State law protects DNA of Minnesota wild rice

ST. PAUL — The DNA of Minnesota wild rice gets special protection under a new state law adopted this year with the backing of Indian tribes.

Genetic modifications to wild rice will be watched more closely, with environmental impact statements required and permits controlled by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.

454 life sciences completes acquisition by Roche

BRANFORD, Conn., May 29, 2007 /PRNewswire/ — 454 Life Sciences announced today the completion of its acquisition by Roche Holdings, Inc. 454 Life Sciences, with its 167 employees, will remain in Branford, Connecticut as a member of the Roche Diagnostics organization.

The 454 Life Sciences, now part of Roche Diagnostics, and researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, US will present James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA double helix and developer of the human genome project with his personal genome DNA sequence data at on May 31

related articles

eyeon DNA -Dr. Jim Watson’s Genome Sequenced for 2 Million Dollars

Geneengnews     curagen closes 454life sciences transaction

DNA repair technology in sunscreen lotion

AGI Dermatics a biotechnology company specializing in DNA skin repair and  photobiology claims to be working on a DNA damage-control product thus far is called Dimericine Currently in stage-three clinical trials.

Dimericine, the company claims to contain, a customized enzyme that can recognize DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light and speed up repair

“We call it a morning-after lotion. It can be used after sun exposure but before damage has arrived. says the president of the company

Some Soft Drinks May Damage Your DNA

research by a British scientist shows that a preservative used in cold drinks could switch off vital parts of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), causing serious damage to cells particularly in children.

Sodium benzoate or E211 has been used as a preservative for carbonated drinks . It is used to kill yeast, bacteria, and fungi in soft drinks, jam, fruit juice and salad dressing. When mixed with vitamin C, it forms benzene, a carcinogenic substance. Now that part scares me does it mean I cant have my vitamin C tablets with a can of soft drink

The preservative is also found naturally in cranberries, prunes, greengages, cinnamon, ripe cloves and apples. Peter Piper, a molecular biology expert at Sheffield University, studied the preservative and found that it could damage an important part of DNA. “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it, they knock it out altogether,”
.

Stein GAVE Bioinformatics Ten Years to Live

Its an old story but looking at whats happening in bioinformatics industry now i think this topics some what relevant. The industry has seen an unprecedented number of mergers and collaboration something unthinkable at the early stages of bioinformatics era.

Lincoln Stein’s keynote at the O’Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference was provocatively titled “Bioinformatics: Gone in 2012. it was proved to some level that all the compaies that sproute up are not going to be around for a long time. but it seems 2012 is defenitely not going to be the end of bioinformatics. personalized medicine, functional genomics and theranostics have given it a new lease of life and lot of steam to speed ahead

the old article is present at oreilynetwork 

Science and Genetics -The Hollywood Connection

 

I thought of actually righting about presence of genetics genomics and biology in Hollywood and popular entertainment and books, here is a collection of blogs and websites on the topic

Prestigious journal makes science sexy again- Scientific American

Science of TV impure but CoolExpert Voice Tv science

Best science fiction Movies – Gadget Maniac

Hollywood on HereditoryThe scientist  

Genetics in BigscreenScience Fiction Biology

Genetics in Movies – GxP genetics Expression

Super Heroes  Watch Mojo

Genetics and culture – Wagner Institute

Genetics Silver screen –USATODAY

Holyywodd frightend of genetics- End of Universe

Genetics art and culture –Centre for Genomics and Society

How Hollywood Vilifies A People –Daily Sun

THE GENOMICS MOVIES

The Island of Dr. Moreau
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116654/

Reversing Darwin’s Theory
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241382
Murders in the Rue Morgue
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023249

28 Days Later
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289043/   

She Demons
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052187/

Wolf
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111742/

JK Jackson, “Mothering the monsters,” The Scientist, September 1, 2006.
http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24578/

Hulk
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286716     

Life Without Soul
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0005615/                                       

Spider-Man
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145487/ 

Humunculus
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0006820    

GATTACA
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177

 

Science on TV: Impure But Cool

 Whether You lik real science or Hollywood science scientists are latest it thing on silver screen. with glammer or not they make it interesting for a many people, wel ofcourse not without mistakes. We al have seen atleast one episode of 24, ER, and so on so on.

Scientist has an article on Holyywoods take on genetics and genomics

Fisher is director of the crime laboratory for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a national spokesman for forensic scientists. He makes his comment in a new Expert Voices blog called Science on TV. The blog is about a recent explosion of entertainment programs with scientists in starring roles, the effect these programs are having on students, and the ambivalent feelings that real scientists sometimes have about being portrayed by sexy actors. 

Science on TV

DNA DATABASE TO HELP IDENTIFY DISAPPEARED

(May 23, 2007) The head of Chile’s Medical Legal Service (SML), Patricio Bustos, announced this week that his organization would create a DNA database that will be used to help identify the remains of those who were disappeared and murdered during the military regime led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Source Santigao times

Errors in DNA database

The exciting news of google or its benefactor investing in genomics companya and google founders earlier enthusiasm to offer its billion dollar power for genomics indutsry, has produced a mixed responses. I agree with Hsiens post that we should welcome the move

I guess its worthwhile to know why its better if google does so , The UK’s national DNA database, which houses 4.1 million records pertaining to evidence of crimes collected by police, has been found to have upwards of 100,000 incorrect records. 

According to theregister.co.uk, the complex relationship between the country’s police force, its National DNA Database Unit and the forensic service along with a lack of checks and balances has left its DNA database with the large amount of corrupted records, causing 26,200 load problems alone

“There’s in the order of 100,000 unreconciled records now,” claims The Register’s source.

Realated posts

GeneticsandHealth

ScienceDirect

NEWS

DNA file on 100,000 innocent children

Microarrays in daily life

Accurate assessment of a calf’s future performance may soon be possible by using microarrays.

By 2010, less than three years away,
Australia’s largest integrated beef research program, the Beef Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) anticipates cattle breeders may be able to get an accurate assessment of a bull or a dam’s future performance within a few months of its birth

Professor John Gibson, Beef CRC Adaptation and Cattle Welfare Research Leader, says microarray technology has enabled the entire 23,000-odd separate genes of the bovine genome to be printed on one microarray plate the size of a microscope slide. 

“Research overseas indicates that how an animal expresses its genes in early life provides an accurate picture of its gene expression at breeding age.” 

This leads to the prospect of microarrays being printed that carry genes of commercial interest, which could be then used to predict the breeding performance of young animals well before they reach breeding age.

 Prof. Gibson observes that this would help breeders quickly eliminate genetically dud bulls and cows early in their life, without the costs of feeding and progeny testing now required to determine the duds. 

Vote for the most promising webservice, internet personality or company

The next in Web 2.0

 Vote for the most promising webservice, internet personality or company.

Beem me Doctor

science fiction becoming reality, with a study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.The Tricorder first appeared in Statrek is to become a reality for use in personalized medicine,

More specifically, an Italian company is working on creating an inexpensive, hand-held medical device capable of detecting cancer by merely swiping it across the patient’s body. Wired News reports:

  The research team is reporting that by looking at images from radiology scans – such as the CT scans a cancer patient routinely gets – radiologists can discern most of the genetic activity of a tumor. Such information could lead to diagnosing and treating patients individually, based on the unique characteristics of their disease.

“Potentially in the future one can use imaging to directly reveal multiple features of diseases that will make it much easier to carry out personalized medicine, where you are making diagnoses and treatment decisions based exactly on what is happening in a person,” said co-senior author Howard Chang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford, who led the genomics arm of the study.

The study’s other senior author is Michael Kuo, MD, assistant professor of interventional radiology at UCSD, who said their work will help doctors obtain the molecular details of a specific tumor or disease without having to remove body tissue for a biopsy. “Ideally, we would have personalized medicine achieved in a noninvasive manner,” said Kuo, who spearheaded the project in 2001 while he was a radiology resident at Stanford.

Tricorder

More News

Genes add up risk of autoimmune disease

Geneticists have identified a link between the number of copies of a specific gene an individual has and their susceptibility to autoimmune diseases like lupus.

The research by Professor Tim Aitman of the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, and colleagues, is published in Nature Genetics.

From Medical News 

Microarray based DRUG DISCOVERY and CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS and biosensor designed to identify viruses

 Prof. David Dandy of Colorado State University chemical and biological engineering has proven that called microarray assays can be used for biomedical disease and drug screening assays could rapidly increase drug discovery,

Although not ready for hospital or office use, microarrays represent a novel miniaturized multi-spot diagnostic format that has huge potential for patient diagnosis if found reliable and approved.

Smaller is often better, according to a new scientific study that appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Professor David Dandy, Dr. David Dandyhead of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado State. Dandy co-wrote the paper with David Grainger, a former chemistry professor at Colorado State who now is chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah.

The study was funded by a multi-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“This work is extremely useful from an industrial perspective,” said Michael Lochhead, chief scientist at Accelr8 Technology Corp., a Denver-based developer of innovative materials and instrumentation for advanced applications in medical instrumentation, basic research, drug discovery, and bio-detection.

The critical importance of this work is illustrated by the fact that, to date, a single microarray-based test has been approved by the FDA for clinical use.

According to Roche, the manufacturer of this diagnostic microarray, “This test analyzes a patient’s Cytochrome P450 2D6 and 2C19 genotypes from genomic DNA extracted from a blood sample. Test results will allow physicians to consider unique genetic information from patients in selecting medications and doses of medications for a wide variety of common conditions such as cardiac diseases, pain and cancer.”

 

 

New approach to study microbiaL GENOTYPING

Over 99% of the Earth’s microorganisms cannot be cultivated in laboratory, making their ecological roles, biochemistry and potential practical applications an unresolved mystery. The cutting-edge approach to tackle this enigma, originally developed for the human genome sequencing project, has been sequencing large quantities of short sections of DNA from the extracts of entire microbial communities, and then assembling these sections back into individual genomes by computational means.

Unfortunately, the diversity of natural microbial communities proved so incredibly high, that very few genomes could be assembled from even the largest metagenomic studies, consisting of millions of DNA sequences.

In a paper published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Drs. Stepanauskas and Sieracki from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences  propose an alternative to the metagenomic research.

The new method is based on fluorescence-activated sorting, whole genome amplification, and multi-locus DNA sequencing of single cells. This allows us to sequence any number of genes in each cell, including those that reveal cell’s identity and those that tell us what biochemical reactions the cell is capable of performing”, said Dr. Stepanauskas.

The publication “Matching phylogeny and metabolism in the uncultured marine bacteria, one cell at a time,” is a result of the researchers’ collaboration, 

The paper is available online at: PNAS

There is no ET in Human DNA

Well after all the hulllaba about the presence of extraterrestrial DNA in human genome and lots of blogs and articles later inlcuding the ones from mine which talked about the unusual presence and shift in genetic codon makeup in human DNA. More plausible evidence has started to emerge for what can be termed as ET DNA  in Human genome, triggered  by the completion of the genome sequencing of the marsupial opposum

An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have announced the publication of the first genome of a marsupial, belonging to a South American species of opossum (Monodelphis domestica ). In a comparison of the marsupial genome to genomes of non-marsupials, including human, published in the journal Nature, the team found that most innovations leading to the human genome sequence lie not in protein-coding genes, but in areas that until recently were referred to as “junk” DNA. Genome of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica reveals innovation in non-coding sequences the study helps to explain the evolutionary origins of human DNA and the role played by transposons,  

The study reveals a surprising role in human evolution for “jumping genes”

So how does the marsupial genome sequencing explains what has been refered as the presence of extraterrestrial gene or well of course we dont have any ET DNA

In the words of  Broad Institute director Eric Lander “Evolution is tinkering much more with the controls than it is with the genes themselves,”. “Almost all of the new innovation … is in the regulatory controls. In fact, marsupial mammals and placental mammals have largely the same set of protein-coding genes. But by contrast, 20 percent of the regulatory instructions in the human genome were invented after we parted ways with the marsupial.”

It showed that an important source of genetic innovation comes from bits of DNA, called transposons, that make up roughly half of our genome and that were previously thought to be genetic “junk.”

The research shows that this so-called junk DNA is anything but, and that it instead can help drive evolution by moving between chromosomes, turning genes on and off in new ways.

 “The official textbook picture of how genes work really didn’t appear to be right,” Lander said. “There was much more of the genome standing around shouting instructions than actually producing proteins.”

That raised a question of how evolution actually works on the genome, Lander said. With so much of the genome devoted to regulation, it became apparent that evolution could work by simply changing the instructions rather than changing the protein-coding genes themselves.

Now that perhaps explain all the articles you may have come across about the discovery of extraterrestrial genes in human DNA

Thus, the mobile elements that are typically thought of as “junk DNA” have played a creative role in genome evolution – spreading key genetic innovations involved in the control of gene expression across the genome.

 

A tiny opossum’s genome has shed light on how evolution creates new creatures from old, showing that change primarily comes by finding new ways of turning existing genes on and off

whats in your beef- is Genetically Engineered Food a Hazard?!

Do you share the same concern if you are in EU then relax the rules stipulates that GM food should carry the label to distinguish them from the rest of the crowd. But what if that is not enough.

The website http://www.psrast.org/ gives a list that should worry any spokesperson for GM . well I am certainly concerned and not at all against GM food and GMO studies especially if it can create cheaper medicines or study drug resistance in microbes

According to Charles Saunders, chairman of the British Medical Association’s public health committee

”We simply do not have enough reliable scientific evidence on their safety to be able to make a valid decision as to whether there are potential health effects or not.

Already, an estimated 1 to 2 percent of Americans are allergic to some food, and their reactions can be serious or even fatal.

food allergies Food allergies are caused by proteins which are made by genes. Indeed, the whole purpose of genetic engineering is to force a plant or animal to make new proteins.

In one of the few pieces of hard evidence about the health dangers of genetic engineering, Stephen Taylor, who studies food allergies at the University of Nebraska, found that moving a gene indeed made a new food allergenic.

The regulatory part of the genome was two to three times larger than the portion that actually held the instructions for individual proteins.

With so much of the genome devoted to regulation, it became apparent that evolution could work by simply changing the instructions rather than changing the protein-coding genes themselves.

A tiny opossum’s genome has shed light on how evolution creates new creatures from old, showing that change primarily comes by finding new ways of turning existing genes on and off

 

 

Does the finding prove that transgenic foods are inherently dangerous? Not really

 

 

 

 

Scared of GMO and GM food

 Detecting Genetically Modified Organisms with Microarrays

Is Genetically modified Food a health Hazard ? according to many it seems so. European union has always taken a stringent rules against GM food. A microarray was developed for detecting the presence of Genetically modified organisms some time back a pdf of the article can be downlaoded from http://www.springerlink.com/index/C888146870511P6U.pdf

For example U-Vision Biotech offers a DNA microarray based GMO detection system for detecting

  • Brassica napus

  • Zea mays L.

  • Gossypium hirsutum L.

  • Linum usitatissimum L.

  • Carica papaya L.

  • Solanum tuberosum L.

  • Oryza sativa

  • Glycine max L.

  • Cucurbita pepo

  • Beta vulgaris

  • Lycopersicon esculentum

  • Triticum aestivum

similar products are also offered by Eppendorf   through its dual chip GMO  kit allowing the detection of the EU-approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by identifying their genetic elements

Genographic Project

National geographic has got some very good presentations to  overview of genetics, a good presentation called genographic project  i came across it while writing my article on transposons and the new sequencing project of opposum

DNA network

microarray blog is now a proud member of  The DNA Network, a FeedBurner network. A great initiative by Rick Vidal and Hsien Lei by bulding a common place for the genetics and genomics  blogs  the DNA News and Analysis form genetics and genomics blogosphere

DNA Network bloggers include:  

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