The study of algae, more recently called Phycology, has always intrigued human curiosity. The Ancient Egyptians used algae for cosmetic alchemy and we have discovered a host of uses for this versatile photosynthetic organism since the 19th century.
US researchers just discovered a novel gene associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that compromises motor neuron function in mice and zebrafish. The UBQLN4 genetic variant impairs nerve development through the excessive accumulation of beta-catenin, a realization that opens a new window for targeted treatment of ALS.
The molecular mechanisms that cause rare species of mushrooms to glow in the dark have baffled scientists for years. A new study set to finally uncover the mystery behind their bioluminescence revealed that it is in fact based on luciferin oxidation, the same chemical process used by fireflies.
Researchers at Harvard University developed an effective personalized cancer vaccine that seems to have prevented early tumour relapse in 12 skin cancer patients. The vaccine targeted 20 tumour-specific proteins unique to each of the patients enrolled, keeping all free of cancer over 2 years after the trial.
An international consortium of scientists have found a way to produce a semi-synthetic strain of baker´s yeast with more than a third of its chromosomes artificially synthesized.
A new breast cancer drug combination significantly shrunk and eliminated tumours in 28% of women tested in just 11 days. The novel treatment involves a combination of pre-chemotherapy drugs lapatinib and trastuzumab that target HER2-positive tumours.
The largest genome-wide study of baldness identified over 250 novel genetic variants involved in its onset. Male pattern baldness is a major source of anxiety and depression among men and has been linked to serious cardiovascular diseases and prostate cancer.
The Francis Crick Institute of London was granted permission for genome editing in human embryos in order to study the complex processes involved in early miscarriage. This is the first time a research team has ever been exempt from the ban on human testing and represents an important step forward for science.
The heated legal war over the ownership of the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology has finally reached a verdict. The US Patent and Trademark Office (UPTO) concluded that evidence favored the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for most patents rather than UC Berkeley, the technology´s initial inventor.
Researchers from Harvard University announced their plan to bring the woolly mammoth back to life using CRISPR/Cas9 within two years’ time. This would not only allow us to learn more about the prehistoric behemoth, but would also represent a first step towards preservation of endangered species.