In Editing RNA, Researchers See Endless Possibilities
Christie Wilcox | Dec 1, 2021
RNA editing has been in DNA editing’s shadow for nearly a decade, but recent investments in the technology could bring it into the limelight.
PATH TO TREATMENT: Marley, pictured here with her father, was diagnosed with the rare genetic condition Bachmann-Bupp syndrome a few years ago.
Doctors Treat Girl’s Genetic Disorder with Repurposed Drug
Amanda Heidt | Dec 1, 2021
In just 16 months, physicians went from identifying a novel rare disease in three-year-old Marley to successfully treating her with a drug previously used to treat African sleeping sickness and pediatric cancer.
Top 10 Innovations 2021
2021 Top 10 Innovations
The Scientist Staff | Dec 1, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Biomedical innovation has rallied to address that pressing concern while continuing to tackle broader research challenges.
Infographic showing endogenous adenosine enzymes acting on RNA (ADARs) edit genetic material in the cell by attaching to naturally occurring double-stranded RNAs, including mRNAs, and switching out A bases with I bases (left). Therapeutic RNA editing platforms based on this mechanism fall into one of two categories: either they use engineered enzymes, which generally consist of the editing part of the ADAR enzyme attached to another protein such as Cas13 that boosts specificity, alongside a guide RNA that targets the enzyme to the desired location (middle); or they consist of a guide RNA alone, which recruits an endogenous ADAR to edit the target sequence (right).
Infographic: RNA Editing Approaches
Christie Wilcox | Dec 1, 2021
RNA editing platforms leverage the natural activity of ADAR enzymes to make key changes to messenger RNAs before they are translated into proteins.
small, circular bones individually labeled and packaged in plastic bags
2,000-Year-Old Salmon DNA Reveals Secret to Sustainable Fisheries
Dan Robitzski | Nov 29, 2021
Genomic analysis of ancient chum salmon bones and cultural knowledge from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation suggest that people in the Pacific Northwest managed fisheries for thousands of years by harvesting males and releasing females.
a colorful ctenophore/comb jelly swimming
Genome Spotlight: California Sea Gooseberry (Hormiphora californensis)
Christie Wilcox | Nov 24, 2021
The first chromosome-level genome assembly for a ctenophore may allow scientists to finally resolve the roots of the animal family tree.
Artist’s rendering of the protein synthesis process, in which a tRNA molecules carry amino acids to a ribosome that’s decoding a strand of mRNA.
Screen of 250,000 Species Reveals Tweaks to Genetic Code
Dan Robitzski | Nov 9, 2021
A massive screen of bacterial and archaeal genomes revealed five previously unknown instances where an organism uses an alternate code to translate genetic blueprints into proteins.
Lizard on glass tank
Engineered Stem Cells Grant Geckos “Perfectly” Regenerated Tails
Chloe Tenn | Nov 5, 2021
Geckos injected with neural stem cells modified to block cartilage growth developed the skeletal and nervous components normally lacking from regrown tails.
A black and brown ant stands over various sizes of whitish purple, oval shaped larvae and yellow, oblong eggs
A Single Transcription Factor Changes Ants to Queens
Abby Olena | Nov 5, 2021
The transcription factor can also drive the opposite transition depending on which hormone activates it, according to a new study.
computerized image of different layers of a cell shown at great detail
New Studies Enable a Clearer View Inside Cells
Andrew Chapman | Nov 4, 2021
Armed with improved imaging techniques and supercomputers, researchers are generating detailed three-dimensional images of cellular structures that anyone can explore.
Conceptual image of gene expression in DNA
Enhancers: Conserved in Activity, Not in Sequence
Jack J. Lee | Nov 1, 2021
Certain stretches of DNA that regulate gene expression have evolved differently from protein-coding genes.
Elements from illustration showing enhancer evolution and function
Infographic: Enhancer Activity Across the Tree of Life
Jack J. Lee | Nov 1, 2021
Scientists are still trying to paint a complete picture, but it’s clear that these gene expression regulators have an unusual evolutionary history.
man standing in front of gene sequencing machines
Q&A: Nearly Every Single Human Gene Can Be Linked to Cancer
Dan Robitzski | Oct 29, 2021
The Scientist spoke with University of Liverpool aging and longevity researcher João Pedro de Magalhães about how human biases can influence scientific priorities and outcomes in genetics.
a California condor tending to a chick
Flying Solo: Parthenogenesis Discovered in California Condors
Christie Wilcox | Oct 29, 2021
Genetic analyses uncover asexual reproduction by two female California condors despite access to fertile mates.