Published News Health & Medicine

Experimental genetic therapy saves baby with leukaemia

Researchers in the UK have successfully treated Layla, a baby girl with leukaemia, using a gene-editing therapy that had previously only been trialled in mice. Doctors say it's too soon to declare her cured, but she's now living healthily and cancer free.

baby with cancer

Credit: Sharon Lees/Great Ormond Street Hospital

The treatment works by adding new genes to healthy donor...

Scientists have found one tactic that can change anti-vaccers' minds - ScienceAlert

An increasing number of parents these days have concerns about vaccines. And as anyone who's tried to rationally debunk these concerns with science will be aware, it's frustratingly hard to change people's minds, despite the overwhelming amount of evidence backing up the safety of immunisation. In fact, research has shown that the more you argue with anti-vaccers, the more set they become in their opinions.


While scientists around the world continue to debate the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, the tool capable of precisely editing DNA on the genomic level, British scientists working at the Francis Crick Institute in London announced today that they have applied for permission from the United Kingdom's fertility regulator (the UK Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority) to use this technique on viable human embryos. If granted,...

Transmedics’ Heart-in-a-Box Could Help with Organ Transplant List | MIT Technology Review

Transplant surgeons have started using a device that allows them to “reanimate” hearts from people who have recently died, and use the organs to save others. 

The “heart in a box” is a wheeled cart with an oxygen supply, a sterile chamber, and tubing to clamp onto a donor heart and keep it fed with blood and nutrients. Doctors say it may extend the time a heart can last outside the body and is letting them recover hearts from donors who haven’t been eligible before.

Scientists produce cancer drug from rare plant in lab

Many of the drugs we take today to treat pain, fight cancer or thwart disease were originally identified in plants, some of which are endangered or hard to grow. In many cases, those plants are still the primary source of the drug. Now Elizabeth Sattely, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, and her graduate student Warren Lau have isolated the machinery for making a widely used cancer-fighting drug from an endangered plant. They then put that machinery into a common, easily grown laboratory plant, which was able to produce the chemical. The technique could potentially...

HIV may kill most cells by a method overlooked for years | New Scientist

Viruses pumped directly into cells may kill the most crucial white blood cells in people with HIV, which could make developing a vaccine even harder.

A fuller picture of cancer | Harvard Gazette

A team led by Martin Nowak, director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and a professor of mathematics and of biology, has developed the first model of solid tumor growth that reflects both shape and growth. The study is described in an Aug. 26 paper in the journal Nature.

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