United Kingdom, Genetics
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules Darwin would be puzzled. He described natural selection as a slow process, selecting for the most suited organisms to a given environment.
Bacterial BioArt
Bacterial BioArt Around 700,000 people are killed by antibiotic resistant infections in the world every year, estimates say. Antimicrobials are increasingly overused and misused, while some organisms are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture
Resilient seeds - Nurturing the future of agriculture For the first time in its history, the Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard Islands, Norway, has authorised a withdrawal. It was requested in 2015 by Syria, a country where the war is endangering the local agricultural seed collections.
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease
Renewed hope for gene therapy in rare disease Between 30 and 40 million people in Europe suffer from rare diseases —many of them children. As most of these diseases have genetic origins, gene therapy is a major hope for their future cure .
Secrets of youth, based on prevention
Secrets of youth, based on prevention We age in two ways. There is the ageing we count by clock and calendar. And then there is biological ageing. The latter is written into our genes. But, it is also influenced by our lifestyle and history.
Ana Valdes – Twins studies to identify the molecular cause of ageing
Ana Valdes – Twins studies to identify the molecular cause of ageing What makes us age biologically? We have always been intrigued by this question. Yet, it remains a fundamental research challenge.  Now, the EU-funded project, EurHEALTHAgeing , aims to draw together studies of early development with those on longevity and ageing.
Picking the right virus candidate for gene therapy
Picking the right virus candidate for gene therapy Viruses often get bad press. Likened to Trojan horses they are often associated with disease. But, i t is precisely because of their infectious nature that they can potentially be used as gene vectors - which are vehicles loaded with good copies of malfunctioning genes - and delivered to cells.
Healing bone defects using regenerative medicine
Healing bone defects using regenerative medicine Bone is one of the most frequently transplanted tissues. And the demand is rising. Transplants treat large defects like those caused by trauma, complicated fractures, tumour resection or osteoporosis. ...
Physical work, not the main cause of intervertebral disc degeneration
Physical work, not the main cause of intervertebral disc degeneration Even if you do not suffer from pain in the intervertebral discs in your lower back, it is a sure bet that you know someone who does. Yet, surprisingly little is known about what causes this disc degeneration .
Mapping proteins in space and time within cells
Mapping proteins in space and time within cells The human genome and those of several other organisms have been mapped. But it is proteins that perform the majority of biological functions within every organism .
Peering down protein-DNA interactions to better understand how genes work
Peering down protein-DNA interactions to better understand how genes work Almost every one of our cells has an entire copy of our genome. But only differing subsets of genes are active and expressed in any given cell. Epigenetics is the study of how the activity of our genes is controlled and regulated .
Parasite surveillance to support policy against drug resistance
Parasite surveillance to support policy against drug resistance Leishmaniasis is a tropical disease known in Europe because it affects dogs. It is caused by the Leishmania parasite carried by sandflies . However, several types of the parasite also affect humans in several regions in the world.
New therapy against rare gene defects
New therapy against rare gene defects European scientists set up new therapeutic approaches to tackle specific Lysosomal Storage Disorders: a new drug combination and enzyme replacement therapy against Pompe disease and gene therapy against MPS V I (Mucopolysaccharidosis VI).
Better diagnostics for thrombosis are a matter of resources
Better diagnostics for thrombosis are a matter of resources Cost-effectiveness is paramount for any new medical technology. If pharmaceutical companies do not see a profit, new drugs will never see the light of day.
Cow fertility – not so black and white
Cow fertility – not so black and white Holstein cattle - the black-and-white dairy cows you might see in a child’s picture book - have been bred in northern Europe for hundreds of years.
Advances in Treating Huntington’s Disease
Advances in Treating Huntington’s Disease Juliet Ross is suffering from Huntington’s Disease, a rare neurological disorder that affects one in 10.000 people. Due to a genetic defect, her body produces a toxic protein that damages neurons in her brain .
The case for low methane-emitting cattle
The case for low methane-emitting cattle You may think that climate change is being caused by burning oil, coal and gas. But not so fast! The emission of methane from cattle is a surprisingly important factor .
Fighting superbugs
Fighting superbugs November 18 th is the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day . Its purpose is to highlight the increase of bacterial resistance to antibiotics on the continent .
Tougher climate-resistant crops
Tougher climate-resistant crops Might it be possible to make better plants more quickly than we do today? And without the public objection that accompanies genetic manipulation? Climate change means that this is now an urgent question.
Anti-allergy GM apples
Anti-allergy GM apples Peanut, egg and soy are more common food known to trigger an allergic reaction, a problem affecting around 8% of children in the EU. Intuitively, you might not list apples as causing allergic reactions.
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