Patrick Cox's Tech Digest - View by Tag "rna"

Plants May Use Language to Communicate with Each Other, Virginia Tech Researcher Finds

August 18, 2014

It has been discovered by Jim Westwood, a professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech that many of the most agriculturally destructive weeds use a method of RNA or DNA communication to infect their hosts. The parasitic plant, dodder, grows around the stalks of plants like tomatoes and penetrates the surface of the plant with appendages called haustorium, which leech moisture and nutrients from the host plant. Westwood was the first to notice that parasitic plants like dodder use RNA to “communicate” with the host plant. The communication is anything but peaceful, however; the dodder forces the host to lower its defenses, as the parasitic plant demands to be fed. This new insight by Westwood may allow the development of a solution to this problem these invasive plants present.

GDF11: Good for the Head and the Heart

September 17, 2014

When you think of heart disease, heart attacks probably come to mind first. Like most things biological, however, there’s more to the story. The most common sort of heart failure is actually caused by a process whereby the walls of the heart thicken and slow down. This is often called diastolic heart failure or cardiac hypertrophy.

Off Switch Discovered for Drug Resistance in Cancer

October 22, 2014

Salk Institute and UC Santa Cruz researchers, releasing data in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal how slight RNA variations in cancer cells help tumors become resistant to treatment. By locating this RNA “switch,” the researchers suggest cancer tumors could be stopped from making these small changes, which would in theory increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments like chemotherapy. The teams made this discovery by examining over 80,000 pieces of RNA in cancer cells to determine which changes took place in remaining cells after a course of chemotherapy.

Changing the Odds at the Big Casino

May 1, 2015

I remember a public service announcement (PSA), probably by the American Cancer Society, that aired on television when I was three or four. I clearly recall a picture on screen of five people sitting around a dinner table. The picture was starkly black and white, and a voiceover announced grimly, “One in five people will die of cancer.”

Why Treating Age as a Disease Will Save Our Failing Healthcare System

July 2, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in an article for the TransTech Digest about a potentially transformative meeting that has presumably already taken place. If things went as planned, a group of researchers that included Dr. Nir Barzilai of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AICM) met with the FDA to explore the possibility of moving anti-diabetes drug Metformin into clinical trials for life extension.

Deep-Purple Mesoamerican Corn and Nutrition Puzzles

July 10, 2015

Whenever I give a speech, I include the fact that all transformational biotech breakthroughs have been initially rejected by the medical establishment. There’s a section about this in my forthcoming book as well. I do this simply to disabuse people of the notion that scientific progress is welcomed. In fact, nearly all truly important biotechnologies and those who discover them are rejected and treated as pariahs before being accepted.

Mobile Health Apps Will Solve Critical Nutritional Puzzles and Enable Effective Anti-Aging Diets

October 2, 2015

You probably didn’t notice when it happened, but smartphone health apps have made their way, for the first time, into the clinic. Over the last six months or so, a mobile Health (mHealth) app has been integrated into the practices of doctors associated with a major medical university. Whether you know it or not, this will change your life.

Welcome to the “Age” Age

October 16, 2015

John Mauldin and I spent the day at “the Buck” earlier this week at the invitation of Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, the president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The Buck is the world’s first major scientific research institution dedicated to solving the problems of aging. This includes, to make things clear, the development of anti-aging biotechnologies. Founded in 1999, the institute currently employs about 140 PhDs as well as more than 100 technicians and support staff in 22 labs dedicated to different challenges.

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