DNABloodTest

Catching Cancer: Blood Test for Early-Stage Diagnosis

What is the difference between a normal cell and a cancer cell? The answer lies in their DNA. Cancer results from the accumulation of genetic mutations, which trigger uncontrolled cell growth. Cancer’s mutated DNA can reveal its presence early on in the disease. Like leaving fingerprints at a crime scene, tumor cells release small pieces of DNA into the bloodstream. This “circulating tumor DNA” can now … Continue reading Catching Cancer: Blood Test for Early-Stage Diagnosis

Vancomycin-Resistant_Enterococcus_01

Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort

Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infections were the leading cause of death worldwide. Now, treating infections is often a routine procedure – simply requiring a doctor’s visit and a prescribed antibiotic. However, this simple routine has become marred by the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics is fueling the rise of resistant bacteria. In response to antibiotic exposure, bacteria have evolved … Continue reading Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort

Colistin Resistant E-Coli

Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US

In May, researchers identified for the first time a bacterial infection in the US that was resistant to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Colistin was the last remaining antibiotic effective against all bacteria in the country – a weapon of last resort. This particular infection was sensitive to other antibiotics and was cured, but the presence of colistin resistant bacteria in the US (it was known … Continue reading Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US

An image of the human eye, showing the location of the lens, where clumps of proteins can form to cause cataracts. (Credits: Johannes Ahlmann, Creative Commons)

Can Cataracts Be Cured With a Simple Eye Drop?

An article titled “Eye Drops Could Dissolve Cataracts” described new research findings that eye drops containing a biomolecule, called lanosterol, could be a new treatment for cataracts. Cataracts create cloudy vision due to clumps of proteins that form on the lens inside of the eye. The article reported that the eye drops not only dissolved the clumps in lens cells in the lab, but that … Continue reading Can Cataracts Be Cured With a Simple Eye Drop?

Visualizing DNA on a DNA gel. While the techniques to visualize and analyze DNA are commonplace, our understanding of what a mutation means in the context of the genome is still lacking.

Is Disease in My Future? How Your Genome Might One Day Answer That Question

Many human diseases are influenced by genetics, and scientists and doctors have attempted to understand the connection between rare mutations in a person’s genome, called genetic variants, and the likelihood of a disease outcome. Some variants can have little to no effect on a person developing a particular disease, while others can have a much larger impact and are considered disease-causing, or pathogenic. Doctors often … Continue reading Is Disease in My Future? How Your Genome Might One Day Answer That Question