For more than a year one third of the world has been highly concerned about the Zika virus outbreak and Splice has covered amazing achievements regarding Zika infection. These days it is one of the main newspaper topics because of the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in Brazil, the country where most of the cases of Zika infection were reported.
This is no novel idea, but after 17 years of a spirited debated, pharmaceutical companies are finally taking note. It was Dr. Mary Hendrix and her team out of the University of Iowa Cancer center in Iowa City who first reported in 1999 that human melanoma tumor cells were capable of forming perfusable vessel-like networks through a process called vasculogenic mimicry (VM).
A growing global epidemic of obesity and its related health complications such as type 2 diabetes is the reason why scientists are focusing on finding genes that increase the risk of developing obesity in the last decade. A breakthrough was finally made with discovery of the gene for ‘leanness’.
The first in vivo soft tissue surgery completed by an autonomous robot is in the books, and in impressive fashion. While robots, and even autonomous robots, have been used in surgery before, they have failed to meet the high expectations set for them, especially when it comes to soft tissue. Until this study, autonomous surgical robots had only been useful for operations on solid body structures such as bone,
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.
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 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!
To many, it is coming off as a far-fetched dream, but aerial technology company EHang, and Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical company United Therapeutics, have announced a new collaboration consisting of a 15-year plan to produce and utilize 1,000 unmanned drones for the transportation of manufactured transplant organs.
With all the talk about it in the scientific community, there is probably no surprise that this is yet another article discussing CRISPR. However, this may be one of the most profound discussions around the technology as it involves what could arguably be the potential flagship use of the gene editing tool – human therapy.
Lately, a major step forward has been made in using CRISPR technology in neurosciences. Over the past few years, scientists have been using gene sequencing to uncover genes that are important in brain development and in neurological diseases. The next step is to figure out if disrupting these genes can cause any of these diseases.