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fact: gene editing saves baby girl

Gene editing has been used for the first time to successfully treat a human patient - a baby girl with leukaemia - after conventional treatments failed. Re-writing genes is no longer science fiction thanks to gene-editing technologies called CRISPR and TALENs. Scientists can now alter any gene in any animal and have been using these techniques to … Continue reading fact: gene editing saves baby girl

Needle free blood tests

Everyone hates needles. So there has been a lot of excitement about recent inventions that replace needles with pain free options including the glucose monitoring patch and the vaccine patch. Now Google has joined the game. The mega-company has patented a device that can take tiny blood samples without needles. Google's device uses a micro-particle … Continue reading Needle free blood tests

Ageing is a state of mind

Scientists have found one gene that can change brain signalling and slow ageing. Even though we are very different from worms, fish and mice, we have a lot of the same genes as these animals. This is because we are actually very similar on a basic cellular level. That's why scientists use animals as genetic … Continue reading Ageing is a state of mind

Vaccine patch may mean the end of needles

No one likes needles. Now there's another option. A group of scientists in Japan have found that a vaccine patch with microneedles called MicroHyala works as well as a traditional injected influenza vaccine.  Microneedles have been tested before in humans, but they have previously been made from metal or silicon. Vaccines administered by these microneedles have … Continue reading Vaccine patch may mean the end of needles

Will Google win the self-driving car race?

Motor vehicle accidents cause 1.2 million deaths every year and over 90% of accidents are caused by human error. So self driving cars should be safer than human motorists.  The mega-company Google is pushing self-driving car innovation in the US. They have been testing a number of different models including the adorable little Google car … Continue reading Will Google win the self-driving car race?

DNA damage helps form memories

Our DNA becomes more damaged as we age and some scientists believe that this causes ageing. We have inbuilt DNA repair systems in every cell, but these systems can break down as we age leading to increased DNA damage. Mutations in genes responsible for DNA repair can cause premature ageing like in Werner's Disease. So … Continue reading DNA damage helps form memories

Night vision now science fact

In my novel, Thirty, people conveniently have night vision that they can switch on and off. Night vision goggles have been around since the 1930s but now a biohacker named Gabriel Licina has made eye drops that let him see in the dark.  The eye drops contain Chlorin e6 (Ce6), a light sensitive chemical that … Continue reading Night vision now science fact

Ageing reversed in old skin cells

Scientists have reversed ageing in skin cells taken from people who are 80-97 years old. The trick was to turn the skin cells into stem cells and then back into skin cells. This re-programmed the cells and reversed age-related changes allowing the skin cells to make energy more efficiently.  The energy needed for us to … Continue reading Ageing reversed in old skin cells

Ageing caused by unstable DNA

Werner syndrome is a genetic disease that causes premature ageing. Many Werner patients start developing age-related problems like osteoporosis, cataracts and grey and thinning hair in their twenties and thirties. This happens due to a mutation in the WRN gene.  The protein made from the WRN gene is essential to keeping the DNA inside cells … Continue reading Ageing caused by unstable DNA