Promising updates on an experimental treatment for glioblastoma, are you sabotaging your sun safety, and can CRISPR reduce exaggerated repetitive behavior?

CRISPR editing reduces repetitive behavior in mice with a form of autism

(Medical Xpress, 6/25/2018, University of California – Berkeley)

Scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to lessen some autism symptoms in mice with a form of fragile X syndrome, the most common known single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Employing gold nanoparticles to deliver the DNA-cutting Cas9 enzyme into the brain—a technique developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and called CRISPR-Gold—the researchers were able to edit the gene for a neurotransmitter receptor and reduce the repetitive behavior characteristic of fragile X syndrome (FXS). Because exaggerated repetitive behaviors are common features in autism spectrum disorders, the efficient reduction of these behaviors in FXS mouse models demonstrates the potential application of this technique to other types of autism for which the genetic cause is known.

12 mistakes you’re making that are sabotaging your sunscreen

(Insider, 6/26/2018, Arielle Tschinkel)

Sure you might be applying sunscreen but could you still be at risk? Just because you’re slapping some SPF on doesn’t mean you automatically get a gold star and a pat on the back. From not using a high enough SPF to enjoying margaritas poolside, you’re likely doing some things that are inadvertently making your sunscreen less effective, which can lead to dangerous sun exposure you didn’t even realize you’ve been getting. This list provides the 12 most unexpected things that could be making your sunscreen less effective and how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to keeping your skin safe and healthy.

Polio virus treatment increased survival in patients with deadly brain tumors

(Washington Post, 6/26/18, Laurie McGinley)

A genetically modified polio virus improved the longer-term survival of patients with a lethal type of brain tumor, according to the results of an early-stage clinical trial published this week. Twenty-one percent of the patients treated with the virus — all with disease that had recurred — were alive after three years, compared with just 4 percent of those who had undergone standard chemotherapy.

The trial at the Duke Cancer Institute involved patients with glioblastoma, the kind of tumor that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is battling. The results were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Tuesday at an international brain tumor conference in Norway.

 

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola