Optogenetics: Using Light to Excite the Brainhttps://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2023/01/Optogenetics-Using-Light-to-Excite-the-Brain.jpg789444IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
By changing the electrical signaling of neurons in the brain using light, optogenetics is revealing novel treatments for hearing loss and other neurological disorders.
The mRNA Revolution is Cominghttps://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/01/Bates-Cover-iStock-1301531637.jpeg23091299IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
A bright spot during this COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid development of effective vaccines that work by harnessing the power of messenger RNA, or mRNA. mRNA vaccines might seem like a relatively new idea, but researchers have been working on the technology behind them for decades. Now, the success of Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines are highlighting the immense potential for mRNA therapies—not just for infectious diseases, but also to treat cancer and genetic disorders.
Stem Cell Update: Where Are We Now?https://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2021/11/Bates-iStock-1154785553_small.jpg500300IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
Since stem cells give rise to all the different cell types that make up our bodies, they have the potential to repair or replace cells that are missing or dysfunctional in a wide range of diseases and injuries. In recent years, an explosion of clinical trials involving stem cell therapies has inspired hope that such regenerative strategies may soon cure some of our most vexing diseases. Before that hope is realized, we will need a greater understanding of the fundamentals of stem cell biology as well as the specifics of different disease processes. Although the challenges seem daunting, stem cell research is rapidly advancing and ushering in a new era of regenerative medicine.
Advanced CRISPR technology is part of a new test that determines within minutes whether a person has been infected with even very low levels of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the cause of COVID-19), and also quickly and directly measures the viral load, or how much replicating virus is in a person’s body .
Spellchecking for the Story of Life With CRISPR-Cas9 and Base, Prime Editorshttps://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2020/12/Banks.jpg1000640IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
Just four letters—A, G, T, and C—make up the alphabet of the genome. It may seem simple, but a small difference in spelling can create mutations that result in life-threatening diseases. Gene variants that cause genetic diseases come in many varieties. Transition point mutations cause conditions such as progeria, the rapid aging disease. Transversion point mutations cause sickle-cell disease and other major disorders. Small insertions can cause Tay-Sachs, which stops nerves working properly and is usually fatal, and deletions can result in cystic fibrosis.
The Unknown Human Health Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Testinghttps://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2020/05/Nuclear-Bomb-Explosion.jpg1295810IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
For nearly half a century, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a fierce battle although no shots were actually fired. Starting in the 1940s, both started developing their arsenal of nuclear weapons, in preparation for an all-out nuclear war. The U.S. government primarily used a patch of land in Nye, NV, that was formerly a military base, to conduct their tests.
How Precision Medicine Might Better Serve Downwindershttps://www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2020/05/Test-Tube-DNA.jpg1365768IEEE PulseIEEE Pulse//www.embs.org/pulse/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2022/06/ieee-pulse-logo2x.png
Despite the advances in developing nuclear weapons and other technologies, not much is known about the long-term effects of radiation on human health. In a world where nuclear energy could help curb carbon emissions, it almost seems paradoxical that its possible long-term risks and impacts to human health are still poorly understood.