Category : MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS

Gene drives

Breaking the Rules of Natural Selection with Gene Drives

There is a new era rising in molecular biology and it began with CRISPR technology (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), which is a genetic modification tool based on bacterial immune system. Gene drives is another interesting mechanism to use for altering genes but in contrast with CRISPR/Cas system it can only function in sexually reproducing species, leaving viruses and bacteria out of the picture.

Viruses

Viruses That Can Help Regulate Human Immune System

Viruses, small infectious agents that replicate only inside the living cells of other organisms, have been around for billions of years. They can infect all types of life forms, from microorganisms, plants and animals to humans. It has been estimated that there are 10 to the power of 31 viruses on Earth, but humans don’t just live in a viral world, we are also part virus ourselves. Viruses actually comprise up to the 8% of the human genome and these so called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent ancient viral infections that became integrated into the human genome. 

Antibiotics

New Synthesis Technique Leads to Over 300 Candidate Antibiotics

The combination of drug misuse, reductions in antimicrobial research by the pharmaceutical industry, and the rapid evolution capabilities of microorganisms has resulted in pathogenic bacteria with stronger and stronger drug resistance. This is an issue that some fear if not handled correctly, could lead to the evolution of a “superbug” that is resistant to everything in our arsenal.

Zika-virus-3D

Fast and Affordable Paper-based Test for Detection of Zika Virus in the Field

Zika virus has rapidly expanded during the last year in Brazil and currently the outbreaks are occurring in several countries and territories. While following preventive measures is extremely important to limit the spread, finding a reliable field diagnostic test is equally important. And it looks like we got one!

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