Reading into the Future: Development of Long-read DNA Sequencing

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics

By Aditi Goyal, Genetics and Genomics, ‘22 At this moment, the next revolution in the field of biology is currently underway: third-generation sequencing, or Long-Read sequencing. Instead of relying on cluster-based short read technology (1), third-generation sequencing builds a DNA sequence on a nucleotide basis, therefore eliminating the extensive process of read alignment. Until now, scientists across the world have been heavily relying on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for getting DNA sequences. This technology creates clusters of short DNA sequences, which range anywhere from 50 to 150 base pairs in length, by using fluorescent nucleotides (2). It is often referred to as sequencing by synthesis because a DNA sequence is created by tracking which nucleotides are being used to build the parallel […]

CRISPR/HDR Platform Allows for the Production of Monoclonal Antibodies with the Constant Region of Choice

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics

By Sharon Yang, Cell Biology, ‘20 Author’s Note: I first came across an article talking about this new innovation on Science X. Having worked with hybridomas and antibodies through various internships, I was deeply intrigued by this discovery and secured an original paper to learn more about its potential applications. Because of the revolutionizing usage of antibodies in the medical field, it is vital to understand how this finding will facilitate antibody-based therapies in clinical research.     Introduction Since the discovery of antibodies and their applications in therapeutics, many diseases once deemed incurable now have a treatment, if not a cure. Antibodies are proteins that recognize and bind to specific antigens (proteins that are considered “foreign” to the body). The […]

The Effect of Trastuzumab on HER2-Signaling in Breast Cancers to Induce Cardiotoxicity

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics, News

By Karissa Cruz, B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Spring ‘19 Author’s Note: I wrote this piece as part of my UWP 104F assignments and ended up becoming really interested in what I wrote about. I specifically chose this topic because I think breast cancer is a smart, complex disease, and the treatment can change day-to-day. I wanted to shed light on a widely accepted breast cancer treatment that is now under review after discovering that it can cause cardiac dysfunction.

CRISPR: Are We Ready For It?

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics, ’20 Author’s Note: When I found out that CRISPR was used for the first time on human embryos that were fully brought to term, I was pretty surprised that such a new technology with numerous unknowns was being used on the germline. I was interested in understanding the reasoning for such an experiment and what may come out of it in the long run. To some, CRISPR may seem like a far off technology that could be applied to humans in the distant future. However, the experiment on the twin fetuses that went through this “genetic surgery” proves that CRISPR is happening now and is likely to stay.   But first, how does CRISPR work? […]

Are Children Fighting The “Fat” Gene? An Analysis of Pediatric Obesity and Genetics

Posted Posted in Biology, Book Review, Genetics, Health and Medicine

By Peggy Palsgaard Author’s Note: I wrote this literature review for my UWP 104F class, and I specifically chose this topic because obesity is a very stigmatized disorder or “disease” (as the AAMC recently labeled it). I wanted to explore the link to genetics and to see how thoroughly we understand the underlying causes of obesity, specifically in children. Further, the judgement of both the children and the children’s parents has brought up a conversation about whether or not it is okay to place a child into foster care for treatment of obesity, due to lack of care by the parents. Initially, research into foster care seemed out of place in this paper. However, I think it’s an interesting way […]

Epigenetic Approach Sheds Light on Potential New Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, News

By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s note: I first learned about this news through an article on Big Think that provided few details about the science behind the breakthrough. Reading the original research paper clarified both how this research had been conducted and what was so noteworthy about it. Given the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, this new study may yet prove to be instrumental in the disorder’s treatment.

Cause of Seizures in Individuals with Angelman Syndrome

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, Neurobiology, News

By Neha Madugala, Cognitive Science, ‘22 Author’s Note While browsing recent scientific achievements and breaking news in the scientific community, I came across an article declaring that the 125-year-old neuroscience mystery surrounding perineuronal nets (PNNs) is finally resolved. PNNs have stumped neuroscientists for decades, yet their importance is undeniable. To understand the extent of this discovery, I read more about PNNs and found that they have a key connection to Angelman syndrome, which causes severe epileptic seizures in children. The new findings from the Philpot Lab identifying the purpose of PNNs draw a connection between PNNs and seizures, and this information can lead to improved medications and therapeutic treatment methods.

Novel Mechanisms and Functions of Protein Kinase D in the Cardiovascular System

Posted Posted in Biology, Genetics, Health and Medicine

By Anna Kirillova, Genetics & Genomics ‘19   Author’s Note: I am currently studying the signaling of Protein Kinase D in cardiomyocytes as a part of my senior thesis research project. Writing this review helped me understand the known mechanisms and the techniques used to perform functional assessments of the molecule. I learned how to review literature to find key information and create a story from different sources. I hope that the reader will become interested in one of the major concepts of my review and will continue exploring it on their own time.

Cultured Meat: Teaching an Old Cell New Tricks

Posted Posted in Environment, Genetics

By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics ‘20   Author’s Note Cultured meat has been a topic of great discussion as we try to understand the extent to which animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. While plant-based imitation meats have been on the market for decades, I was particularly interested in this lab-grown alternative when I heard that stem cells were being used to produce actual meat without having to raise animals themselves. This could potentially reduce the environmental footprint of the agricultural industry while providing a viable solution for consumers. While it is critical to understand how consumption levels of animal-based products have had an effect on health, and particularly how the change in consumption […]