Weekly Roundup: Biotechin.Asia

Weekly Highlights for June 20, 2016 – June 26, 2016

Highlights 20-27 June.jpgWhy we regain weight after drastic dieting

A few years ago I proudly lost almost 15% of my weight. However last week I stared with disbelief at my scale as I realised all my efforts were in vain and I had regained all of the previously lost weight. This got me thinking about the mechanisms that underpin such dramatic fluctuations in weight (sometimes known as yo-yo dieting) and the defences the body uses for weight maintenance. Even losing as little as 5% of our body weight has a myriad of health benefits, including reduced risk of heart attacks, lower blood pressure, improved glucose control in patients with diabetes, improved mental health and reduced risk of osteoarthritis and certain cancers. Click here to read more…

U.S gives green signal for the first CRISPR human clinical trial

In the public realm, opinions about CRISPR have ranged from those that are exhilarated by its potential, to others that are terrified of the implications of the technology, often equating it to be an attempt to play God. While the changing nature of scientific knowledge is a constant, perhaps a more static constant has been the mix of fascination and fear that greets each innovation. CRISPR has been no exception. Click here to read more…

Why do only some people get Goosebumps when listening to music?

Have you ever been listening to a great piece of music and felt a chill run up your spine? Or goosebumps tickle your arms and shoulders? The experience is called frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning “aesthetic chills,” and it feels like waves of pleasure running all over your skin. Some researchers have even dubbed it a “skin orgasm.” Listening to emotionally moving music is the most common trigger of frisson, but some feel it while looking at beautiful artwork, watching a particularly moving scene in a movie or having physical contact with another person. Click here to read more…

New role of nucleic acids discovered

We all have read about the usual role of nucleic acids, that is storage and transmission of genetic information. However, scientists at the University of Michigan have shown a new role for nucleic acids. They have shown that nucleic acids, namely DNA and RNA, act a chaperones and prevent protein aggregation. They propose that nucleic acids play a vital role in proteostasis. Dr. James C. A. Bardwell, an investigator at the University of Michigan, has been working on chaperones for a long time. Observations like the chaperone-like properties of ribosomal RNA, combined with the fact that nucleic acids are chemically similar to polyphosphate, encouraged the team to test for chaperone activity of nucleic acids. Click here to read more…

Breakthrough in leukemia research: novel strategy for triggering cancer cell suicide

Scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia in collaboration with Sanford Burnham Prebys (SBP) have developed a new strategy to induce cancer cell death to combat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal blood cells or platelets. In cancers, the natural pathway of programmed cell death, apoptosis, is disabled, thereby resulting in uncontrolled cell growth and multiplication. Traditional chemotherapies and available therapeutics target the apoptosisA pathway to kill cancer cells and hence are often ineffective. Click here to read more…

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