Chinese scientists use gene-editing techniques in humans for first time

Chinese scientists have become the first in the world to use the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique in humans. On October 28, genetically modified cells were injected into a patient at the West China Hospital in Chengdu with aggressive lung cancer, according to the scientific journal Nature. The team of scientists, led by Lu You of Sichuan University, extracted immune cells from the patients and edited them using CRISPR-Cas9. The technique knocks out a gene that normally acts as a check on the cell's ability to launch an immune response and prevents it from attacking healthy cells. The modified cells were then multiplied and re-introduced into the patients' bloodstream where, i

The 6 most scientifically proven methods to help you quit smoking

For more than 50 years we've known that smoking can kill you. It is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and yet 42.1 million people light up and new smokers start every day. "Smoking is my best friend," Atlantan Barry Blackwell said. "It's always with me long after friends have left and people have gone, they are always here." To help people who do want to quit, scientists have looked with great interest into what works. Especially since studies have shown that 90% of those who try to quit, will start smoking again despite their best efforts. Here are some options that have been scientifically proven to work, at least some of the time. Financial incentives Finan

Mouse eggs made from skin cells in a dish

Image 1: These eleven-month-old mice were born from eggs made entirely in a dish. Breakthrough raises call for debate over prospect of artificial human eggs. In a tour de force of reproductive biology, scientists in Japan have transformed mouse skin cells into eggs in a dish, and used those eggs to birth fertile pups. The report marks the first creation of eggs entirely outside a mouse. If the process could be made to work for humans, researchers could produce artificial eggs without needing to implant immature cells into ovaries to complete their development. Katsuhiko Hayashi, a reproductive biologist at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, led the group that announced the breakthrough on 17 Octo

Your smartphone may be hurting your sleep

You love your smartphone, but it may be ruining your ZZZ's. Use of these devices, especially near bedtime, is associated with worse quality of sleep, according to a new study. "When we looked at smartphone use around the time when participants reported they went to bed, more smartphone use around that time in particular was associated with a longer time to fall asleep and worse sleep quality during the night," said Dr. Gregory Marcus, author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. His research was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. Tech addiction The word "crackberry" became popular roughly a decade ago to describe the add

Ovarian transplantation might be possible in future

Approximately 11% of women worldwide suffer from premature ovarian failure. This can have many different causes: chemotherapy administered for a malignant disease might irreversibly damage the ovaries and, because of the advances in modern cancer therapy, the number of young women surviving cancer is on the increase. The women, some of whom are still very young, prematurely enter menopause. Genetic diseases can also trigger early menopause but, in most cases, no specific cause can be identified. Now, for the first time, an international team of researchers led by MedUni Vienna has successfully transplanted an ovary from one individual to another, even managing to restore a monthly cycle. "Fi

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