Month-end Check: Biotech study topics in Nature-October

Gene-editing record smashed in pigs
For a long time, scientists are working to create a steady supply of human organs for transplantation by growing them in pigs. But concerns about rejection by the human immune system and infection by viruses embedded in the pig genome have stymied research. In a current research, by modifying more than 60 genes in pig embryos-ten times than have been edited in other animal. Researchers believe they might have produced a suitable non-human organ supplier.

 
Scientists hope to attract millions to ‘DNA.LAND’
Scientists in the field of genetics have launched a project to test whether they can study millions of genomes-without collecting a drop of blood or tube of spit themselves. The project, DNA.LAND is aimed to entice people who have already had their genomes analysed by some consumer genetics companies to share that data, thus allowing the project scientists to study the information.

 
Diagnostic developers target antibiotic resistance
There is always a situation that when the patients coming into the clinic with a cough and sore throat, it’s always had to decide whether the infection is bacterial or viral. This however, is the key reason for antibiotic resistance for many clinicians prescribe antibiotics without really knowing if the drugs are necessary. In this very study, a team of scientists has collected evidence to suggest that by tracking the genetic signature of a patient’s immune response to infection, they will be able to distinguish bacterial infections from other sources of illness.

 
CRISPR tweak may help gene-edited crops bypass biosafety regulation
“A twist on a revolutionary gene-editing technique may make it possible to modify plant genomes while sidestepping national biosafety regulations, South Korean researchers say.” plant scientists have been quick to experiment with popular CRISPR/Cas9 technique that uses an enzyme-Cas9, guided by two RNA strands to precisely cut segments of DNA in a genome. By disabling specific genes in wheat and rice, for instance, the researchers hope to make disease-resistant strains of the corps.

 
Reference: http://www.nature.com/subjects/biotechnology/news

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