Differences in versions of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which determines levels of dopamine in the brain's prefrontal cortex, are linked to differences in reward-seeking and pain perception. People with the high-dopamine version, or allele, of the COMT gene feel pain more acutely and seek rewards more strongly than those who have the low-dopamine copy. … [Read more...] about Researchers may have just identified a genetic basis for the placebo effect
This latest male contraceptive candidate put into play—one that’s expected to enter human clinical trials in the next year or so—is a gel that uses a technique called “reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance” to block sperm from being ejaculated. It’s looked promising in trials done in rabbits and primates. … [Read more...] about Is Genetics the Answer to Birth Control For Dudes?
An Associated Press article highlights the work being done by Indiana company AquaBounty with their growing population of modified salmon. While its salmon won’t be fully ready for sale until 2020, AquaBounty is already the first company to receive U.S. approval for consumption of its GMO animals. Its method, which involves changing just one gene, allows the salmon to grow to full size at a rapidly accelerated rate: “To produce its fish, AquaBounty injected Atlantic salmon with DNA from other fish species that make them grow to full size in about 18 months, which could be about twice as fast as regular salmon.” … [Read more...] about Genetically modified salmon could arrive in U.S. restaurants by next year
At this point, little is still known about what happens in the early stages of a disease that pushes a growth over the edge to become cancer. At the same time, advancements in DNA sequencing mean that with tiny tissue samples taken from patients, researchers may gain useful data that can shed light on those early stages of disease. And the earlier cancer is identified, the more hope there is that doctors may be able to treat it. … [Read more...] about What Genetics Could Tell Us About How Cancer Develops
Yield10's strategy took a similar tack. Camelina oil is used as a biofuel and a substitute for fish oil in aquaculture. So scientists wanted to spur the plant to produce more oil. To do so, they used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to create breaks in both strands of the plants DNA. They didn’t insert any new genes, but when the plant’s own repair mechanisms kick in to rejoin the DNA, it automatically inactivates an undisclosed gene the boosts oil production. … [Read more...] about Why CRISPR-Edited Food May Be in Supermarkets Sooner Than You Think