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This article is about how they are going to put a gene in the male mosquitoes that kills the child when they mate with a female. They are doing this to prevent the future spreading of the diseases of dengue, chikungunya and Zika. My thoughts about this is that its a good idea. This is a good idea because mosquitoes bites are very annoying and some people are allergic causing the bite to swell, and look red and nasty. They carry diseases as listed above (Zika, dengue etc.) Also, it might mess up the food chain but, honestly anything that eats mosquitoes probably eats other bugs as well. This topic is probably not new to anyone of us students in Biotech. Some of the problems they are having I guess is that people weren't concerned at first and the company Oxitec has to get this approved before they can do anything. Respondents were later concerned that using genetically modified mosquitoes could lead to an increase in the use of other genetically modified products.
I think killing most of the population of mosquitoes is very helpful since there were cases of dengue outbreak several years ago This could help keep many people healthy.
I read an article about mosquitoes saying that if the female didn't have to have kids then the female wouldn't have to drink our blood. She needs it to produce offspring. So, is it possible they could genetically modify the males or females so the offspring they have don't need blood to survive? Maybe they could survive off of nectar. That way the food chain problem is solved.
I also read that humans if around mosquitoes enough for long periods of time grow immune to mosquito bites. Could we possibly create a medicine that when mosquitoes come up to us get repelled by the scent? Kind of like bug spray but better. This however will eventually kill off mosquitoes causing the food chain problem people are worried about.

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Summary:
Scientists in Copenhagen have genetically modified microalgae that enables the algae to form complex molecules. The researchers genetically modified the algae to include DNA that is involved with enzyme synthesis and the algae transferred energy from photosynthesis to create these molecules. This process could be used to make cancer treatments and bioplastics. This process would be more efficient than extracting from plants or bacteria due to the fact the bacteria can grow in wastewater.
Opinion:
I think that this new process to create medicine and other goods from microalgae will revolutionize the medical and industrial industries. With the microalgae cancer treatments would become drastically cheaper and if we use them to make plastics it would reduce our reliance on oil. The only issue I have with this technology is the probability of the algae getting outside of the lab and integrating into the local ecosystem that might cause harm to it.
Questions:
What is the process used to introduce the wanted DNA into the microalgae?
What are the ethical implications of the microalgae?
Would the medicine be contaminated if the microalgae was grown in contaminated water?

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Have you ever watched a super-hero movie and wondered if it was actually possible to be like Spider-Man and shoot webs out of your wrists? Well guess what, scientists do not believe they will be able to allow people to jump off rooftops and shoot webs out of their wrists any time soon. However, through the use of genetic engineering, Uri Gat who is a biologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was able to produce spider web fibers in a lab, without spiders. They were able to accomplish this by injecting the silk-making genes of a common garden spider into the cultured cells of a caterpillar, pretty lit. As in comparison with seemingly every other biotech discover, Gat believes with the proper funding, this silk can be commercialized in ten years. Silk that is spun from spiders to snag prey and swing on is called "dragline" silk, it is six times stronger than steel and can be stretched to 50 percent of its length before it breaks. The U.S. Army was actually funding research done by scientists from 'Nexia Biotechnologies', because they are interested in producing dragline silk for better armor, tethers and bulletproof vests. Unfortunately, spiders are impossible to domesticate so that makes dragline silk unavailable for consumer or military use. This is why Gat set out to find a solution to unlocking the potential of spiderwebs. Because Gat was able to add the proteins that the dragline silk is made from, ADF-3 and ADF-4, into cultured caterpillar cells, he moved one giant step closer to finding out the secret to producing this stronger than steel silk.

So my question is how strong was the silk that Gat was actually able to produce? Without the protein ADF-3, was the silk weaker than the silk taken from silk worms or was it almost as strong as dragline silk?

Also, so how close are scientists to making a web shooter? If we are "ten years" away from being able to produce dragline silk, how long till someone finds a way to shoot the silk? I want to be Spider-Man, so this question is extremely important.
The Real Spider-Man
The Real Spider-Man
livescience.com

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Crispr gene-editing biotechnology can actually help the HIV virus mutate in order to resist Crispr. Crispr is designed to snip away certain parts of a virus's genome, however this can only make the virus stronger. In the past HIV has mutated in similar ways to resist anti-viral drugs. Some scientists claim a solution to this would be to modify the genome of the T cells in order to either not let the virus in, or to destroy it.

Although this is a set back, I believe researchers working on Crispr will use this data to make Crispr better. I am excited to see if it will implemented in the near future, perhaps technology like this could cure a lot more than HIV

-Can Crispr be used to treat other illnesses?
-How far away is Crispr from actual medical use?
-Could Crispr be harmful to healthy genes/your own genes?

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MSC stands for Mesenchymal Stem Cells. These stems cells aren’t coming from an embryo, in fact they are coming from your own body. MSC migration is promoted by cinnamtannin B-1, or vegetable-based polyphenol. Once the MSC is migrated into the bloodstream circulation, they help heal the wound that is damaged. So the when you were to get a cut or scratch into the skin, this could help heal pesky little wound. This research to find this magical MSC that helped heal skin wounds was led by Kosuke Fujita. MSC hasn’t been researched on humans yet, but this research team did it on mice. Through flow cytometry analysis they found that MSC was found in the bone marrow. Using Vivo imaging they found that MSC are responsible for help in healing a wound. From the findings of the flow cytometry analysis and the vivo imaging, it was clear that cinnamtannin B-1 helped wound healing by migrating MSC and accumulating blood around the wound site.
At first glance, this really caught my eye. Stem cells have so much potential to do so many things. Of course, the problem is, how can we control it and getting it isn’t very easy. This stem cell somewhat disappointed me as it only improved wound healing, which is special, but it’s not going to be able to get you an entire new organ. This could benefit anyone with a cutaneous disorder or anyone that needs stitches. Perhaps, maybe someday, cinnamtannin B-1 could become a household product to help recover from a cut or scrape. Also, we might be able to use these stem cells to do other things, like creating a new organ. This would offer a different way to get stem cells then having to use an embryo (which is on low supply). This relates to biotech because we are exploiting a biological process to help us recover from a wound. We are researching within the world of biology to find new possibilities that could help improve our technology of how we respond to a cut and this could help within other health industries in need of stem cells.

Could MSC be used for other purposes other than wound healing? Since this is a stem cell, could we direct it to fix parts of the body?

Does our body produce MSC naturally? I’m assuming it does, so my next question would be why doesn’t the body use is more efficiently so that we don’t need to use cinnamtannin B-1 to produce more?

Why do you think this was a discovery at this moment in time? Like 2016, stem cells were found a while ago, why did this take so long to find? Did they just not research with cinnamtannin B-1 before?

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Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have created mice with a mutation in a gene that is associated with stuttering in humans. People who stutter typically have a mutation in the gene called Gnptab. These mice with the corresponding mutation have traits that resemble stuttering. Once, stuttering was thought to be a nervous disorder triggered by anxiety. Although high levels of stress can cause the speech impediment to be more prevalent, we now know that speech problems are caused my genetics. Now with this finding researchers can carry out different tests and studies to figure out more about the speech impediment. 

I think that this is a big step in research of speech impediments. Because of genetically modifying these mice, we've learned a lot about speech disorders. Now with research and different test scientists can figure out how to approach the disorder in a different way than before. 

1.) What kind of studies are they scientists thinking of running on the mice?

2.) How are they planning to use their research to benefit people with stutters? 

3.) What methods did they use to extract the gene Gnptab and put it back into the mice?
 
4.) Could this mean that there is a way to get rid of stutters in people? And would it matter what age doctors intervened to stop the mutation? 

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Summary:
Scientists, through the process of bioprospecting, have found a microbe that could potentially revolutionize the dental industry, and that microbe is A12. It was found while scientists were sampling the bacteria found in the mouths of children ages two through seven. A12 helps maintain dental cleanliness by disabling harmful bacteria (specifically S. mutans) by secreting hydrogen peroxide (which kills the bacteria,) preventing it to create biofilm (plaque,) and releasing ammonia to neutralize acids. Scientists hope to put this microbe into chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash to reduce tooth decay.

Reflection:
I think this technology could be very useful for people who aren’t as competent with their dental hygiene or who are afraid of the dentist. Personally, I hate dentists, and I especially hate getting work done when I do have cavities. With this microbe added to toothpaste, it could greatly reduce the amount of cavities people acquire, thus reducing visits for dental work. While this sounds great for consumers, this could heavily affect dentists and dental assistants who rely on faulty teeth for work and income in some cases. If less people go to the dentist for fillings or root canals, less money will be put into dental offices, thus reducing wages for dentists. I also think that this technology would cost a lot for the consumer, since it takes a special packaging to keep the microbes alive and to even seed it into the toothpaste. All in all, this discovery could be good and bad.

Questions:
Why did the scientists look at children’s mouths for microbes instead of adult mouths? Do only children have this microbe? If so, what would cause it to be not found in the gum lines of adults? Would you use this toothpaste if it went on the market?

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A team of researchers have discovered a possible end to diabetes. Researchers have found that stem cells can be transformed into working beta cells that are used within the pancreas to sense glucose and release insulin. This finding could end the diabetes struggle. They have inserted these beta cells into mice with diabetes (Note that the type of diabetes found in mice is not exactly the same as human diabetes) and the results were phenomenal. The blood glucose levels in half the mice fell to a normal level. The next step the researchers want to do is to implant these cells into diabetic primates since the type of diabetes is more similar to humans. If these cells lower the blood glucose level, this could be used for treating diabetes in humans. 

I think this research is amazing. There are over 29 million Americans with diabetes who want to find a treatment and this could be it. It is still in need of more research, but this could truly change the diabetes community forever. 

1. In what ways could this affect the human body in a negative way, could it interfere with other functions of the pancreas or other body parts and how would it do so? 

2. I wonder if these cells could become like many antibiotics and resist or mutate in the body to cause more harm. 
 

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Summary:
In Japan, researchers have successfully been able to implant skin tissue that grows hair follicles and sweat glands. Cells were first collected from mouse gums and transformed into cells, similar to stem cells. Researchers then created a three layered skin tissue that produced hair follicles, sebum, and sweat glands in the lab and transplanted it into mice. The tissue successfully connected with the mice muscle fibers and nerves and functioned like normal skin. Two weeks later hair follicles started to grow from the bio engineered follicles, and researchers were pleased with the results.  

Reflection:
I think this finding is great for the medical industry because this new method of transplanting skin could be easier for doctors to perform on individuals with severe skin burns or skin diseases. I think this is a big step forward and could positively impact the future of skin procedures.

Questions:
Since researchers had to start with cells from mice in order to produce the appropriate skin tissue implant for mice, how will get they get human cells to grow human skin tissue that is safe for humans?

Will using this method of growing skin tissue be more beneficial for testing cosmetics, rather than using animals?

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Summary: 
A group of doctors have found a way to potentially restore eyesight in individuals with retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that causes eye cells to degenerate, leaving the individual blind. They are experimenting with the first human test of optogenetics, which is a technique that makes neurons responsive to light through genetically modifying them. Doctors will inject a virus that contains DNA from photoreceptive algae into the patient’s eyes, which will hopefully cause some eye cells to produce a light sensitive protein (the same one that algae use to detect light), and send signals from the retina to the brain. While optogenetics was successful in mice and monkeys, the outcome in humans has low expectations, and scientists guess 
that a person would only see light and dark or black and white blobs.

Reflection:
I think that if they actually got this to work, it would be such a fantastic thing for people. My grandma is slowly going blind from an eye disease, and if it could help restore her vision even at all once she loses it, that would be a miracle. I think that some people may expect too much out of it, and expect perfect vision restored from it, but I’m not sure if that’s a realistic possibility.

Questions:
Could this work on individuals who were born blind, or would it only help those with retinitis pigmentosa?

What differences are there between mice and monkey versus human eyes, and why doesn’t it work as well in humans?
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