Storm over GM maize study worsens

THOSE who hoped the study would go away will be disappointed. Claims that eating genetically modified maize gives rats tumours have provoked a storm in Europe.

Study shows stem cells may prevent and cure Alzheimer’s

In the first study of its kind, researchers at Korea’s leading university and the RNL Bio Stem Cell Technology Institute announced this week the results of a study that suggests an astounding possibility: adult stem cells may not only have a positive effect on those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, they can prevent the disease. Using fat-derived adult stem cells from humans [scientific term: adMSCs, or human, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells], researchers were able to cause Alzheimer’s disease brains in animal models to regenerate. The researchers, for the first time in history, used stem cells to identify the mechanism that is key to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and demonstrated how to achieve efficacy as well as prevention of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s with adult stem cells, a “holy grail” of biomedical scientists for decades.

Europe’s GM food fears reignited over controversial GM study

A recent French study claiming rats fed genetically modified corn suffered tumours has reignited Europe’s fears over GM food. Despite much scepticism over the quality of the research, opponents of GM say an urgent review of the EU’s current policy is needed.

Labelling law for GMOs in Thailand produce

In the U.S. over eighty per cent of the soybeans, corn, and canola grown in the U.S. are Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO. Recently, Aphaluck Bhatiasevi wrote about some of the name brands that use GMO. Nestle baby food, Good Time instant cereal, Knorr cup soup, Nissin cup noodle, Lay’s Stax potato chips, Pringles snacks,

Reverse aging? Scientists find way to make old muscles young again with proteins and stem cells

It is a dream for everyone as they grow older to turn back the clock and live in a younger body once again. While many have developed ways to make the body look younger cosmetically, there have been very few effective methods to combat the aging process within the body – until now.

For the first time ever, researchers have identified a crucial protein responsible for the decline of muscle repair and agility as the body ages. Upon this discovery, the scientists were able to effectively halt muscle decline in mice, giving hope to similar treatments for humans in the future.

Zombie alert? Male DNA found in women’s brains might prevent disease

Male DNA found in the brains of women appears to have come from male fetuses they carried when pregnant, and it may have both positive and negative effects, including the prevention of disease. Researchers believe that DNA from male and female fetuses might cross into mothers’ genes.

Genomics create opportunities for dairy farmers

The advent of genomics has certainly played a heavy role in today’s popular genetics. Screening for elite males and females has become more exact and has rapidly driven genetic progress far beyond anyone’s wildest expectations in a relatively short period of time. While genomic technology currently holds its greatest stakes within elite dairy cattlebreeding programs, many commercial dairy operations are finding tremendous value and return on investment (ROI) in mass genomic screening.

Researchers plan whole-genome sequencing of hantavirus in public health study

California researchers and public health officials have launched what they describe as a groundbreaking series of studies of a rare mouse-borne virus that has infected at least nine Yosemite National Park visitors, killing three of them, since June.

By using the 1,200-square-mile (3,100-square-km) park and its rodent and human populations as a giant natural laboratory, scientists hope to gain new insights into how hantavirus is transmitted, how varied it might be and why certain people seem more susceptible than others.

Race in medicine

Biopolitical Times, an online publication of the Center for Genetics and Society, rekindled the debate over race with a recent commentary by Jessica Cussins on the value of the concept in medicine. Although not as biased in its coverage of genetics as anti-biotech campaigners and such groups as the ill-named Council for Responsible Genetics, it is known for its selective analysis of hot button genetics issues, the validity of the race concept among them.

Mayo Clinic finds way to weed out problem stem cells, making therapy safer

Mayo Clinic researchers have found a way to detect and eliminate potentially troublemaking stem cells to make stem cell therapy safer. Induced Pluripotent Stem cells, also known as iPS cells, are bioengineered from adult tissues to have properties of embryonic stem cells, which have the unlimited capacity to differentiate and grow into any desired types of cells, such as skin, brain, lung and heart cells. However, during the differentiation process, some residual pluripotent or embryonic-like cells may remain and cause them to grow into tumors.

Genomic analysis of E coli shows multiple steps to evolve new trait

Several years ago researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) reported discovering a novel, evolutionary trait in a long-studied population of Escherichia coli, a rod-shaped bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of mammals. The E. coli added a helping of citrate to its traditional diet of glucose, even though other E. coli can’t consume citrate in the presence of oxygen.

Study shows steps to isolate stem cells from brain tumors

A new video protocol in Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) details an assay to identify brain tumor initiating stem cells from primary brain tumors. Through flow cytometry, scientists separate stem cells from the rest of the tumor, allowing quick and efficient analysis of target cells. This approach has been effectively used to identify similar stem cells in leukemia patients.

Scientists smell a rat in fraudulent genetic engineering study

Last week French microbiologist Gilles-Eric Séralini and several colleagues released the results of a long-term study in which rats were fed genetically engineered (AKA genetically modified, or “GM”) corn that contains enhanced resistance to insects and/or the herbicide glyphosate. They took the unprecedented step of pre-releasing the paper to selected media outlets under an embargo on the condition that they sign a non-disclosure agreement. (That prevented the journalists from seeking scientific experts’ opinions on the article.) At a carefully orchestrated media event they then announced that their long-term studies found that the rats in experimental groups developed tumors at an alarming rate. Within hours news of their “discovery” echoed around the world. As we say today, the story “went viral.”

New GM African cassava resists devastating viruses

Plant scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a new African cassava preferred by consumers and farmers that is resistant to the two major virus diseases in Africa. Now they want to test the resistant cassava in Africa.

Stem cells to shrink wrinkles?

Scientists are working on a new weapon in the war against wrinkles – injecting the patient’s own stem cells to restore the skin’s elasticity.