Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Viruses Using different Genetic Alphabets!

A 1977 scientist found the S-2L virus which infects cyanobacteria,  This virus does not encode adenine, This instead codes for diaminopurine, shortened to Z. This derivative will make 3 hydrogen bonds instead of adenine's 2. This is incredibly interesting as we can see the genetic mutations occurring in this virus that allows it to use a whole entire new coding language. perhaps eventually even humans will use this coding language as well!!

Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet | The Scientist Magazine®

Link 2:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0042682278901046

Link 1:https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/some-viruses-use-an-alternative-genetic-alphabet-68726

Myriad Genetics and its Future growth

 Myriad Genetics is an upcoming genetic company that recently been making heavy breakthroughs on research involving genome detecting diseases. Recently they have began to receive heavy funding which will allow them to make large headway into the research that they had planed but lacked funding to put into effect.  Being that they lead the research in hereditary cancer I hope myriad continues to gain support and funding to perhaps eventually find a cure for these seemingly hopeless diseases. 

Myriad Genetics - Wikipedia

Link 1:https://myriad.com

Link 2:https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/05/03/2221226/15459/en/Myriad-Genetics-to-Update-Progress-on-Transformation-Plan-and-Growth-Initiatives-Share-Long-Term-Financial-Outlook-at-2021-Investor-Day.html

CRISPR gene editing could reveal horrific downsides in embryos!

 CRISPR is a new experimental genome editing tool which is used to alter the genomes of embryos. In theory this could be amazing with its ability to predict and treat lifelong genetic defects prior to the child's birth! However due to many factors such as funding, regulation, and unwanted side effects the CRISPR method may be forgone! A preprint done on june 5th showed the accidental deletion of almost 22% of gene coding. Luckily this embryo was not used for the purpose of birth but simply for testing yet the results are outstanding! While the CRISPR genome editing tool has many uses and can provide many cures for diseases it is still far too experimental and is not safe for public usage!

CRISPR Can Create Unwanted Duplications During Knock-ins | The Scientist  Magazine®

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Bipolar and Race


Bipolar and Race

Bipolar is a genetic disease that is highlighted by two keys things. Mania and depression. Mania is a high where racing thoughts and actions occur. Manic depression is where the patient experiences severe withdraws. The point of this article is to see if race has any difference. The article does a great job of clarifying this. Race and severity of bipolar don't correlate. Bipolar is a mental health issue that needs to be focused on more. I have someone in my family with it and I hope on day that a cure can be found so that his brain chemistry is in tact. Bipolar is a struggle that most people don't even notice. 

Bipolar disorder and race: Disparities in diagnosis and treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)

Bipolar disorder: Causes, symptoms, types, and treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)

Friday, April 30, 2021

Outside the Nucleus: Cytoplasmic DNA Synthesis linked to Degeneration.

        In the article Human Cells Can Synthesize DNA in Their Cytoplasm” scientists have reports which have identified mammalian DNA to be found in the cytoplasm when they would usually find foreign DNA there. However when complementary DNA (cDNA) was discovered to have been synthesized from RNA scientists were baffled. This is due to the fact that because of the mechanism in which they insert copies of themselves into the genome occurs in a copy and paste pattern where such an event usually occurs in the nucleus. Studying cDNA found in the most abundant retrotransposon Alu, when concerning degenerative eye diseases the cDNA of Alu in humans is found to be synthesized in the cytoplasm. 

        Based on previous studies with Alu and other retrotransposons, the way in which reverse transcription occurs in the nucleus considers that it needs a short nucleic sequence, and primer bound to the RNA template to start. However for Alu to undergo reverse transcription in the cytoplasm the nucleic sequence is not present. Which led to the hypothesis that the RNA folds on itself which is also known as self-priming. The cytoplasmic discovery also correlated that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is due to the cell death of the retinal pigment epithelium because of the abundance of Alu. Since learning of cDNA synthesized Alu connection to the eye degenerative disease it has also been linked to causing inflammation. To manage AMD scientists developed Alu inhibitors which would control Alu accumulation and even treat other infections. The drug which was developed NRTI is said to prevent inflammation and intercept transcription. Since the current drug is in clinical trial it could help cure a degenerative disease which ultimately leads to permanent blindness. With the development that DNA synthesis can  occur without a nucleic sequence to start transcription it is possible to learn that this mechanism could be responsible for other diseases that currently do not have treatments or most effective treatments. 

New CRISPR Guide RNA Screen Helps Define Genetics of Spinal Cord Regeneration in Zebrafish


In yet another interesting article by Genome Web, the highly regenerative properties of the zebrafish are explored with genomic techniques. Titled "New CRISPR Guide RNA Screen Helps Define Genetics of Spinal Cord Regeneration in Zebrafish", it is expressed that researchers based out of the University of Edinburgh have used synthetic Oligo CRISPR guide RNA's (sCrRNA) to identify functional regulators of spinal cord regeneration in the zebrafish. This of course is interesting and important science, as most vertebrates cannot regenerate damaged nervous systems, and thus, diseases such as Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson's are commonplace in human neurological pathology. Many studies note the incredible ability of zebrafish to regenerate neural tissue after direct spinal cord injuries. Following the injection of sCrRNA into the zebrafish, 30 macrophage related genes which are related to neural tissue recovery, with 10 being suggested to be explicitly related to axonal regeneration. 

If such genetic technology could be harnessed and administered on humans, it could mean the end of all neurodegenerative diseases. 

Resources & Information:

Article: https://www.genomeweb.com/genetic-research/new-crispr-guide-rna-screen-helps-define-genetics-spinal-cord-regeneration#.YIy37XdKg1g

Zebrafish Spinal Regen: https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1009515 

Coffee Is a Good Indicator of Your Health?

64% of American adults currently consume coffee every day. About 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day, so it's not a surprise that this could tell you a little something about your cardiovascular health. In a world-first study of 390,435 people, University of South Australia researchers found causal genetic evidence that cardio health, as reflected in blood pressure and heart rate, influences coffee consumption. Driven influences on habitual coffee intakes suggest that people tend to naturally regulate their coffee consumption based on blood pressure levels and heart rate. These findings suggest that observational studies of habitual coffee intakes are prone to influences by reverse causation, and caution is required when inferred health benefits result from comparisons with coffee abstainers or decaffeinated coffee drinkers. So whether it be, an Espresso, Decaf, a Cappuccino, or any other, these preferences arise from the constant consumption of such. "But what we don't recognize is that people subconsciously self-regulate safe levels of caffeine based on how high their blood pressure is, and this is likely a result of a protective genetic a mechanism. Conversely, a non-coffee drinker, or someone who drinks decaffeinated coffee, is more likely prone to the adverse effects of caffeine, and more susceptible to high blood pressure." lead Prof. Hyppönen says. How much coffee we drink is likely to be an indicator of our cardio health so it's best to listen to our body because it may be telling us more than what we tend to pick up!





Geisinger Health System Wins $3.6M NIH Grant to Study Genetics of Cancer Risk


In an article posted by Genome Web titled "Geisinger Health System Wins $3.6M NIH Grant to Study Genetics of Cancer Risk", it is proudly stated that the Pennsylvania based research institute has received a grant of $3.6 million as to conduct extensive research into the "genetic underpinnings of cancer risk". The grant is notably part of a five year plan in which the list of cancer risk variants will be greatly expanded through investigating the genetic risk of cancer in very large populations. The research will further draw on an already existing research initiative which boasts a massive 276,000 participants, and will expand on exome sequencing based screening for cancer risk. 

Resources and information:

Article: https://www.genomeweb.com/research-funding/geisinger-health-system-wins-36m-nih-grant-study-genetics-cancer-risk#.YIy1kHdKg1g

Geisinger Exome Study: https://www.genomeweb.com/sequencing/geisinger-exome-study-ids-breast-cancer-risk-variants-may-not-have-been-detected-routine#.YIy3IXdKg1h