Genes in the Cloud: Google Steps Into Autism Research

Google Inc. and Autism Speaks, a major autism research foundation, plan to announce on Tuesday a deal in which the Internet giant will house the sequencing of 10,000 complete genomes and other clinical data of children with autism and their siblings and parents. The hope of those involved is to accelerate research on the developmental disorder. Studying genes has been…

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HIV Transmission Networks Mapped to Reduce Infection Rate

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have mapped the transmission network of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in San Diego. The mapping of HIV infections, which used genetic sequencing, allowed researchers to predictively model the likelihood of new HIV transmissions and identify persons at greatest risk for transmitting the virus. The findings are published online in…

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Genome Sequences Show How Lemurs Fight Infection

The young lemur named Eugenius started to get sick. Very sick. He was lethargic, losing weight and suffering from diarrhea. Duke Lemur Center veterinarians soon pinpointed the cause of his illness: Eugenius tested positive for Cryptosporidium, a microscopic intestinal parasite known to affect people, pets, livestock and wildlife worldwide. In humans, thousands of cases of Cryptosporidium are reported in the…

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Intertwined Evolution of Human Brain and Brawn

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilizations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while the chimps grub around in…

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Sequencing the Tree of Life

Scientists working to sequence all manner of bacteria, Archaea, plants, and animals and to make these genomes publicly available hope to use the data to inform health, industrial, and environmental issues. Large-scale sequencing consortia have been churning out data at an impressive rate, yet significant gaps remain in the genomic tree of life. And while these groups have largely been…

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CRISPR Reverses Disease Symptoms in Living Animals for First Time

MIT scientists report the use of a CRISPR methodology to cure mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation. They say their study (“Genome editing with Cas9 in adult mice corrects a disease mutation and phenotype”), published in Nature Biotechnology, offers the first evidence that this gene-editing technique can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. CRISPR, which provides a…

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