15 Sep 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University developed a novel genome editing technique known as NICER, which results in significantly fewer off-target mutations than CRISPR/Cas9 editing. The technique uses a different type of enzyme that makes single-stranded “nicks” in the DNA. Repair of these nicks is more efficient and accurate than repair of double-strand breaks caused by the current CRISPR/Cas9 editing. This technique represents a novel approach for the treatment of genetic diseases caused by heterozygous mutations.
09 Aug 2023
Researchers from Osaka University clarified the interactions of the proteins Tejas (Tej), Vasa (Vas), and Spindle-E (Spn-E) in the formation of cellular compartments known as nuage and the processing of PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) precursors in Drosophila melanogaster ovaries. piRNAs help prevent the transmission of genetic mutations through reproductive cells, and insight into the dynamics of piRNA formation and processing may contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying reproductive disorders, including infertility.
21 Jul 2023
Agricultural genetic stories reported at the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne.
20 Jul 2023
US$500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize awarded in Melbourne
20 Jul 2023
Thursday at the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne
18 Jul 2023
Research stories from the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne Tuesday 18 July 2023
28 Jun 2023
Researchers from Osaka University analyzed discussions on research governance of human genome editing in the Expert Panel on Bioethics in Japan and identified the positive roles played by related research communities, the government, and the general public in the policy-making process. It is expected to provide more effective and practical guidance for countries and organizations seeking to work with diverse stakeholders in the governance of emerging medical technologies.
19 Jun 2023
A key protein for sperm maturation identified, Understanding gel formation, Urine test predicts organ diseases, A laser drills holes in a graphene film. Plus in our blog - The frogs of Borneo: more than just a race. Read all in the latest Editor's Choice.
08 Jun 2023
A team led by researchers from Osaka University elucidated a molecular mechanism that is crucial for separating genetic material into daughter cells during cell division. A protein called CENP-C is part of a complex called the kinetochore, which supports the movement of chromosomes. Two portions of CENP-C, the CCAN-binding domain and Cupin domain, are needed for CENP-C to function. The Cupin domain repeats itself through oligomerization, which is essential for proper CENP-C function.
05 Jun 2023
Researchers from Osaka University developed an in vivo CRISPR screen to analyze factors affecting Toxoplasma gondii fitness in healthy and immunodeficient mice. Mice were infected with Toxoplasma containing CRISPR libraries that targeted specific genes; genetic sequencing was then performed to identify which genes are important to fitness. The genetic screen clarified the contributions of host genetics and parasite genetics and can contribute to the development of strategies for toxoplasmosis treatment and prevention.
26 May 2023
A research team, led by researchers from Osaka University, performed genetic screening of fission yeast lacking DNA repair gene Rad51 to identify genes that play a role in gross chromosomal rearrangement (GCR), a type of mutation that occurs at the centromere. Cells lacking Srr1 or Skb1 exhibited reduced GCR, indicating that these genes are important to the occurrence of GCR. These findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying centromeric GCR.
11 May 2023
Researchers from Osaka University identified a new protein, NICOL, and described its crucial role in the maturation of sperm, which itself is necessary for male fertility. Mice who lacked this protein were sterile. Such a discovery may have implications for the development of male contraceptives.
13 Mar 2023
Researchers from Osaka University identified the role of a protein known as testis-specific kinase substrate (TSKS) in the process of spermiation, the release of mature sperm. Analysis of a gene-modified mouse model in which TSKS is disrupted revealed that TSKS is necessary for sperm to eliminate cytoplasm and become streamlined. These findings may lead to the development of diagnostic tests and male contraceptives.
28 Feb 2023
Two novel hypotheses address the “two-fold cost of sex”: one of the biggest enigmas in the evolution of sexual reproduction.
16 Feb 2023
A new approach that ‘baits’ the caps or telomeres protecting the ends of chromosomes could provide information on how rapidly we are ageing and what we need to do to slow it down.
06 Feb 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University used cryogenic electron microscopy to analyze the atomic structure of the centromeric region of the chromosome, essential for cell division. A protein called CENP-A marks the centromere; the researchers showed that during interphase, CENP-A is bound by a protein called KNL2 to maintain the location of the centromere. During mitosis, KNL2 is replaced by CENP-C, allowing correct formation of the kinetochore complex for cell division.
25 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have identified a protein, FER1L5, that is essential for sperm to acquire fertilizing ability. Sperm from mice lacking this protein were unable to undergo the “acrosome reaction”, which releases molecules that facilitate fertilization, resulting in impaired male fertility. As FER1L5 is also present in human sperm, this work may lead to new diagnostic methods and treatments for male infertility in humans.
20 Jan 2023
Overeating mechanism: why "eating just one chip"🍟 is impossible, Measuring hidden energy of gamma-ray bursts, Marine species that can adapt to ocean acidification & A rough start can lead to a strong bond, Read all in our first Editor's Choice of 2023. Plus our interview on what dengue vaccine approval in EU💉means for global dengue protection.
11 Jan 2023
A team of Japanese researchers created a high-quality genome assembly of red perilla, a step toward harnessing the plant’s potentially useful bioactive chemicals — and its medicinal properties.
10 Jan 2023
An Osaka Metropolitan University research team analyzed the regulatory mechanisms of carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzyme production in Aspergillus aculeatus, a filamentous fungus that produces enzymes with an excellent ability to degrade plant biomass. The team found that UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (Uge5), an enzyme known for its involvement in galactose metabolism, also regulates the expression of degrading enzyme genes in A. aculeatus. This is the very first report of Uge5’s roles in selective gene expression in response to different types of inducing sugars in filamentous fungi.
23 Dec 2022
Scientists reveal genetic mechanism associated with high-calorie food-fueled obesity
19 Dec 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have developed a culture system using pluripotent cells from southern and northern white rhinos, which was refined to produce primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs). These cells are the equivalent of primordial germ cells, the origin of eggs and sperm. The study marks an important first step in the potential production of northern white rhino gametes, which could be used in breeding programs, and is the first to induce PGCLCs in a wild animal.
01 Dec 2022
Research led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) involving the use of a pioneering female sterility technique has led to a breakthrough in the production of hybrid rice seeds. Compared to the commonly used “three-line” male sterility technique in hybrid rice seeds production, the novel approach enhances the efficiency of hybrid rice production by eliminating rice seeds that have been produced due to the self-pollination of the “restorer line”. The novel technique enables fully automatic harvesting of hybrid seeds by machines, which can substantially reduce harvesting costs.
30 Nov 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University researchers introduced seven proteins, thought to let bacteria swim by switching the direction that their helical bodies spiral, into a strain of synthetic bacterium with minimal genetic information. As a result, they confirmed that the synthetic bacterium named syn3, which is normally spherical, formed a helix that could swim by spiraling. Further investigation revealed that only two of these newly added proteins were required to make syn3 capable of minimal swimming. This swimming synthetic bacterium can be said to be the smallest mobile lifeform genetically, as it contains the fewest number of genes.
06 Oct 2022
Giants in History: Archana Sharma (16 February 1932 - 14 January 2008) conducted research into plant and human genetics that expanded the understanding of both botany and human health.
29 Sep 2022
Linked lanthanides shine light on crystal engineering, New technique reveals hidden genome, Red, white and blue alerts for dangerous bacteria & Windows gain competitive edge over global warming. Read all in the September's Editor's Choice plus this month's Asia Research News 2022 magazine pick - Floating sensors to gather ocean data.
31 Aug 2022
Scientists understand genes related to intellectual disabilities, but are often unsure of how mutations in these genes cause developmental disorders. Now, a research group led by two Tohoku University researchers has uncovered the role of CHAMP1—a gene whose mutations are associated with intellectual disability—in neuronal development.
23 Aug 2022
Two new approaches could help scientists use existing sequencing technology to better-distinguish RNA changes that affect how their genetic code is read.
26 Apr 2022
Researchers set out to find new ways to artificially induce mRNA to respond in ways that could eventually lead to therapeutic outcomes, expanding on the success of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines and opening up new possibilities across a host of possible genetic therapies.
Dr. Yan is an assistant professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, City University of Hong Kong (CityU). His current research focuses on developing genomic tools to dissect lncRNA function and mechanism in diseases and to identify genetic variations that contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Giants in history
Irene Ayako Uchida’s (8 April 1917 – 30 July 2013) strides to understand genetic diseases such as Down syndrome paved the way for early screening of chromosomal abnormalities in foetuses.
Chinese-American virologist and molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal (27 August 1946 – 8 July 2020) was the first scientist to clone HIV and determine the function of its genes.
Maharani Chakravorty (1937 – 2015) was one of India’s earliest molecular biologists whose research paved the way for advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections.
Archana Sharma (16 February 1932 - 14 January 2008) conducted research into plant and human genetics that expanded the understanding of both botany and human health. In relation to botany, she uncovered the means by which asexually-reproducing plants evolve into new species.
Reiji Okazaki (8 October 1930 – 1 August 1975) and Tsuneko (7 June 1933) were a Japanese couple who discovered Okazaki fragments – short sequences of DNA that are synthesized during DNA replication and linked together to form a continuous strand.
Tsuneko (7 June 1933) and Reiji Okazaki (8 October 1930 – 1 August 1975) were a Japanese couple who discovered Okazaki fragments – short sequences of DNA that are synthesized during DNA replication and linked together to form a continuous strand.
In his over 30 year career in rice research, Munshi Siddique Ahmad (1924 – 19 October 2011) developed more than 30 varieties of high-yielding rice, including the BRRI Shail strain, which was responsible for increasing the rice production of Bangladesh from 8 million tonnes in 1965 to 20 million tonnes in 1975.
Eminent Filipina scientist and educator Clara Lim-Sylianco (18 August 1925 – 23 July 2013) is remembered for her extensive research on mutagens – often-carcinogenic agents that permanently alter genetic materials such as DNA – antimutagens and bioorganic mechanisms.
Motoo Kimura (13 November 1924 – 13 November 1994) was a Japanese theoretical population geneticist who is best remembered for developing the neutral theory of molecular evolution.
Janaki Ammal Edavalath Kakkat (4 November 1897 – 7 February 1984) was an Indian botanist who studied plant chromosomes and genetics.
Maqsudul Alam (14 December 1954 – 20 December 2014) was a biologist from Bangladesh who is renowned for his research on genome sequencing
Kono Yasui (16 February 1880 – 24 March 1971) was a Japanese botanist who researched the genetics of poppies, corn and spiderworts and surveyed the plants that had been affected by the nuclear fallout after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Hitoshi Kihara (1893 – 1986) was one of the most famous Japanese geneticists of the 20th century. One of his most significant contributions was identifying sex chromosomes (X and Y) in flowering plants.