A team of scientists have snipped away HIV DNA from the genome of live mice using a CRISPR system, and the rodents lived to (kinda) tell the tale. It’s still much too early to call the method a possible cure, but the fact that it worked on a living animal opens up a lot of possibilities. Will it work on other diseases, like cancer? Maybe, but that’s something scientists have to look into. These researchers headed by neurovirologist Kamel Khalili have been focusing on the use of the gene-editing technique to eliminate HIV for years. They successfully excised HIV DNA in live mice last year, but this round is a lot more thorough.
If you’ve watched enough reruns of shows like CSI, Bones, and Law and Order, you probably know by now that when forensic specialists find DNA evidence, the suspect is often identified within the next couple of minutes—as soon as the team sticks the results of DNA analysis into a computer program. Although the real life process isn’t quite as speedy, DNA certainly has been the highest bar for identification in forensics. But when it comes to hair samples of missing persons or those found at crime scenes, sequencing the proteins in those locks may work better than DNA.
Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered how HIV’s protective shell helps it invade healthy cells without being detected by the immune system.
Could our genes continue thriving even though we have passed on? A new animal study suggests that genes continue to work up to 48 hours after death.
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there are some unsavory surprises.
Apologies to people keen on reviving extinct dinosaurs, but researchers have never recovered dinosaur DNA, which is necessary for cloning. But, intriguingly, they have found fragments of mystery DNA in dinosaur bone, experts told Live Science.