The world’s largest lizards, Komodo dragons, have long puzzled scientists because of their incredible speed and fearsome fighting abilities. Katherine Pollard and Abigail Lind explain in The New York Times how analyzing the Komodo genome revealed the evolutionary changes that led to their extraordinary qualities.
The New York Times
The first analysis of a complete Komodo dragon genome revealed surprising insight into the nature of these apex predators. Katherine Pollard and Benoit Bruneau explain to Reuters how adaptations to genes that control metabolism and a chemical sensing system enable the Komodo dragon to achieve near-mammalian metabolism and sniff out its prey over long distances.
NIH recently announced how it will implement new restrictions on the use of fetal tissue in research. In this article, Warner Greene explains to Science Magazine how the policy is forcing a change in his experiments to discover a cure for HIV.
When two sisters were diagnosed with the same heart defect, doctors suspected a genetic cause. KQED explains how Deepak Srivastava and Casey Gifford used CRISPR and stem cellsto show that the malformation was caused by inheriting variants in three genes.
STAT News reports that recent research suggests seizures may provide insight into the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and pave the way for treatments. Lennart Mucke, who has been examining the relationship between epilepsy and Alzheimer’s since the early 2000s, comments on the studies and discusses some his work.
Heritable diseases—say Huntington’s, sickle cell anemia, or cystic fibrosis—are typically thought of as the result of a certain mutation in one gene. But as Deepak Srivastava and Casey Gifford discovered, sometimes variants of a few genes collectively can cause disease. This, it turns out, is what happened to the Legkiy family. STAT News explains.
Los Angeles Times
Deepak Srivastava has first-hand experience with the power of stem cells. In his own lab, he has studied early heart development and how cells can be reprogrammed to repair damaged heart tissue. He is now president of the Gladstone Institutes and he's about to begin a yearlong term as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. He speaks with the Los Angeles Times about what scientists have accomplished with stem cells, and what's coming next.
Experts weigh in after the President’s State of the Union address where he announced the desire to eliminate the HIV epidemic in our country within 10 years.
After years of debating whether hearts have their own stem cells, researchers have concluded they don't. Deepak Srivastava comments on a study that provides evidence suggesting human hearts probably lack stem cells.
Researchers have long used stem cells and fetal matter to test potential HIV/AIDS medications, but the current US administration could put an end to that. Warner Greene speaks to Rolling Stone about how fetal tissue has become a standard tool in modern biomedical research, and how a ban on this tissue could negatively impact science.