Biotechnology, Cancer, Colon Cancer, Laboratory Medicine

By looking for fragments of DNA that have escaped from tumors into the bloodstream, or circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), doctors may be able to identify which of their patients with colorectal cancer need chemotherapy after surgery.

Biotechnology, Brain and Nervous System, Ethics

Several companies are testing brain implants – why is there so much attention swirling around Neuralink? Two professors unpack the ethical issues

Putting a computer inside someone’s brain used to feel like the edge of science fiction. Today, it’s a reality. Academic and commercial groups are testing “brain-computer interface” devices to enable people with disabilities to function more independently. Two two scholars at the University of Washington School of Medicine – Nancy Jecker, a bioethicst, and Andrew Ko, a neurosurgeon who implants brain chip devices – discuss the ethics of this new horizon in neuroscience.

Biotechnology, Vaccines

Nobel prize in medicine awarded to mRNA pioneers – here’s how their discovery was integral to COVID vaccine development

Dr Katalin Karikó and Dr Drew Weissmanhave been awarded the Nobel Prize for their discoveries into mRNA biology. The pair were the first to discover a way of modifying mRNA that allowed it to successfully be delivered to cells and replicated by them. Their discovery was not only integral to COVID-19 vaccine development, but may also lead to the development of many other therapies – such as vaccines for cancer.

Schematic of DNA double helix
Biotechnology, Genetics

When it comes to the rarest of diseases, the diagnosis isn’t the answer – it’s just the starting point

Major advances in the precision and speed of gene sequencing technology followed by dramatic reductions in the costs of testing – have radically changed how medical genetics clinics function. But while sequencing can provide confirmation of a suspected, well-understood condition, it frequently results in a situation like that faced by the Smiths, where the testing result shows an incredibly rare disorder with little known about it.