Early experiments are beginning to show how genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR might one day fix disease-causing mutations before embryos are implanted. But refining the techniques and getting regulatory approval will take years. PGD has already helped thousands of couples. And whereas the expansion of PGD around the world has generally been slow, in China, it is starting to explode.
One. That is the total number of locally transmitted Zika cases confirmed in the continental United States this year, as of mid-August. That single case, recorded on 26 July in Hidalgo County in Texas, which borders Mexico, contrasts with hundreds of cases of local transmission last year.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Clearly, the massive increase in drug deaths warrant a serious government response. But what does a national emergency actually mean?
Computer algorithms trained on the images of thousands of preserved plants have learned to automatically identify species that have been pressed, dried and mounted on herbarium sheets, researchers report.
Of course it was going to happen — and now it has. Last week, an international team reported the use of CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing techniques to correct a heart-wrenching mutation in human embryos. These attempts worked several times more efficiently than previous ones had, and avoided introducing new genetic errors. Although the embryos were never destined to be used for pregnancies (and have now been destroyed), the work — carried out mainly in the United States — makes it easy to foresee practical applications to genetically alter human embryos.
So far, the big winner in the great clone race has been Alan Meeker, chief executive officer of Crestview Genetics. Since 2010 the 52-year-old Texas oil heir has created close to 100 horse clones valued at $500,000 to $800,000 each, depending on how long the company’s raised them.
CRISPR, the powerful genome-editing tool, does a molecular tango to cut and modify DNA that is highly nuanced. The same subtlety applies to the public’s views on how best to use genome editing in humans, a new survey of adults in the United States shows.
An international team of researchers has used CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing — a technique that allows scientists to make precise changes to genomes with relative ease — to correct a disease-causing mutation in dozens of viable human embryos. The study represents a significant improvement in efficiency and accuracy over previous efforts.
Genetically engineered salmon has reached the dinner table. AquaBounty Technologies, the Maynard, Massachusetts, company that developed the fish, announced on 4 August that it has sold 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) of its hotly debated product to customers in Canada.
Whether caused by a car accident that slams your head into the dashboard or repeated blows to your cranium from high-contact sports, traumatic brain injury can be permanent. There are no drugs to reverse the cognitive decline and memory loss, and any surgical interventions must be carried out within hours to be effective, according to the current medical wisdom. But a compound previously used to enhance memory in mice may offer hope: Rodents who took it up to a month after a concussion had memory capabilities similar to those that had never been injured.
MilliporeSigma, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, has become a new major player in the complicated European patent battles over CRISPR, the revolutionary genome-editing tool.
The Senate on Thursday passed by unanimous consent a measure designed to make it easier for terminally ill patients to get access to experimental treatments without oversight from the Food and Drug Administration. The “right-to-try” legislation has been championed by the libertarian Goldwater Institute, which has worked to pass similar legislation in 37 states. The federal version, now headed to the House, would bar the government from blocking patients from getting access to medications that have undergone only preliminary testing in humans. Patients first would have to try all other available treatments and be unable to participate in clinical trials.
Aged chimpanzees develop brain characteristics that are similar — but not identical — to those seen in early Alzheimer’s disease in humans, researchers report on 1 August in Neurobiology of Aging. The findings from humanity’s closest relatives could help researchers to understand why people develop dementia, as well as suggest that caretakers of aging, captive chimpanzees watch them closely for behavioural changes.
How Should Physicians Help Gender-Transitioning Adolescents Consider Potential Iatrogenic Harms of Hormone Therapy?
Journal Of Medical Ethics
Counseling and treatment of transgender youth can be challenging for mental health practitioners, as increased availability of gender-affirming treatments in recent years raises ethical and clinical questions. Is a gender identity diagnosis helpful? What is the right time to treat, and should the adolescent’s age matter in decision making?
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued new, stricter rules for studies that test drugs in people for the first time. They aim to better protect participants in such first-in-human studies—often healthy volunteers who receive a financial reward. The guideline, which was issued on 25 July, will take effect in February 2018. It comes in the wake of a tragedy in a French drug study last yearthat led to the death of one man and serious neurological damage in four others. But some say the revision isn’t going for enough.
Universities need to get better at sharing patented seeds and other products of publicly-funded agricultural science if the United States wants to keep producing bountiful harvests, argues a new report from a group of leading academic researchers.
As the White House and the US Congress continue to lock horns over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, scientists are once again anxious about funding levels. But more money is not enough to create better science. Indeed, the scientific enterprise has been betrayed by the mismanagement of its financial support.
Ninety-nine percent of ailing NFL player brains sport hallmarks of neurodegenerative disease, autopsy study finds
The largest study of its kind has found damage in the vast majority of former football players’ brains donated for research after they developed mental symptoms during life. Of 202 former players of the U.S. version of the game whose brains were examined, 87% showed the diagnostic signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head trauma.
Since Chinese researchers announced the first gene editing of a human embryo 2 years ago, many expected that similar work in the United States was inevitable. Last night, the MIT Technology Review broke the news that such experiments have happened. The research, led by embryologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, also reportedly sidestepped problems of incomplete and off-target editing that plagued previous attempts, though details could not be confirmed since the work is not yet published and Mitalipov has so far declined to comment.
When Australia established a vast network of marine reserves in 2012, it was hailed as a major win for conservation. But management plans for the sea havens were suspended a year later. Now, scientists are angry at the Australian government’s release last week of a draft proposal to significantly erode the size of protected areas in the reserves, opening up large stretches to commercial and recreational fishing.
Sri Lanka is facing an “unprecedented” outbreak of deadly dengue fever, with 296 deaths recorded and over 100,000 cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the Red Cross.
The JASONs, a group of elite scientists that advises the US government on national security, has weighed in on issues ranging from cyber security to renewing America’s nuclear arsenal. But at a meeting in June, the secretive group took stock of a new threat: gene drives, a genetic-engineering technology that can swiftly spread modifications through entire populations and could help vanquish malaria-spreading mosquitoes.
With the help of the gene editor CRISPR, scientists can now save videos in DNA, Nature writes. The researchers encoded five grayscale images into 104 DNA fragments per image, each made up of 33 DNA letters. One image per day was then introduced to the Escherichia coli bacterium. Because CRISPR adds DNA snippets to its host genome in sequential order, researchers were able to recover the recorded images after sequencing and put them together to see the movie.
This summer, a Silicon Valley tech company will have millions of machine-raised, bacteria-infected mosquitoes packed into windowless white vans, driven inland and released into the wild — or, at least, the streets of Fresno, Calif. And, yes, Fresno County officials are encouraging this. It’s all part of the “Debug Fresno” project, which aims to cut down on the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, an unwelcome invasive species that arrived in California’s Central Valley in 2013.
Seventy years ago, plastic was barely used outside of the military. Today, we can’t live without it. And over the next 30 years, we may produce four times more plastic waste than we ever did, a new study shows.
Baby Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old with a rare, terminal medical condition who has been the center of an ongoing legal battle, will be evaluated by a doctor from the United States. Charlie will be examined early this week, in London, by Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center.
Two senior female scientists are suing their employer, the prestigious Salk Institute for Biological Studies, alleging pervasive, long-standing gender discrimination. The independent institute, in San Diego, California, was founded by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk 57 years ago.
External advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have thrown their support behind a therapy that genetically engineers a patient’s own immune cells to target and destroy cancers. In a unanimous vote on 12 July, the panel determined that the benefits of CAR-T therapy outweigh its risks. The vote comes as the agency considers whether to issue its first approval of a CAR-T therapy, for a drug called tisagenlecleucel, manufactured by Novartis of Basel, Switzerland.
A year ago, the national government here announced a bold plan to rid the country of a trio of invasive predators that threatens native birds. Experts say the task will require new technologies—such as deadlier toxins and possibly even the release of genetically modified organisms—that have yet to be invented. But winning public support for using these new methods could be an even bigger task, scientists say.
El Salvador’s ban on abortion is one of the toughest in the world, but for the first time in 20 years, there are signs the law could be weakened. These are some of the men and women spearheading the country’s movement for women’s rights.