This talk will introduce current best practice in biological engineering, including an overview of how to order synthetic DNA and how to use and contribute standard biological parts to an open source collection of genetic functions. The talk will also discuss issues of human practice, including biological safety, biological security, ownership, sharing, and innovation in biotechnology, community organization, and perception across many different publics.
A short note about Serial Cloner, a free Molecular Biology software that is available for Windows and Mac as well. It has tons of features such as sequence alignment, vitual PCR, cloning, etc. A real diamond for molecular biologists.
Serial Cloner has been developed to provide a light molecular biology software to both Macintosh and Windows users. Serial Cloner reads and write DNA Strider-compatible files and import and export files in the universal FASTA format. Serial Cloner also import files saved in the Vector NTI, ApE, pDRAW32 and GenBank formats. Import from MacVector is also possible now. Powerful graphical display tools and simple interfaces help the analysis and construction steps in a very intuitive way. Serial Cloner 2.0 now handles Annotations and Features both in the sequence and in the Graphic Map.
When I started medical school in 2003, we heard rumours about Craig Venter who was working on some sort of synthetic life and now I just saw the recent reports. An excerpt from Wired:
In a feat that is the culmination of two and a half years of tests and adjustments, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute inserted artificial genetic material — chemically printed, synthesized and assembled — into cells that were then able to grow naturally.
On a Friday in March, scientists inserted over 1 million base pairs of synthetic DNA into Mycoplasma capricolum cells before leaving for the weekend. When they returned on Monday, their cells had bloomed into colonies.
For people with conductive hearing loss, Bone Anchored Hearing Aids that are implanted surgically use the skull to transmit sound to the inner ear. SoundBite bypasses this problem.
SoundBite hearing system is the world’s first and only non-surgical and removable hearing solution designed to imperceptibly transmit sound via the teeth to help people who are essentially deaf in one ear regain spatial hearing ability and rejoin the conversation of life. It employs a well-established principle called bone conduction to deliver clear, high quality sound to the inner ear. Nearly invisible when worn, the SoundBite system consists of an easy to insert and remove ITM (in-the-mouth) hearing device – which is custom made to fit around either the upper left or right back teeth – and a small microphone unit worn behind the ear. No modifications to the teeth are required.
I use WolframAlpha because sometimes (if I know exactly what I want to find) it saves me plenty of time and clicks. If I want to calculate BMI, Google lists me several calculators. WolframAlpha calculates it itself. If I want to find information very fast about a clinical marker, Google gives me resources, WA gives me the best answer in one click. I also use it for ICD classification, as it’s more easily accessible than Wikipedia; for epidemiological data and other calculations.
To sum it up, I think WolframAlpha is for those who perfectly know what they want to find and want to save time and clicks. For other search queries, Google is still the best.
A few months ago, Navigenics.com offered me to analyze my saliva sample and genome. I happily accepted the offer and was curious to see what they could tell me. After graduating from medical school, I will start PhD training in personalized genetics this September so I’m quite into this emerging field of medicine.
I sent my saliva sample back to their laboratory this January and received the results in about 3-4 weeks.
I clicked on View my results and saw what kind of risks I have for certain medical conditions such as glaucoma, heart disease, prostate cancer, Crohn’s disease or osteoarthritis (9 conditions all together).
When I check one medical condition, I see something like that:
They tell me my risk compared to the whole population.
And how that medical condition is affected by environmental and genetic factors.
I can print the results and share it with my doctor through an understandable report that mentions the references on which they based my risk percentages.
They help me what I can do in order to lower my risks for specific conditions. They also let me know things that prevent multiple conditions on the Navigenics panels.
Each condition is covered in details (causes, symptoms, treatments, etc.). This information is powered by Mayo Clinic.
I can find support groups or more information on prevention.
Let’s say 3 SNPs tell me I have elevated risk for heart disease. But next year, they will discover 4 new ones that defend me from this condition. So Navigenics, just like any other similar companies, can only tell me risk percentages that might change a lot in the future.
For example, if based on my genomic results, I have elevated risk for heart disease, what I can do to lower this risk? Exercises, healthy lifestyle, etc. Things you can tell me without analyzing my genome. Though it’s not the fault of the service, but of the state genetics is in at the moment.
It’s still way too expensive compared to what I get for my money as the results cannot really be used for medical decisions (I got a free package so I know I shouldn’t say that).
Well, a few genetic tests can be useful when making medical decisions, but such tests should be ordered only by medical professionals. Or if not, at least genetic counseling should be for free as patients need serious guidance when reading the results of their genomic variations. (Update: Navigenics provides free genetic counseling for all Health Compass members and 1 hour of free counseling for all Insight members. And you can order the tests through a medical professional or on your own.)
I think I can handle many things but it was almost impossible for me to understand which documents I have to send back to the lab with my saliva sample. A step-by-step video tutorial would be useful.
I’m thankful to the Team of Navigenics.com for showing me how their service works in action. I’m impressed and looking forward to seeing how they can make their service even better.
I’m very happy and excited as the lab I’ve been working in for 2 years just launched a blog that focuses on tutorials about molecular biology.Labtutorials in Biology is going to be a unique blog providing step-by-step tutorials in molecular biology and descriptions that can be really useful for students. Bálint L. Bálint, junior lecturer, is behind the whole concept and he’s been making videos and writing descriptions for weeks.
I have decided to make an online collection of the basic (and not so basic) techiques we use in our lab. This is a (hopefully) classical molecular biology lab located in Europe, Hungary, more close in Debrecen. I will present you the lab and environment later.
The idea is to describe these techiques, make a pdf version of the protocols we are using and in some of the cases to upload videos about these techinques.
GenePartner is a formula to match men and women by analyzing specific genes in their DNA.
At GenePartner we are dedicated to help you find your ideal life partner. Our formula is based on research on hundreds of couples and analyzes the pattern of genetic combinations found in successful relationships. Using this formula we will determine the probability for a satisfying and long-lasting romantic relationship between two people.
In collaboration with the Swiss Institute for Behavioural Genetics, we tested a large number of individuals (both romantically involved couples and persons not in a relationship) for their HLA genes.
The GenePartner formula measures the genetic compatibility between two individuals and makes an accurate prediction of the strength of their basis for a long-lasting and fulfilling romantic relationship.