Stem Cells Can be Engineered into Genetic Vaccines Against HIV and More

While some viruses attack the lungs, and others the blood, HIV attacks the only system that could put up a fight: the immune system itself. The immune system mounts some defense, but after HIV launches its surprise attack, the body simply can't produce enough killer T blood cells to take out the virus.

Now, thanks to researchers at UCLA, it's payback time for the blood cells. A team of scientists have plucked T-cells out of someone infected with HIV, and used them as a template for creating an army of HIV-fighting immune cells out of stem cells. Essentially a genetic vaccine, this technique could be used to copy T-cells designed to fight any virus, opening up the possibility of universal vaccination via stem cell implantation.

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Nanoparticles Can Damage DNA Without Crossing Cellular Barrier

Metal nanoparticles use a newly observed cell signal process to wreak havoc indirectly

Scientists know that nanoparticles can damage DNA in cells through direct interaction. Now, though, it appears that nanoparticles can also mess with DNA on the far side of a cellular barrier, by creating signaling molecules -- a never-before-seen phenomenon.

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New Genomic Zoo to Collect DNA of 10,000 Vertebrate Species

The massive Genome 10K Project will help biologists watch evolution in action on the genetic level

A new "genomic zoo" has launched, with the goal of sequencing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species. The project aims to help researchers understand recent and rapid adaptive changes among the species. It could also allow predictions of how certain species might respond to climate change, pollution, new diseases and competitors.

The Genome 10K Project will scour zoos, museums and universities worldwide for thousands of specimens. An international coalition of more than 68 scientists has outlined their plans in a paper that will appear tomorrow in the Journal of Heredity.

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The Genome’s New Clothes

Scientists map the human epigenome

A major breakthrough study, published today in Nature, has provided a complete roadmap of the human epigenome and has major implications for the treatment of human diseases and development of stem-cell based regenerative medicine.

An epigenome may be thought of as the clothes that dress a genome, controlling the way genes are packaged and expressed without actually altering the underlying DNA code.

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How Your Body Packs Two Meters of DNA Into a Six-Micron Cell Nucleus

I can't seem to manage to keep my iPod in my bag for a day without creating an awful tangle of headphones, but my body's cells can work with two meters of stringy DNA into a tiny nucleus without making a knot. The secret is a structure called a fractal globule, according to a research paper to be published tomorrow in the journal Science.

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IBM Creates DNA-Sequencing Microchips In Race To The $1000 Genome

Like many other aspects of health care, the implementation of personal genetic medicine has run aground against the costs of producing an entire genome. Even now, a decade after the completion of the Human Genome Project, commercial whole genome sequencing can cost as much as $100,000. And at that price, the sequencing just isn't worth the benefits.

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Scientists Find The Gene That Produces THC

In one of the few scientific developments likely to interest both the Governor of North Dakota and Method Man, scientists at the University of Minnesota have identified the genes in cannabis that allow the plant to produce THC. Finding the genes opens the path to either create drug-free hemp plants for industrial purposes, or to develop plants with much higher concentrations of the psychotropic chemical.

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Two new Alzheimer’s genes found

A new way found to identify people who are at risk

An international research team have found two new genes that increase the risk of late onset Alzheimer’s disease.

“By studying the genes of almost 14,000 participants, and comparing the DNA of Alzheimer patients and people without the disease, we have identified two new genes associated with the disease. We believe they are involved in the formation of brain lesions in patients with Alzheimer’s,” said Dr Corinne Lendon from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), and member of the international collaboration.

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Scientists Prove DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated

Time to order extra black lights and sun glasses, because crime scene investigation just got a whole lot harder. A group of Israeli scientists have proven that DNA evidence can be faked and even created, all without tissue samples.

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IBM Scientists Harness DNA Self-Assembly to Build Faster, Cheaper Chips

The next generation of semiconductor technology could take a page from nature’s book, letting DNA do the heavy lifting. Straight-laced researchers at IBM, afraid of breaking Moore’s Law, have figured out a way to combine lithographic patterning and DNA self-assembly to create semiconductors that built themselves into chips that are smaller, more efficient and less expensive than anything made conventionally.

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Precision Nanoscale Car Parts Self-Assembled From DNA

Scientists program DNA to fold in tightly controlled curves and circles—an important step toward building larger nanomachines.

In the macro world, the construction shapes available to us are numerous, and the tools to build them are straightforward. But nanoarchitecture has always been much more limited -- first to two dimensions, then to only certain kinds of three-dimensional shapes. This week, scientists have broadened the possibilities for nano-building, programming DNA to bend itself into complicated custom curves. The researchers revealed their creations in the current issue of Science: a group of tight little gears, tubes, and a wireframe ball.

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Researchers Fully Decode HIV Genome For the First Time

Using special techniques developed to sequence RNA, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have published the first complete genome of HIV. Laying bare the complete genetic make up of the virus opens up a new era of research, drastically widens the possible experiments that scientists can perform on the virus, and may significantly accelerate our understanding of how HIV infects humans and evades our immune system.

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New Aboriginal origin theory

Scientists find genetic link between Aborigines and modern Indians

Genetic research indicates that Australian Aborigines initially arrived via south Asia. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology have found telltale mutations in modern-day Indian populations that are exclusively shared by Aborigines.

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Hot Deal: Full DNA Analysis By Mail, Now Only $250

Tracing your lineage and assessing your disease risks just got cheaper

How It Works: Order, Spit, Mail:  Pathway Genomics
Forget that new outfit or tech toy -- next time you have some cash to burn (whenever that may be), why not get an analysis of your genes done? A startup genomics company called Pathway Genomics announced today the most affordable (and exhaustive) public DNA service on the market.

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NYC Museum's Deep Freeze Lab Will Store Endangered Species' DNA

The American Museum of Natural History will receive endangered species samples from the National Park Service

Freezing genetic samples from plant and animal species is all the rage these days, with projects ranging from San Diego's Frozen Zoo to the UK's Frozen Ark. But New York's American Museum of Natural History recently scored a scientific coup when the U.S. National Park Service signed an agreement to store endangered species samples in the museum's underground lab, which will be one of the largest such repositories in the country.

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