Posts Tagged ‘GM’

Cancer diagnoses going viral

Posted on August 10th 2011 in Features with Comments Off on Cancer diagnoses going viral

A genetically modified virus that can make hidden tumours light up may lead to a new and more effective way of screening for cancer. Some cancers are helpful enough to give off obvious clues to their existence. Prostate cancer, for example, can be detected as it raises the levels of a protein called PSA in the blood. Many, however, leave no such trace. Sufferers of these diseases can, therefore, remain in the dark about their condition, delaying treatment and lowering their chances of survival. What if there were to artificially force these normally hidden cancerous growths into the light? A…

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Top banana fights fungal infection

Posted on May 28th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Top banana fights fungal infection

A new genetically modified strain of banana resistant to a fungal disease may help boost profit yields for some of the poorest farmers in East Africa. For the past 30 years, the humble banana has been under attack from a fungal invader known as Black sigatoga disease. Caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, it causes dark leaf spots which eventually kill the plant, decimating fruit yields. The disease has spread throughout East Africa by airborne spores or from contaminated fruit being exported. The team from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Laboratories Institute added genes for chitinase – a protein that breaks…

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Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Posted on February 26th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

A new type of vaccine for pneumonia based on genetically engineered bacteria has been developed, and may help in the fight against many other infectious diseases. The vaccine, which protects against a virulent form of the bacterium Streptococcus pnuemoniae, works by introducing a modified form of the bacterium that produces less pneumolysin – a toxic protein that damages blood vessels in the lungs and interferes with the immune system. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the genetic sequence that codes for the pneumolysin protein and, using computer algorithms, created a modified gene which would decrease the amount…

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