Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
'Crispr' gene editing technique may treat inherited blindness
New York : A new gene editing technique which was hailed as the breakthrough of 2015 by Science Magazine has been found effective in preventing retinal degeneration in a type of inherited blindness, a study says.
 
The researchers focused on inherited retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease with no known cure that can lead to blindness. 
 
They used a technique known as Crispr-Cas9, to remove a genetic mutation that causes the blindness disease. 
 
Although the study involved rats, it is an important milestone because of its potential implications for humans.
 
"Our data show that with further development, it may be possible to use this gene-editing technique to treat inherited retinitis pigmentosa in patients," said senior author of the study Shaomei Wang from Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute in Los Angeles, US. 
 
Retinitis pigmentosa is a class of diseases in which patients experience night blindness in the early stages, along with atrophy and pigment changes in the retina, constriction of the visual field and eventual blindness, according to the US National Institutes of Health. 
 
While rare overall, it is one of the most common inherited diseases of the retina.
 
Crispr-Cas9, the technique that the researchers used to target retinitis pigmentosa, is adapted from a system that bacteria deploy to disable invading viruses.
 
In the study, the researchers designed a Crispr-Cas9 system to remove a mutated gene that causes photoreceptor cell loss in the eye. 
 
They injected this system into young laboratory rats that had been engineered to model a type of inherited retinitis pigmentosa known as autosomal dominant, which involves this mutated gene.
 
After a single injection, the rats were able to see better compared with controls.
 
The study was published in the journal Molecular Therapy.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Golden Globes: 'The Revenant', 'The Martian' named best films
Los Angeles : "The Martian" was named the best motion picture - musical or comedy at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards ceremony, where "The Revenant" was adjudged the best motion picture - drama, and won the best actor's trophy for Leonardo DiCaprio and best director award for Alejandro Inarritu.
 
"The Revenant", set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota, and was inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass, was in competition in the best motion picture - drama category with "Carol", which was leading this year's nomination pack for the Golden Globes. Other contenders were "Mad Max: Fury Road", "Room" and "Spotlight".
 
The movie features DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, the protagonist left for dead by his fellow hunters. His effortless portrayal led him to beat fellow nominees Will Smith ("Concussion"), Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") and Bryan Cranston ("Trumbo").
 
In the best director's category, AIAAirritu was competing with the likes of Todd Haynes ("Carol"), George Miller ("Mad Max:Fury Road"), Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight") and Ridley Scott ("The Martian").
 
However, apart from winning the best motion picture - musical or comedy, Scott's "The Martian" won an honour for Matt Damon, whose performance in the movie was named the best by an actor in a musical or comedy motion picture.
 
Among the actress in the same category, it was Jennifer Lawrence who walked away with the laurels for "Joy". Meanwhile, the best performance by an actress in a motion picture - drama honour was given to Brie Larson for "Room".
 
The best screenplay - motion picture award was won by Aaron Sorkin for "Steve Jobs"; best original score - motion picture went to Ennio Morricone for "The Hateful Eight"; and the best original song - motion picture award was taken home by Sam Smith for "Writing's on the wall" for James Bond film "Spectre".
 
The 73rd Golden Globe Awards ceremony, hosted as the 'biggest party of the year' by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, saw Hollywood's creme de la creme. The occasion saw the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award being bestowed on actor Denzel Washington.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'Villages on the Moon' can be reality by 2030: Scientists
New York : Villages on the Moon, constructed through cooperation between astronauts and robotic systems on the lunar surface, can become a reality as early as 2030, a group of scientists has predicted.
 
Scientists are exploring the idea of "moon villages" that can serve as a potential springboard for future human missions to Mars and potentially other deeper space missions.
 
In order for that vision to become a reality, scientists must first determine if the resources on the Moon are as significant as we think they are.
 
"We keep talking about lunar resources but we still need to demonstrate they can be used a (that) they are, in fact, reserves," said Clive Neal, a planetary geologist from the University of Notre Dame in the US.
 
The ground truth verification of deposit size, composition, form and homogeneity requires a coordinated prospecting programme as a first step.
 
"The next step would demonstrate extraction techniques followed by refinement of the product into usable commodity. A successful programme would then clearly demonstrate that lunar resources can enable solar system exploration," he said.
 
Neal's research explores the origin and evolution of the Moon, focusing on the petrology and geochemistry of returned samples coupled with geophysics and other remotely sensed datasets.
 
It looks at the geophysical instrumentation and investigations of the Moon, formation of impact melts, and more basalt petrogenesis.
 
In this regard, the European Space Agency (ESA) hosted a symposium titled "Moon 2020-2030 -- A New Era of Coordinated Human and Robotic Exploration", in the Netherlands recently.
 
According to Neal, who attended the conference, the ESA meeting highlighted technology development in terms of precision landing, robotic sample return, and cryogenic sampling, caching, return and curation.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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