The prevalence of eye diseases is rising around the world and, for most of them, there are no effective therapies available. Disorders that impair vision – such as macular degeneration or glaucoma – are a leading cause of disability and loss of an independent lifestyle in aging populations. At the other end of the spectrum, myopia – or short-sightedness – is also on a steep incline, with up to 90 percent of teenagers being affected in some regions. Researchers in Basel are using various cutting-edge tools – including single-cell genomics – to understand the molecular mechanisms behind some of these diseases, with the aim of developing effective therapeutics.
NGS is a vital tool used for studying the structure and function of DNA for multiple applications. However, there are several challenges commonly encountered when using this technique, particularly when working with degraded or trace levels of RNA. These issues motivated research staff at Kazusa DNA Research Institute in Japan to search for library preparation kits that would enable high quality sequencing for its customers when working with low quality samples.
Synthetic DNA has become the central component of countless scientific and technological innovations across many applications, from biopharmaceuticals to biofuels. However, research and drug development pipelines are often hindered by the cost and the length of time that it takes to obtain long sequences of DNA or multiple DNA variants. Ribbon Biolabs, based in Vienna, is addressing this issue by combining automation and adaptive algorithmic control with highly precise, optimized enzymatic synthesis.
Trauma is the main cause of premature death internationally, resulting in more deaths in people under 40 years old than all other causes combined. Even trauma victims receiving hospital care have a high mortality rate, in part due to massive systemic inflammatory reactions leading to the dysfunction of organs that were not initially injured. A team at Oslo University Hospital in Norway has been investigating the role of the protein HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1) in the development of trauma pathologies and its potential as a clinical biomarker or therapeutic target in these cases.