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Tag: disease

DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

DNA surgery on embryos removes disease

Health
Precise "chemical surgery" has been performed on human embryos to remove disease in a world first, Chinese researchers have told the BBC.The team at Sun Yat-sen University used a technique called base editing to correct a single error out of the three billion "letters" of our genetic code. They altered lab-made embryos to remove the disease beta-thalassemia. The embryos were not implanted. The team says the approach may one day treat a range of inherited diseases. Base editing alters the fundamental building blocks of DNA: the four bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. They are commonly known by their respective letters, A, C, G and T. All the instructions for building and running the human body are encoded in combinations of those four bases.The potentially life-threatening blood...
Genetic risk factors for disease can be affected by environment

Genetic risk factors for disease can be affected by environment

Health
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A study out Wednesday by a team of U.S. and German researchers has found that genetic variants affect how much gene expression changes in response to disease.The study, published in Nature Communications, involved researchers analyzing blood from 134 volunteers, and treated monocytes, or white blood cells, in the laboratory with three components to simulate infection with bacteria or virus."Our defense mechanisms against microbial pathogens rely on white blood cells that are specialized to detect infection. Upon encounter of microbes, these cells trigger cellular defense programs via activating and repressing the expression of hundreds of genes," said Dr. Veit Hornung of the Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universit├Ąt in Munich, formerly from the University of Bonn.Researchers analyzed
New drug for sickle cell disease approved by FDA

New drug for sickle cell disease approved by FDA

Health
FRIDAY, July 7, 2017 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first new drug for sickle cell disease in nearly two decades.Endari, or L-glutamine oral powder, helps reduce severe complications associated with the blood disorder, the agency said.Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder in which the red blood cells are shaped like a sickle, which limits the flow of vital oxygen to organs and tissues. In turn, this triggers severe pain and organ damage. Approximately 100,000 Americans, mostly minorities, have sickle cell disease, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health."Endari is the first treatment approved for patients with sickle cell disease in almost 20 years," said Dr. Richard Pazdur, acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Product...