Weekly highlights: Biotechin.Asia

Weekly Roundup: April 25, 2016 – May 1, 2016

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Are you genetically predisposed to procrastinate?

Do you find yourself putting off work? Do you tell yourself “I’ll do it later/tomorrow?” Well, a twin-study recently published by Daniel E. Gustavson and his team in The Journal of Experimental Psychology has suggested that there may be a genetic element to procrastinating behaviours. Click here to read more..

Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases

range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer’s disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that’s common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases. However, the researchers discovered good news as well: An omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose. Click here to read more..

More Babies Are Being Born With Organs Outside Their Body

It’s something no parent ever wants to experience – having an infant born with organs outside his or her body, and being immediately whisked off to surgery. Gastroschisis, is a serious birth defect where an abnormal opening occurs in the abdominal wall, usually to the right of the belly button (umbilicus), which allows the uncovered intestines to spill out. During fetal development, the abdominal wall fails to close properly, leaving an opening. Click here to read more..

Microscope uses artificial intelligence to find cancer cells more efficiently

Scientists at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have developed a new technique for identifying cancer cells in blood samples faster and more accurately than the current standard methods. In one common approach to testing for cancer, doctors add biochemicals to blood samples. Those biochemicals attach biological “labels” to the cancer cells, and those labels enable instruments to detect and identify them. However, the biochemicals can damage the cells and render the samples unusable for future analyses. Click here to read more..

Scientists Develop New Technique to Learn about Protein Folding

Gaining mechanistic insights into protein folding could answer many fundamental questions of structural biology, such as understanding how mutations cause disease due to protein ‘mis’-folding. Mapping the energy landscape of protein folding sheds light on how some mutations and other errors drive the process into a pitfall, leading to mis-folded states. Diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s are a result of errors in protein folding. For this reason, research on protein folding forms a major aspect of the field of structural biology. Click here to read more..

aBioBot – A robotic lab assistant that can see what it’s doing

Dr. Raghu Machiraju who is the co-founder and CEO ofaBioBot and a Professor of Bioinformatics and Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University.  His primary research interest is in developing methods of integrative genomics for cancer subtyping and biomarker discovery that examine data concurrently from histology images, proteomics, and high throughput sequencing. We spoke about his startup, aBioBot and how it is helping bio-scientists in shortening the time to discovery. Click here to read more..

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