Weekly Round-up: Parkinson’s,Base-editing, Depression, Tigers

some stories that may be of more than passing significance

Do Sleep disturbances predict Parkinsons Disease? “Forewarned is forearmed”, they say. And early diagnoses can make a tremendous difference to patients. Here Adrian Cordellat has a story for El Pais about research that suggests that disturbances to sleep patterns may be a long term harbinger of the onset of this terrible disease. (This link’s in Spanish, so a lot of regulars may need their translation app)


Banging on about Base editing Again! Just because we were full-house on CRISPR a year ago never meant we thought it was the last word in gene therapy. So just to make sure all you great readers know there’s a new kid in town, here’s a marvellous reprise of base therapy from the inimitable Nature Briefings: Trial Puts CRISPR Cousin to the test

A clinical trial that recently treated its first participant will test whether base editing — a genome-editing method related to the CRISPR–Cas9 system — can safely be used to make precise, single-letter changes to a DNA sequence. The approach, developed by US biotechnology company Verve Therapeutics, aims to treat a condition that causes dangerously high cholesterol. Base editing doesn’t break both strands of DNA, as CRISPR–Cas9 does, which lowers the chances of introducing unwanted genetic changes. Another base-editing trial, slated to treat its first participant later this year, will attempt to treat sickle-cell disease.Nature | 5 min read

Time makes ancient wisdom uncouth It’s always good to revisit basic assumptions. All those confident opinions about “it’s all that serotonin wot causes yer depression, mate” may about to be seriously shaken. So say Joanna Moncrieff and Mark Horowitz at the Conversation:


Conservation Success No animal was more iconic in the early days of the conservation movement than the tiger. Now there is real hope that this magnificent animal may be turning the corner of survival. Recently we’ve seen stories about lynxes, right whales and elephants too, so there is hope that barbaric practices of the past may be coming to an end. The Independent‘s Maroosha Muzaffar explains


So there’s leaving you on a brighter note. Intelligent people are out there, gentle readers- we just have to learn how to work together better

#conservation #parkinsons disease #tiger #CRIPR #base editing

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