Health

Engineered ‘mini’ CRISPR Genome Editing System Developed

The common analogy for CRISPR gene editing is that it works like molecular scissors, cutting out select sections of DNA. Stanley Qi, assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, likes that analogy, but he thinks it's time to reimagine CRISPR as a Swiss Army knife.

Crispr, Genetic, Scissors, Dna, Biology, Science"CRISPR can be as simple as a cutter, or more advanced as a regulator, an editor, a labeler or imager. Many applications are emerging from this exciting field," said Qi, who is also an assistant professor of chemical and systems biology in the Stanford School of Medicine and a Stanford ChEM-H institute scholar.

The many different CRISPR systems in use or being clinically tested for gene therapy of diseases in the eye, liver and brain, however, remain limited in their scope because they all suffer from the same flaw: they're too large and, therefore, too hard to deliver into cells, tissues or living organisms.

In a paper published Sept. 3 in Molecular Cell, Qi and his collaborators announce what they believe is a major step forward for CRISPR: An efficient, multi-purpose, mini CRISPR system. Whereas the commonly used CRISPR systems -- with names like Cas9 and Cas12a denoting various versions of CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins -- are made of about 1000 to 1500 amino acids, their "CasMINI" has 529.

The researchers confirmed in experiments that CasMINI could delete, activate and edit genetic...

Leaky Sewers - Likely Responsible for Large Amounts of Medications in Streams

Many of the Monterey Bay cities have started addressing groundwater contamination. As a Monterey Real Estate broker, we have to get these inspections done as part of a sale in most cases. These inspections and repairs are often required as a condition of sale for single family homes and sometimes townhomes. Condominiums are often exempt for individual owners. If there's a leak or break in the pipes, those will need to be repaired, typically by the seller. The main sewer lines in question are between the home and the sewer main in the street. Oftentimes the yard has to be dug up, or if the connection at the main is faulty, the street. This can be expensive due to traffic mitigation and the depths sometimes of these connections. 

These leaking sewer pipe issues can be from the old clay or transite pipes that were used and having joint separations, to plastic lines that tree roots have invaded the couplings. Some plumbing companies pull in completely new single piece polyethylene that is then put in the line of the old faulty line. This "trenchless" style is the least disruptive of landscaping and walkways. A single line with no joints to separate or for trees to get their roots in is probably the best long term solution in my estimation. 

Typically these inspections are up to $350 to do with the camera, though some are free. That video file is sent to the appropriate jurisdiction and the public works personnel then directs what they think needs to be done to bring the pipe into compliance. It had been my belief the offending issues were more fecal matter contamination, but as you can see, quite a few drugs are causing potentially a much greater and more disruptive issue in the ecosystem. Fecal matter has always been a part of nature but these drugs have not.

The 2021 infrastructure bill may not...

Blocked Summertime Noises Using These Simple Techniques

I tried a variety of noise-cancelling devices, including white-noise makers, ear plugs, and noise-canceling headphones, but none of them seemed to work. 

BUILDING WORK

When dealing with extremely loud noises such as construction or road construction, you should start by lowering the decibels. When jackhammers and electrical saws cause your ears to become damaged, full, The Best White Noise Machineor ring, the noise is simply too loud and may be harming your hearing.

According to Sam Nicolino, the engineer who invented the white-noise devices LectroFan EVO and Sound+Sleep, the moderate rhythms of the white-noise machine should fill the room rather than sit in a nook.

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The Dangers of E-Cigarettes for Children

dangers of e-cigarretteWhile many behavioral trends are preventing children from maintaining good health these days, the introduction of e-cigarettes is certainly one of the most serious hazards to their physical and mental health. As noted in ScienceDaily, teenagers are increasingly using e-cigarettes. Public health experts are concerned about the trend, citing the devices potential role in promoting smoking as a major worry. Yet even if the e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking, they can still prove harmful to one's health. 

Why E-Cigarette Use Is On The Rise

There are several reasons why e-cigarette use is on the rise amongst children. One reason is ongoing exposure to advertisements. As noted by the CDC, roughly 69% of middle and high school students have been exposed to e-cigarette advertisements through mediums such as television, movies, magazines, newspapers, retail stores, and the internet. Additionally, some children may be attracted to the technologically advanced nature of the e-cigarettes. As battery-operated devices, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine along with other chemicals and flavorings in vapor rather than smoke. 

The Health Hazards Of E-Cigarettes

While many view the technological advancements of e-cigarettes as good insomuch as they expose users to less smoke, the health risks of the product are many. The hazardous nature of e-cigarettes has been cited by numerous officials and was published online through the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study indicates a correlation between use of e-cigarettes and persistent cough. Additionally,...

Breaking a leg...Finding a Better Way to Heal with the Scrail

Enduring multiple surgeries to set complex bone fractures with steel or titanium screws and plates may soon be a thing of the past. New bioceramic bone screws compatible with the body's own bone material and shaped to decrease injury to bones and tendons are being introduced by Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM.

backyard plants in monterey ca 

 The beginning of ski season is a hectic time for alpine emergency centers when injuries to the neck, knee, pelvis and hips (including hip fractures in mature skiers) are common occurrences. Those with complex bone fractures will undergo surgery to set then with titanium or steel screws and plates. But because these metal screws and plates can cause inflammation and allergies in sensitive people when left in the body, patients must endure considerable discomfort and expense having the metal pieces removed in a second operation after the injury has healed.

 Now a new bioceramic implant screw nail or "scrail", developed by researchers at Fraunhofer IFAM and the university hospitals of Giessen-Marburg and Bonn and the University of Bremen, is primed to turn such injury treatment into history. Walking on the beach is one of the things that is often good for therapy and general health here in in Monterey. Real estate that is close to the water of often sought out by those who have a frequent walking regimen to enhance mobility and flexibility.

The...

Your Diabetes Diagnosis Might be in Your Pocket

Early detection of medical conditions is key to proper treatment and management. Unfortunately, because this typically requires tests, often invasive, that are performed in a doctor's office or medical lab, early detection does not happen as often as it should. New technology, however, holds the potential to diagnose diabetes with a simple smartphone-linked breathalyzer. It might be soon that I'll leave my home in Carmel and before I start the day easily check my health by blowing into my phone. medical technology

Scientists are currently developing technologies that are capable of analyzing the volatile organic compounds in human breath. Better known as VOCs, these compounds provide insight into what is going on in the human body. In the case of diabetes, an elevated acetone level is a significant biomarker that can indicate a problem. Scientists are developing hand-held devices with adsorbent polymers to capture acetone from human breath and hold it onto it for analysis by a laser. The analysis will be able to show whether someone is diabetic. These non-invasive, portable breathalyzers could someday be the first line of defense for spotting diabetes in patients. 

The first use of such technology would probably be in medical offices. Yes, means that early detection would still be dependent on making an appointment with the doctor. However,...

Light Therapy Might Reduce Addiction Rates

It is estimated that approximately 100 million people in the United States suffer from some type of chronic pain. This chronic pain not only diminishes their quality of life, but it can also lead to feelings of despair and depression; often destroying relationships as well as a person’s sense of well-being. There can be many reasons for chronic pain, but there’s no denying that it is a condition that needs to be treated with some type of pain therapy. Unfortunately, not only is managing pain with traditional pain medications extremely expensive, it can often lead to addiction or even an overdose. Today, we live in a society where many people are addicted to pain medications. Suffering in pain is certainly not the answer, but is there a healthier solution to managing this debilitating pain?

Everyone from veterans to housewives, and adolescents are turning to opioids as a way to get relief from chronic pain. Fortunately, new research conducted at the University of Arizona has shown that a safer, healthier and non-pharmacological approach to pain management is possible. This new approach to pain management involves the use of green light emitting diodes or LEDs.

While pain treatment with greed LED light has certainly shown promise as a pain management tool, it also might be a great solution to helping resolve opioid addiction rates in the U.S. From residents in Pacific Grove homes to New York City homeowners, finding a healthier way to treat pain while lowering the risk of addiction is definitely something that could prove extremely beneficial for many people.

It is estimated that treating chronic pain in the U.S. has risen to approximately $635 billion a year. That’s an incredible figure, one that is higher than...

Ethical Considerations of Ridding Humanity of Diseases

Although some researchers feel a moral obligation to cure genetic diseases with DNA editing techniques such as CRISPR, others hesitate to embark on gene editing of human eggs, sperm and early-stage embryos(called germline editing) whose DNA changes can be passed on to future descendants. These practitioners feel that not enough is understood, and further research is critical for exploring the early development of embryos and fetuses. Such research would resurrect ethical questions about creating and destroying viable or non-viable fetuses, and the creation or termination of human life.

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One example of a lethal inheritable genetic disease, potentially curable through gene-editing, is Huntington's disease, caused by a gene defect that will trigger a fatal brain condition even in someone with just a single copy of the gene. Gene editing could remove the defect from an egg cell to prevent the disease from being passed on to descendants. Some laboratories are working now, trying to edit egg stem cells to rid them of inherited genetic disease. The end-to-end process is multi-step, and would no doubt first be worked out in animals such as cattle, pigs, and rabbits.

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Alzheimer's Breakthrough Sheds New Light on the Disease

If you suffer from Alzheimer's or know that a loved one is struggling with the condition, it's important to note that new scientific breakthroughs may provide the public with key insights regarding the disease. Learn more about the efforts of researchers and how their findings could revolutionize the approach to curing the disease by reviewing the following outline:

cholesterol treatment

Beta-Amyloid And Alzheimer's Disease: A Brief Overview

To fully understand the scientific breakthroughs that have transpired in the field of Alzheimer's research, one must first grasp the relevance of beta-amyloid within this sector. As Lund University's researchers understand, toxic clumps of beta-amyloid are believed to be the root cause of Alzheimer's. In the past, researchers thought that beta-amyloid should be eliminated. However, new findings indicate that the protein should be stabilized. 

The History Of Beta-Amyloid

For quite some time, members of the scientific community have thought that beta-amyloid appeared almost immediately in cases of Alzheimer's. It is for this reason that the phrase "popcorn plaques" was coined. Now, however, infrared spectroscopy images reveal information that contradicts this basic assumption. Specifically, researchers are now able to note molecular, structural changes that take place in the brain. 

In discussing the images, professor of experimental neurology Gunnar Gouras notes...

Importance of Vitamin D to a Healthy Adult Cardiovascular System

Researchers and medical professionals continue to reinforce the importance of vitamin D intake to ensure proper bone health. But more recent headlines like “More severe heart disease found in patients with vitamin D deficiency”, “Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Asthma Exacerbation”, and “Childhood Vitamin D Levels Tied to Adult Atherosclerosis” leave little doubt that there is more significance to this vitamin than most people may realize.

What is Vitamin D?

vitamin dVitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that your body can not make on its own; it needs help from nature. That help comes in the form of exposure to natural sunlight. Being fat soluble means your diet must contain some fat if you are trying to get enough vitamin D through your diet alone. It also means you need to have a healthy gut, and be able to eat and digest fat effectively, in order for your body to be able to absorb the fat and the vitamin. This essential vitamin is also necessary for your body to absorb calcium from the foods you eat. Most people are familiar with calcium’s ties to good bone health, but it is also involved in muscle contraction, regulation of body cell growth, reducing and preventing inflammation, and ensuring a healthy immune system. To do all that, this mineral needs vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Your Heart

Your heart is only a part of the cardiovascular system, the system that keeps healthy blood circulating throughout your body. Veins,...

How To Make Your Home Safe And Secure For Your Senior Years

29798 Highway 1, Carmel, CA 93923As people age, it's important for them to do all that they can to make their golden years healthy and happy. While there are many steps that should be taken to realize this objective, preparing the home for one's senior years is incredibly important. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that the home preparation process can decrease the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Luckily, preparing your home for your senior years can be relatively simple. Use the information and instructions outlined below to complete the process quickly and correctly:

1. Move Downstairs

One of the best ways to increase your level of safety within the home is by moving downstairs. Maintaining a bedroom upstairs is a recipe for disaster. This is the case because living upstairs will require that you travel up and down the stairs throughout the day. Doing so will increase the likelihood of unwanted trips and falls. Another issue with living upstairs is that doing so can make it more difficult for you to leave the home in the event of an emergency. An alternative to moving downstairs is relocating to a single level home. If you're considering this option, note that you can purchase Camel homes for sale that conform to your requirements for safe, secure living.

2. Use Proper Lighting

In addition to moving downstairs, make sure that you use proper lighting. Poorly lit regions of the home will make it difficult for you to move freely. Also note that without...

Kettlebell Workout Benefits For all Ages

kettlebellGet a grip, Californians---A killer kettlebell workout in Pacific Grove burns fat and sculpts sexy muscles! Plus, it improves balance, strength and stability!

Kettlebell, Arm, Strong Arm, Sport, BodyThink mini bowling ball with a handle. That best describes what a kettlebell is. And like weight-training with dumbbells, a kettlebell can also be lifted, pushed and pulled during a workout. The difference is in the freedom and versatility of movement.

With a kettlebell class in Pacific Grove, you can row, press, swing and jerk the cast iron equipment in different directions with one or both hands. The heart gets pumping, and it makes for a super aerobics exercise with resistance training. It's a gorgeous, oceanview city whose real estate offers plenty of recreational activities.

A kettlebell workout is great for all ages, including seniors, living in the prime real estate of the Pacific Grove area. And although the equipment might look intimidating, it really isn't. Kettlebells range in weight from 2lbs. to 175lbs. That's quite a huge range, meaning there are many benefits to this exercise at individual abilities.

Of course, instruction using a kettlebell is very important. Exercising with too heavy a kettlebell can cause injury to the spine, neck and so forth. There are a lot of kettlebell classes available across gorgeous ...

How an SRES Real Estate Broker Can Help With Aging In Place

Whether it is you or a loved one, transitions can be difficult, especially if those transitions are part of the aging process. Having knowledgeable people on your team can make the that transition easier. For seniors who want to age in place, working with a real estate agent who specializes in the concerns of senior clients can be a plus. A senior real estate specialist or SRES is an important team player when determining how you will spend your golden years. They receive training about the resources available to senior clients and have a well-developed sensitivity to those clients' concerns. 

seniors real estate specialist in santa cruz caWhether it is you or a loved one, transitions can be difficult, especially if those transitions are part of the aging process. Having knowledgeable people on your team can make the that transition easier. For seniors who want to age in place, working with a real estate agent who specializes in the concerns of senior clients can be a plus. A senior real estate specialist or SRES is an important team player when determining how you will spend your golden years. They receive training about the resources available to senior clients and have a well-developed sensitivity to those clients' concerns. 

Aging in Place

Aging in place is a choice made by responsible adults...

About Liver Cirrhosis Treatment. Is It Possible To Cure Liver Cancer?

curing liver diseaseCould Pacific Grove home owners someday benefit from new advances in CRISPR gene editing treatment for genetic diseases? 

MIT researchers have recently developed a method of using nanotechnology to deliver CRISPR gene-editing components into mice for treating defective genes in liver cells. Previous CRISPR delivery methods have used viruses that might in some cases elicit possible immune responses from the body. The new study demonstrates for the first time that you can make a nanoparticle that can be used to permanently and specifically edit the DNA in the liver of an adult animal. The success rate for cutting certain genes in 80% of liver cell using this new delivery system was about 80 percent, the best ever attained with CRISPR in adult animals. 

Daniel Anderson, associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT, and member of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science is senior author of the study on the Pcsk9 gene which regulates cholesterol levels. He reports that mutations of the Pcsk9 gene in humans is associated with a rare disease called familial hypercholesterolemia. This disorder is treated with antibody drugs that inhibit the Pcsk9 gene and which must be taken on a regular basis for the patient's entire life. Using the new nanoparticle method, the faulty gene is permanently edited in one treatment. Furthermore, the same methodology...

Fashionable Mask to Express Your Personality Amidst COVID

covid maskIn Monterey, your mask can be fashionable and express your personality. Take a deep breath before you begin. Basic knowledge of your sewing machine is necessary for this project. For all seams always remember to backstitch at the start and finish of each seam. You will have options for securing the mask to your face with elastic or shoelaces. You will need thread, material, scissors, two 7 inch pieces of elastic or four 15 inch shoelace pieces, an iron and sewing machine. A six-inch piece of pipe cleaner is optional. If you use round elastic, you will need to tie a knot on each end to keep it in place once sewn in. The material can be anything breathable.

Decide on the fabric you want to use. Some can be quite fashionable while some others can actually be quite helpful in filtering out aerosols of the covid -19 particles. Use one layer of tightly woven cotton with 2 layers of polyester spandex material. A sheer fabric like you see on evening gowns can also be used. This combination is likely to provide performance close to the hard to find N-95 mask. You can also use silk or flannel on the inner lining as well. A good quality cotton fabric, the type used for quilting, with a polyester liner is also is great. 

covid mask...

CRISPR Technology to Cure Sickle Cell Disease

University of Illinois Chicago is one of the U.S. sites participating in clinical trials to cure severe red blood congenital diseases such as sickle cell anemia or Thalassemia by safely modifying the DNA of patients' blood cells.

CRISPR_Technology_to_Cure_Sickle_Cell_DiseaseThe first cases treated with this approach were recently published in an article co-authored by Dr. Damiano Rondelli, the Michael Reese Professor of Hematology at the UIC College of Medicine. The article reports two patients have been cured of beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease after their own genes were edited with CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The two researchers who invented this technology received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

In the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for Sickle Cell Disease and beta-Thalassemia, researchers reported gene editing modified the DNA of stem cells by deleting the gene BCL11A, the gene responsible for suppressing fetal hemoglobin production. By doing so, stem cells start producing fetal hemoglobin so that patients with congenital hemoglobin defects (beta thalassemia or sickle cell disease) make enough fetal hemoglobin to overcome the effect of the defective hemoglobin that causes their disease.

The advantage of this approach is that it uses the patient's cells with no need for a donor. Also, the gene manipulation does not use a viral vector as with other gene therapy studies but is done with electroporation (quick production of pores into the cells...

Why Older Adults Must Go to the Front of the Vaccine Line

Study shows speeding up roll-out, prioritizing 60-plus could save 65,000 US lives in three months.

covid 19 vaccineVaccinating older adults for COVID-19 first will save substantially more U.S. lives than prioritizing other age groups, and the slower the vaccine rollout and more widespread the virus, the more critical it is to bring them to the front of the line.

That's one key takeaway from a new University of Colorado Boulder paper, published today in the journal Science, which uses mathematical modeling to make projections about how different distribution strategies would play out in countries around the globe.

The research has already informed policy recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to prioritize older adults after medical workers.

Now, as policymakers decide how and whether to carry out that advice, the paper -- which includes an interactive tool (https://vaxfirst.colorado.edu/) -- presents the numbers behind the tough decision.

"Common sense would suggest you want to protect the older, most vulnerable people in the population first. But common sense also suggests you want to first protect front-line essential workers (like grocery store clerks and teachers) who are at higher risk of exposure," said senior author Daniel Larremore, a computational biologist in the Department of Computer Science and CU Boulder's BioFrontiers Institute. "When common sense leads you in two different directions, math can help you decide."

For the study, Larremore and lead author Kate Bubar, a graduate student in the Department of Applied Mathematics, teamed up with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and...

Homemade Masks Help Combat the Spread of Viruses like COVID-19

Homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19. Researchers tested the breathability and droplet-blocking ability of 11 common household fabrics, using a medical mask as a benchmark. 

Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Many of these studies focus on the transfer of tiny aerosol particles; however, researchers say that speaking, coughing and sneezing generates larger droplets that carry virus particles. Because of this, mechanical engineer Taher Saif said the established knowledge may not be enough to determine the effectiveness of some fabrics used in homemade masks.

Saif, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, led a study that examined the effectiveness of common household fabrics in blocking droplets. The findings are published in the journal Extreme Mechanics Letters.

Aerosol particles are typically classified as less than 5 micrometers, and lie in the range of hundreds of nanometers. However, larger droplets -- up to about 1 millimeter in diameter -- can also be expelled when an individual speaks, coughs or sneezes. These larger droplets pose a problem because, with sufficient momentum, they can squeeze through the pores of some fabrics, break into smaller droplets and become airborne.

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Homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19..

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Beat Skin Cancer By Knowing Your Level of Exposure

type of skin cancerSkin cancer is a major health concern around the world. Millions are diagnosed with one of the various types of skin cancer each year. Most skin cancers are treatable, but melanoma is a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. The spread of melanoma may lead to death.

There are three major types of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most dangerous. Melanomas often develop from an existing mole on a person's skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is another common type of skin cancer. This type can spread across the skin and into the mucous membranes. Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on the exposed areas of the body. These skin cancers rarely spread, but they may become large and unsightly.

Doctors know that the main cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation such as that produced by the sun. In order to prevent skin cancer from developing, doctors highly recommend that anyone who is going out in the sun for a prolonged period of time wear sunscreen and that they reapply the sunscreen regularly throughout the day. People who have very fair skin should cover up as much as possible to avoid a sunburn which can lead to skin cancer development.

While these are quite well-known means of preventing skin cancer, researchers have now developed a new way to help beat skin cancer that lets people know their level of UV radiation exposure. Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia along with a research team at the University of Granada have developed a bracelet that people can use when they go out in the sun.

This bracelet is made up of four emoticon faces. The faces are made of UV sensitive invisible ink. The first face is a smiling...

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