New High-Throughput Method to Study Gene Splicing at an Unprecedented Scale Reveals New Details About the Process

Genes are like instructions, but with options for building more than one thing. Daniel Larson, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, studies this gene “splicing” process, which happens in normal cells and goes awry in blood cancers like leukemia.

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Technique Can Label Many Specific DNAs, RNAs, or Proteins in a Single Tissue Sample

A new technique can label diverse molecules and amplify the signal to help researchers spot those that are especially rare. Called SABER (signal amplification by exchange reaction), Peng Yin’s lab at Harvard’s Wyss Institute first introduced this method last year and since have found ways to apply it to proteins, DNA and RNA.

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DNA Misfolding in White Blood Cells Increases Risk for Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers found, in mice, that changes in DNA sequence can trigger the chromosomes to misfold in a way that puts one at a heightened risk for Type 1 diabetes. The study revealed that differences in DNA sequences dramatically changed how the DNA was folded inside the nucleus, ultimately affecting the regulation of genes linked to the development Type 1 diabetes.

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High-Tech Printing May Help Eliminate Painful Shots

Painful hypodermic needles may not be needed in the future to give shots, inject drugs and get blood samples. With 4D printing, Rutgers engineers have created tiny needles that mimic parasites that attach to skin and could replace hypodermic needles, according to a study in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression

A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. Rather than directions going one-way from DNA to RNA to proteins, the latest study shows that RNA itself modulates how DNA is transcribed—using a chemical process that is increasingly apparent to be vital to biology. The discovery has significant implications for our understanding of human disease and drug design.

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$25 Million Project Will Advance DNA-Based Archival Data Storage

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s (IARPA) Molecular Information Storage (MIST) program has awarded a multi-phase contract worth up to $25 million to develop scalable DNA-based molecular storage techniques. The goal of the project is to use DNA as the basis for deployable storage technologies that can eventually scale into the exabyte regime and beyond with reduced physical footprint, power and cost requirements.

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Opening Up DNA to Delete Disease

Protein editorial assistants are clearing the way for cut-and-paste DNA editors, like CRISPR, to access previously inaccessible genes of interest. Opening up these areas of the genetic code is critical to improving CRISPR efficiency and moving toward futuristic, genetic-based assaults on disease. The DNA-binding editorial assistants were devised by a U.S.-based team of bioengineers, who describe their design in APL Bioengineering.

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