Genes

Category archives for Genes

Why does infection with bacteria or viruses make you feel sick? Prof. Guy Shakhar and Dr. Keren Shakhar have proposed that your symptoms are not just a byproduct of your body’s attempt to get rid of the infection. It is your genes’ way of ensuring they are passed down. The long and short of their…

New site, new stories

Cells that “spit” out their contents and messenger RNA that is not so swift at delivering its message. Those are two brand new stories on our new and improved website. Check it out and let us know what you think. The first story arose from a simple question: How do secretory cells – those that…

Rates of melanoma are increasing, even as the rates of other common cancers are decreasing. According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, it is the most common cancer diagnosis in young adults 25-29 years old in the United States, the second most common cancer in young people 15-29, and its incidence has tripled in the last…

    One day in the future, we may be treating our ailments with microbiotic combinations designed specifically to correct imbalances in our personal microbiomes. We’ll bring our prescriptions on rewritable paper and pay using shimmery optical chips embedded in our cell phone cases or maybe our jewelry. Or we’ll be waiting in our doctor’s…

When Dr. Jakub Abramson was a 14-year-old boy in the former Czechoslovakia, he asked his father what was the best place to do science. His father took the question seriously and, after some consideration, answered “the Weizmann Institute of Science.” Since that day, says Abramson, he knew he was bound for the Institute. “It’s just…

Foreigner or native-born? Your immune system discriminates between them, as do those of bacteria. Yes indeed, bacteria do have immune systems – pretty complex ones at that. And like any useful immune system, the bacterial ones must have a good technique for distinguishing “foreign” from “self.” You may even have heard of the bacterial immune…

Science Haiku 3×3

More science-themed haikus. I seem to keep writing them because we tend to put out three “mini press releases” at a time (a relic of the days when they were printed on two sides of a fold-up page and mailed). So I could pick just one to blog about, or I could try to fit…

In the future, stem cells created from our own skin cells will be used to renew damaged organs or grow new ones. We know this promise has often been made before, but the latest research in the lab of Dr. Jacob (Yaqub) Hanna is producing some solid findings that may make you believe in the…

A Genetic Balance of Terror

Cancer, we are told, is a disease of the genes. It originates in mutations in the DNA. But a paper published by a Weizmann Institute group in Cell Reports flips that idea sideways by about 90 degrees: For at least some types of the disease, the healthy, non-mutated version of a gene is no less…

First, there was the great hope of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and then there was the inevitable letdown. When the announcement came, in 2006, that simple adult skin cells could be reprogrammed – reverted back to an embryonic stem cell state by the addition of just four genes – it seemed like an almost…