Genetically editing cells using CRISPR could be the answer to curing genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia. But in order for the technology to be available for people in countries like Nigeria — where around a quarter of the population carries the sickle cell trait — the technology will need to become substantially cheaper and less invasive. That’s where gold nanoparticles…
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Genetic mutations are the spark and fuel for cancer. Hundreds of DNA mutations have been linked to human cancers, and they’re easier than ever to find and catalog, thanks to new genomic technologies. But it’s remained difficult to find out what those mutations are doing to drive cancer growth so that scientists can design new treatments to intervene. In new research…
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A genetic link has now been found for some instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,  or SIDS. The new UW Medicine research study is the first such to make an explainable link tracking the mechanism between a genetic anomaly and some forms of the devastating syndrome, which claims the lives of more than 3,000 infants a year. Hannele Ruohola-Baker, professor of…
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Allen Institute researchers are embarking on two new projects to better understand the building blocks of the mammalian brain, its cell types. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the projects will advance our knowledge of how our brains age and build a suite of new tools to label brain cell types. Both studies will lay the groundwork for the…
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Dog breeds tend to have signature traits: Border collies love to herd, greyhounds love to chase, and German shepherds make good guard dogs. There’s a reason for that: Traits like these are highly heritable, according to a study of 101 dog breeds that identifies genetic differences in behavior. The study, published Oct. 2 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B,…
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A novel effort from Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies to diagnose multiple diseases from a single blood test is a data challenge on the scale of Google search.  This is actually a web-scale problem. “Google categorized the world’s information on the internet. What we’re essentially trying to do with Microsoft is to catalog … what the interaction is between our immune…
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Why I – And Everybody Else – Loves My 3D Printed Brain

Have you ever wanted to hold your brain in your hands? Well, you can hold mine. It’s a 3D model – at 100% scale and made of a super hard, glimmering grey resin. Its surface is a labyrinth of plump, curving folds. The ‘gyri’ (ridges) and the ‘sulci’ (crevices) rise and fall in convoluted patterns that are different across the…
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Gene editing will be tested in UW Medicine labs on kidney organoids – tiny, kidney-like structures grown from stem cells – as part of a federally funded effort to develop safe, effective genome editing technologies and therapies. The National Institutes of Health today, Oct. 1, announced the next set of grant awards for the Somatic Cell Genome Editing consortium, created in 2018.…
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A Computational Challenge to Help Developmental Biology

It’s a complicated puzzle to understand how we — and other complex living beings — grow from a single cell to the billions or trillions of different interconnected cells that make up an adult body. Recently developed techniques are giving scientists a new, detailed view of the pathways of developing creatures, using special labels — “barcodes” — stitched into the…
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A pair of philanthropists from Bellevue have given $50 million to UW Medicine to create an institute focused on developing treatments for brain disorders such as addiction, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The money, donated by Lynn and Mike Garvey, will kickstart the development of the Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions. This will be the second neuroscience-focused institute in Seattle. The…
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