuel. However, like many other GMOs, the safety of engineered microalgae is uncertain. “Engineered microbes could dominate some environment or attack an… Read more

Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs

Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs

Hiroshima University researchers believe their simple phosphite-based control method will convince legislators to get with the times Use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – microorganisms not found in the natural world but developed in labs for their beneficial characteristics – is a contentious issue. For while GMOs could greatly improve society in numerous ways – e.g. attacking diseased cells, digesting pollution, or increasing food production – their use is heavily restricted by decades-old legislation, for fear of what might happen should they escape into the environment. For researchers, aware of their potential, it is important to develop safety strategies to convince legislators they are safe for release. For this reason… Read more

World first: Stem cell treatment for lethal STAT1 gene mutation — shows ‘disappointing’ but promising results

World first: Stem cell treatment for lethal STAT1 gene mutation — shows ‘disappointing’ but promising results

The first ever study assessing how patients with “gain of function” mutation of the STAT1 gene respond to stem cell transplantation has taken place. It involved 15 young patients, from nine different countries, each suffering a range of complications caused by the gene’s mutation. Of these, only six survived a regime of stem cell transplantation – with five completely cured and disease free by the study’s conclusion.   The study was carried out by Dr. Satoshi Okada (Hiroshima University), Professor Jennifer Leiding (University of Florida), Professor Tomohiro Morio (Tokyo Medical and Dental University), and Professor Troy Torgerson  (University of Washington). Dr. Okada, who first discovered the STAT1 gain of function… Read more

“Smart” genetic library – making disease diagnosis much easier

“Smart” genetic library – making disease diagnosis much easier

Hiroshima University finds way to determine disease-causing mutations Researchers at Hiroshima University have developed a smart genetic reference library for locating and weeding out disease-causing mutations in populations. The technique and database, developed by Dr. Satoshi Okada, of HU’s Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, has successfully estimated naturally occurring rare-variants in the STAT1 gene – and determined the diseases that would result. Using alanine scanning – a method for assessing the functional potential of genes, this study, the first of its kind, should assist doctors in diagnosing primary-immunodeficiency in patients.   STAT1 The STAT1 gene plays an important function in host immunity, through its role as a mediator… Read more

An alternative TALEN/CRISPR-mediated gene insertion technique described in detail

An alternative TALEN/CRISPR-mediated gene insertion technique described in detail

  A streamlined protocol for an alternative gene insertion method using genome editing technologies, the PITCh (Precise Integration into Target Chromosome) system, has been reported in Nature Protocols by Specially Appointed Lecturer Tetsushi Sakuma, Professor Takashi Yamamoto, Specially Appointed Associate Professor Ken-Ichi T Suzuki, and their colleagues at Hiroshima University, Japan. The PITCh system is more convenient and effective than existing methods for inserting foreign DNA into targeted genomic loci by using genome-editing tools. This new versatile technique can aid the rapid progression of research in fields such as screening of new drug candidates and creating cell or animal models of human diseases. Genome editing is an innovative technique used in genetic… Read more