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image: Exome Sequencing Helps Crack Rare Disease Diagnosis

Exome Sequencing Helps Crack Rare Disease Diagnosis

By Amanda B. Keener | May 1, 2018

Clinical analyses of patients’ gene sequences are helping to provide answers where none were available before.

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Crowdfunding can power investigations into diseases that would otherwise receive little attention.

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Government incentives, advances in technology, and an army of patient advocates have spun a successful market—but abuses of the system and exorbitant prices could cause a backlash.

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image: Slow March Toward a Canavan Cure

Slow March Toward a Canavan Cure

By Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2018

Two decades after a successful crowdfunding campaign, some clinical trial patients have seen improvements—but there’s still no approved treatment for the disease.

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DNA from a relative of the suspect submitted to the site GEDmatch gave investigators just enough information to identify him, but the process raises privacy concerns.

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image: Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

By Ruth Williams | April 25, 2018

Immune cells targeting maternal antigens are abundant in the blood of premature infants, suggesting fetal intolerance of mom may instigate early labor.  

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Researchers used the genome sequence of Artemisia annua to boost the plant’s production of artemisinin.

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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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Drug-free environments, such as a designated ward in a hospital, might reduce the strength of selection for resistance.

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image: Image of the Day: Immune Cell In Action

Image of the Day: Immune Cell In Action

By The Scientist Staff | April 23, 2018

By combining two new microscopy technologies, researchers filmed immune cells toiling away in the inner ear of a living zebrafish.

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