Tag: genetics

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Either Poles are too dumb to understand what’s ridiculous about a pornographic butter-churning contest, or they’re not. I’d bet they’re not, and they know a parody of eroticism when they see it. Too bad The Imaginative Conservative doesn’t. Apparently, there’s at least one writer out there lacking the imagination to recognize a parody when he […]

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As of yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there have been five diagnosed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States. The CDC has already completely sequenced and uploaded to a research database the genetic information for each of the five cases. I remember when sequencing genes was a big […]

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  A while ago I wrote an essay entitled, “Bring on the Genetic Engineering.” In summary, we are all victims of evolution. We are designed to be stupid, tribal and foolish with regard to things ranging from economics to our own sexual decisions. I have been researching a little bit into I.Q. intelligence, and now […]

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After what Donald Trump posted last week, and the absolute insanity that came from CNN in the aftermath, many people were forced to learn what many in the culture are referring to when we use the word ‘meme’.  To most people who use the internet, a meme is this: It’s a picture with some writing […]

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Old news I know, but I just read about the proposal for geneticists to stop studying race and study ancestry instead.  And they almost made PC sound smart. http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2016/02/04/Some-scientists-want-race-removed-from-genetics-research/8061454618848/ Preview Open

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Making Pandemic Viruses from Scratch, for Dummies

 
By Photo Credit: James GathanyContent Providers(s): CDC - This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #7988.Note: Not all PHIL images are public domain; be sure to check copyright status and credit authors and content providers.English | Slovenščina | +/−, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1314479

Photo Credit: James Gathany, Public Domain. Dr. Terrence Tumpey examines a reconstructed version of the 1918 flu.

With the rapid pace of shiny new discoveries in the biotechnology sector, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are some pretty incredible technologies which have been around for quite some time now but have fallen off the public’s collective radar. One example is something I have done hundreds of times in my career but still seems impossible to those outside of the field: creating a flu virus from scratch. Not mutating an existing virus to make a new strain, but creating an infectious virus from whole cloth using nothing but common, commercially-available laboratory materials. And not just any strain, but the equal ability to make a harmless laboratory strain or reconstitute the 1918 “Spanish” flu.

A Gene Therapy That Works … And the Ethical Dilemmas It Presents

 

769px-Autorecessive.svg Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is Alzheimer’s on speed. Children born with the most common form of the disease will die by age five, due to atrophy of brain tissue. The incidence in the general population is estimated to be 1 in 40,000 to 160,000 births.

Unlike Alzheimer’s, MLD has a known genetic cause. It has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, which means a child must inherit a defective, recessive gene from each of two carrier parents to be symptomatic. That suggests the frequency of carriers in the population is 1 in 200 to 1 in 400. But for couples who are both carriers, the odds of a child with MLD are 1 in 4.

Post-natal testing does not work on MLD. The enzyme test that reveals the disease has a 7-15 percent false positive rate due to other, less severe conditions affecting the same body chemistry. Unless a specific genetic test is done on the parents or the pre-natal fetus, the first time most affected couples will know is when their child exhibits unmistakable symptoms. By that point, the disease in untreatable and irreversible. And there are 1 in 4 odds that any future child of theirs will die the same way (see illustration).

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I found this Brietbart article fascinating.  You can go to the article for the hyperlinked references. This week, YouGov released a poll questioning British people about their sexuality. The poll made headlines because nearly half of all 18-24 year olds said they were not fully heterosexual. Preview Open

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The Future Is (Almost) Here

 

Source: Vanderbilt UniversitySince the first discovery that our physical traits are determined by a four-letter DNA code, and since our first attempts to manipulate that code, the idea of genetically-designed humans has been a staple in the science fiction realm. But among biomedical researchers, the notion of engineering DNA in actual humans remained strictly hypothetical: while all agreed it was theoretically possible, the methods available were too cumbersome, inefficient, and limited to too few species (such as mice) to imagine a realistic path forward.

Until now.

A revolution in the nascent field of nuclease-based genome editing is currently taking place, and even the most skeptical researchers are now proclaiming that we will be regularly manipulating DNA in adults within a few years, and that the first genetically-engineered babies may be a reality within the decade. And unlike previous claims of world-altering advances which promised we would soon be flying in autonomously-guided solar-powered cars while receiving a massage from our personal robot, nuclease-based genome editing has already passed several previously-insurmountable hurdles: genetically-altered monkeys were generated last year, demonstrating feasibility in our closest biological relative. And astonishingly, just three weeks ago a group in China reported successful genome editing in human embryos.

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I’m finally sorta breaking the fourth wall of Ricochet. Tomorrow (Jan 30) at 1PM EST I’ll be hosting a live Google Hangout with Dr. Rob Carlson for one of my clients, the Public Library of Science (more commonly known as PLOS). I manage their Synthetic Biology Community page and do some small-scale writing for them. […]

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When you compare our trifling selves with the generation that landed in Normandy, invented the atomic bomb, and wrote The Big Sleep, it doesn’t look good. You could easily get the impression that the United States went straight from a Golden Age to one of cardboard, skipping silver and all the other metals. But when you […]

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In pursuit of equality and individual rights, our society is tearing down the ideal of the natural family. Unfortunately, there is a cultural narrative surrounding adoption that supports this “tear down.” Adoption is when a child is removed from his/her natural family, and placed with a new family. It is supposed to be a wonderful […]

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