Tuesday, 25 March 2014

How to sequence the human genome

How to sequence the human genome

Educational video from Ted-Ed, animated lessons.


Your genome, every human's genome, consists of a unique DNA sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's that tell your cells how to operate. Thanks to technological advances, scientists are now able to know the sequence of letters that makes up an individual genome relatively quickly and inexpensively. Mark J. Kiel takes an in-depth look at the science behind the sequence.

Interesting interactive infographic about the Human Genome discoveries time line. 


The Human Genome Project, one of the most collaborative biological projects in the world, determining the sequence of chemical base pairs that make up human DNA, by the identification and mapping of the genes in the human genome.
HGP educational links:


Gif source: teded/tumblr

Monday, 24 March 2014

Gigantic Multi-touch Displays become Microscope

 Gigantic Multi-touch Displays become Microscope 

"All training related to microscopes will become digital within ten years," believes Senior Lecturer Johan Lundin, MD, PhD, from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

Watch out the Amazing Video below it about how it's work

The multitouch microscope is an innovation developed by researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in collaboration with MultiTouch, a Finnish company. The innovation is based on two technologies created in Finland: virtual microscopy and a giant-size multitouch display.

Traditional microscopes can only be used to examine a small part of a sample, saysJohan Lundin. A virtual microscope can be used to create a comprehensive montage of the sample. The montage can consist of as many as 50,000 images.

The smallest multitouch microscope displays have 46-inch screens, which make iPads seem like postage stamps. Several people can examine the same sample from a display that has been placed on a desk, for example.
By touching the screen, the image can be enlarged and reduced in the same manner as in smartphones.

 There is one difference, though, says Lundin. Smartphones can be controlled with fingertips, but both palms are needed when zooming an image on the giant-size display of a multitouch microscope.
The multitouch microscope is suitable for many scientific fields, including pathology, microbiology and cell biology.

 It can be used in all fields in which microscopy is needed, Lundin sums up. The multitouch microscope is particularly useful in teaching.
It is much easier to learn than a traditional microscope, which only allows one person at a time to examine a sample. The multitouch microscope adds a new, interactive dimension to teaching.
The multitouch microscope was presented to the media last week at the ChemBio Finland event at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre.

Source : FIMM

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant

Sea Anemone is Genetically Half Animal, Half Plant

                                                           Source: University of Vienna
The sea anemone shows a genomic landscape surprisingly similar to human genome, but also displays regulatory mechanisms similar to plants. A research team led by evolutionary and developmental biologist Ulrich Technau at the University of Vienna discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems. This suggests, that this principle of gene regulation is already 600 million years old and dates back to the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone. On the other hand, sea anemones are more similar to plants rather to vertebrates or insects in their regulation of gene expression by short regulatory RNAs     called microRNAs.                                                                                    
These surprising evolutionary findings are published in two articles in the journal "Genome Research".
Our appearance, the shape we have and how our body works is, in addition to environmental influences, largely the result of the action of our genes. However, genes are rarely single players, they rather act in concert and regulate each other's activity and expression in gene regulatory networks.
Simple organism with complex gene content
In the last decades the sequencing of the human and many animal genomes showed that anatomically simple organisms such as sea anemones depict a surprisingly complex gene repertoire like higher model organisms. This implies, that the difference in morphological complexity cannot be easily explained by the presence or absence of individual genes. Some researchers hypothesized that not the individual genes code for more complex body plans, but how they are wired and linked between each other. Accordingly, researchers expected that these gene networks are less complex in simple organisms than in human or "higher" animals.
A measurement of the complexity of gene regulation could be the distribution and density of regulatory sequences in the genome. These motifs on the DNA called enhancers and promoters can bind transcription factors specifically and often regulate the expression of target genes in specific spatio-temporal patterns. "Finding these short motifs in the ocean of nucleotides is far from trivial", explains Ulrich Technau, professor at the Department for Molecular Evolution and Development.
While the genes constitute, in a sense, the words in the language of genetics, enhancer and promoters serve as the grammar. These regulatory elements correlate with certain biochemical epigenetic modifications of the histones, proteins intertwined with the DNA, constituting the chromatin. With the aid of a sophisticated molecular approach called chromatin immunoprecipitation, Hertha-Firnberg-fellow Michaela Schwaiger, member of Technau's team, was able to identify promoters and enhancers on a genome-wide level in the sea anemone and compared the data to regulatory landscapes of more complex and higher model organisms.
"Since the sea anemone shows a complex landscape of gene regulatory elements similar to the fruit fly or other model animals, we believe that this principle of complex gene regulation was already present  in the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone some 600 million years ago" , Michaela Schwaiger states.
MicroRNAs are important for developmental processes in human…
Eventually, gene expression leads to the formation of proteins, the functional effectors in our body. In addition to the control of transcription of DNA to RNA, the expression of a gene can also be regulated on the post-transcriptional level after the RNA is already produced. Here, microRNAs play an important role. MicroRNAs are short regulatory RNAs, which can bind to target RNAs and inhibit their translation or lead to dissociation of the target RNA. In the last years, hundreds of microRNAs were identified in many animals and even more than 1000 microRNAs in human. Many of these have an important role in metabolism and are crucial in developmental processes. Mutations in distinct microRNAs are associated with severe diseases such as cancer. Each microRNA can bind many different RNAs in a sequence specific manner. "We assume that 30 – 50 percent of all human genes are regulated by microRNAs", Ulrich Technau illustrates. However, the evolutionary origin of animal microRNAs is still unclear.
…and in plants
MicroRNAs were also discovered in plants, but it has been assumed that they arose independently from animal microRNAs, since they (1) don't show any sequence similarity to them, (2) have a different biogenesis pathway and (3) have a substantially different mode of action: Plant microRNAs bind only one to a handful of targets with high sequence specificity and induce with the aid of Argonaute proteins the specific cleavage of the target RNA. In collaboration with American, French and Norwegian groups, Ulrich Technau and his team managed to isolate 87 microRNAs from the sea anemone.
Yehu Moran, David Fredman and Daniela Praher from the Technau team were able to show that the microRNAs of the sea anemone depict all the hallmarks of plant microRNAs: They have an almost perfect complementarity to their target RNAs, which are subsequently cleaved and not inhibited like in other animals. Moran also discovered a gene in the sea anemone, HYL-1, which is essential for the microRNA biogenesis in plants and was never detected in any other animal model organism before. Moreover, when one compares the sequences of microRNAs, one microRNA with similarity to a plant microRNA as well as one microRNA with similarity to an animal microRNA can be found. Altogether, these findings suggest the first evolutionary link between microRNAs of plants and animals.
In summary, while the sea anemone's genome, gene repertoire and gene regulation on the DNA level is surprisingly similar to vertebrates, its post-transcriptional regulation is plant-like and probably dates back to the common ancestor of animals and plants. This is the first qualitative difference found between Cnidaria and "higher" animals and the findings provide insight on how important levels of gene regulation can evolve independently.
Even You can Check out more on this below link
Link 2: PHYS ORG
Link 3: ScienceDaily

Friday, 14 March 2014

Technique uses ATP as trigger for targeted anti-cancer drug delivery

Technique uses ATP as trigger for targeted anti-cancer drug delivery

The nanoparticles are packed with DNA molecules that are embedded with an anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin. Image: Ran Mo
Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a new technique that uses adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP), the so-called “energy molecule,” to trigger the release of anti-cancer drugs directly into cancer cells. Early laboratory tests show it increases the effectiveness of drugs targeting breast cancer. The technique was developed by researchers at North Carolina State Univ. and the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“This is a proof-of-concept, but we’ve demonstrated there is now a new tool for                                                          The nanoparticles are packed with DNA molecules that are embedded with an anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin. 
Image: Ran Mo  
 introducing anti-cancer drugs directly into cancer cells—and that should make drug treatments significantly more effective,” says Dr. Zhen Gu, senior author of a paper on the research and an asst. prof. in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Gu’s research team developed spherical nanoparticles coated with a shell that incorporates hyaluronic acid (HA), which interacts with proteins found on the surface of some cancer cells. When a targeted cancer cell comes into contact with the HA, the cell absorbs the entire nanoparticle.
Once inside the cancer cell, the nanoparticle’s shell comes apart, releasing its payload: a collection of complex DNA molecules that are embedded with an anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin (Dox), which targets the nucleus of the cancer cell.
The DNA molecules are designed to unfold—and release the Dox—only when they come into contact with high ATP levels. High levels of ATP are normally only found inside a cell, which means the Dox is released within striking distance of the nucleus—and not inadvertently released outside the cell.
“This is the first time ATP has been used as a molecular trigger for controlled release of anti-cancer drugs, both in vitro and in vivo,” says Dr. Ran Mo, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher in the joint biomedical engineering program. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism.
In in vitro testing, the new technique was 3.6 times more effective against MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells than techniques that don’t incorporate an ATP-targeting component.
The researchers also tested the new technique in an in vivo model, using mice that had breast cancer tumors. The researchers found that the ATP-targeting technique was significantly more effective at inhibiting tumor growth compared with other techniques.
“We also believe that we’ll be able to make the technique even more targeted by manipulating ATP levels in specific areas,” Gu says.
The paper was published in Nature Communications.
source: R&D

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Should we redesign humans?

Should we redesign humans?
Incredible Question

Author : Kevin Russel

"The age of bio-engineering is upon us, with scientists 

understanding of how to engineer cells, tissues and organs 

improving at a rapid pace. Here’s how this could affect the 

future of our physical bodies."

Watch these 8 TED talks and leave a comment below if you 

think we should redesign humans.

Juan Enriquez: The next species of 


Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don’t look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange. It’ll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be … different.

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs

Anthony Atala’s state-of-the-art lab grows human organs — from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to 98.6 F) and a machine that “prints” human tissue.

Nina Tandon: Could tissue engineering mean personalized 


Each of our bodies is utterly unique, which is a lovely thought until it comes to treating an illness — when every body reacts differently, often unpredictably, to standard treatment. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon talks about a possible solution: Using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips. (Call it extremely personalized medicine.)

Kevin Stone: The bio-future of joint 


Arthritis and injury grind down millions of joints, but few get the best remedy — real biological tissue. Kevin Stone shows a treatment that could sidestep the high costs and donor shortfall of human-to-human transplants with a novel use of animal tissue.

Alan Russell: The potential of regenerative


Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine — a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury by helping the body to rebuild itself. He shows how engineered tissue that “speaks the body’s language” has helped a man regrow his lost fingertip, how stem cells can rebuild damaged heart muscle, and how cell therapy can regenerate the skin of burned soldiers. This new, low-impact medicine comes just in time, Russell says — our aging population, with its steeply rising medical bills, will otherwise (and soon) cause a crisis in health care systems around the world.

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala’s young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage.

Molly Stevens: A new way to grow bone

What does it take to regrow bone in mass quantities? Typical bone regeneration — wherein bone is taken from a patient's hip and grafted onto damaged bone elsewhere in the body — is limited and can cause great pain just a few years after operation. In an informative talk, Molly Stevens introduces a new stem cell application that harnesses bone's innate ability to regenerate and produces vast quantities of bone tissue painlessly.

It's time to question bio-engineering - 

Paul Root Wolpe

Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from glowing dogs to mice that grow human ears. He asks: Isn't it time to set some ground rules? 


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Human ovulation caught on camera accidentally during Hysterectomy It's really Incredible

Human ovulation caught on camera accidentally during Hysterectomy

Have you ever seen a human egg?! Don’t worry human ovulation has been caught on camera for the first time. It's Really Incredible . 

But it has make to Happened by Gynaecologist Dr Jacques Donnez who spotted it in progress during a hysterectomy (A surgical removal of uterus). They belonged to a 45-year-old Belgian woman.

"The release of the oocyte from the ovary is a crucial event in human reproduction," says Jacques Donnez at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Brussels, Belgium. "These pictures are clearly important to better understand the mechanism."

The images, which have been released by New Scientist magazine, have been described as a "fascinating insight" into "the beginnings of life".
The reddish swelling seen in the image is a follicle, from which the egg is released prior to its journey up the Fallopian tubes to the womb.

Professor Alan McNeilly, from the Medical Research Council's Human Reproduction Unit in Edinburgh, told "It really is a pivotal moment in the whole process, the beginnings of life in a way.

Via:  Live it Stronger

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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Revolutionary membrane can keep your heart beating perfectly forever

This Membrane Can Keep the Heart Beating Perfectly Forever

“Researchers have developed a new device that may one day help prevent heart attacks. The new cardiac device - a thin, stretchable membrane imprinted with a spider-web-like network of sensors and electrodes - is custom-designed to fit over the heart and contract and expand with it as it beats.”

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new device that may one day help prevent heart attacks.
Unlike existing pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that are one-size-fits-all, the new device is a thin, elastic membrane designed to stretch over the heart like a custom-made glove.
This video below shows a rabbit heart that has been kept beating outside of the body in a nutrient and oxygen-rich solution. The new cardiac device -- a thin, stretchable membrane imprinted with a spider-web-like network of sensors and electrodes -- is custom-designed to fit over the heart and contract and expand with it as it beats. Credit: University of Illinois and Washington University.

University of Illinois materials scientist John Rogers co-led the team that invented the new device.
He says they used high-resolution imaging, computer modeling, and a 3-D printer to create a plastic model of a heart. Then, they used that as a mold to make a thin, elastic membrane designed to fit snugly over the real heart’s surface.
Rogers compares the silicon version to the heart’s natural membrane, the pericardium. “But this artificial pericardium is instrumented with high quality, man-made devices that can sense and interact with the heart in different ways that are relevant to clinical cardiology,” Rogers said.
This diagram illustrates the steps involved in creating the new heart device.
Credit University of Illinois and Washington University
Washington University biomedical engineer Igor Efimov helped design and test the new device.
He says the membrane’s spider-web-like network of specialized electrodes can continuously monitor the heart’s electrical activity and keep it beating at a healthy rate.
“When it senses such a catastrophic event as a heart attack or arrhythmia, it can also apply a high definition therapy,” Efimov said. “So it can apply stimuli, electrical stimuli, from different locations on the device in an optimal fashion to stop this arrhythmia and prevent sudden cardiac death.”
Efimov calls the new device a huge advance and hopes it will be approved for use in patients in 10 to 15 years.
Their research is published in the journal Nature Communications.
Via Hashem AL-ghaili
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