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GEN videos are informative, entertaining, and encompass all aspects of biotechnology.

Venoms to the Rescue

New technology is allowing scientists to look into venoms from small, rare, and hard-to-keep critters, as sources for new therapeutics.

  • Venoms to the Rescue

    New technology is allowing scientists to look into venoms from small, rare, and hard-to-keep critters, as sources for new therapeutics.

  • Stem Cell Therapy for Eye Diseases

    In this animated video from Nature, obtain a glimpse of the work being doing by scientists to treat age-related macular degeneration. Therapeutics currently in development include directly injectable stem cells and implantable stem-cell sheets which can be implanted in the eye.

  • Type O Blood from Any-Type Donors

    Researchers from the University of British Columbia have identified enzymes from gut bacteria that have the ability to change donated blood to Type O. As shown in this SciShow video, they used metagenomic sequencing to identify the genes that cleave away A and B antigens, and then inserted those genes into E. Coli. The resulting bacteria are easy to produce and the their enzymes are reportedly 30x more efficient  at cleaving A and B antigens than earlier methods.

  • In Vivo Visualization of Neuromodulation

    In this new video from Cell, investigators describe a new method for visualizing neuromodulation events, in vivo, at single-cell resolution. They use a sensor called AKAR (A kinase activity reporter) which is phosphorylated by PKA, to detect changes in the PKA pathway using fluorescence microscopy.

  • Incorporation of Polygenic Risk Scores

    In this short video from The Broad Institute, Sekar Kathiresan, director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, talks about the importance of polygenic risk scores. They are a compilation of genetic factors which can be used to assess disease risk, including heart disease.

  • Cancer Cell Line Evolution

    Cell lines of cancer cells are an important tool in the fight against cancers. However, cancer cell lines can evolve (both in vivo and in vitro) which can affect drug discovery. To combat this, researchers from The Broad Institute have created Cell STRAINER—a free, online tool that allows users to benchmark a sample of a cancer cell line against a reference sample.

  • Gene Therapy for GSD Administered to First Patient

    On July 24, the doctors at UConn John Dempsey Hospital administered a gene therapy candidate in a clinical trial for Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) Type Ia. This video from the University of Connecticut features interviews with the first patient and David Weinstein, M.D., GSD program director. The one-time therapy will be evaluated for effectiveness six weeks after infusion. 

  • Smartplants

    We have smartphones, smartwatches, smartshoes, smarthouses, and (possibly in the near future) smartplants. This video from Science illustrates some of the research being done using genetic engineering to truly domesticate houseplants. Current applications of this technology include optogenetically luminescent plants that detect specific bacteria and mold.

  • Designer Cells as MRSA Assassins

    Martin Fussenegger, Ph.D., and colleagues are using synthetic biology to develop next-generation cell therapies. In this video from Cell Reports, Dr. Fussenegger claims that “designer cells” are superior to small molecule–based treatments for diseases such as antibiotic-resistant infections (including MRSA) and implant-associated infections.

  • New Synthetic Nerve Could Transform Prosthetics

    A new artificial sensory nerve may potentially improve the future of people with prosthetics as show in this video from Science. Researchers detached a leg from a cockroach, inserted an electron connecting the artificial neuron to the neuron in the roach leg, and made the muscles in the leg contract.

  • More Than One: The Transition to Multicellularity

    Scientists have found 350 gene families in a single-cell organism which were once thought to be exclusive to multicellular organisms. According to this video from Science, Choanoflagellates, similar in shape to specialized cells from sponges, seem to already possess the genes necessary for the jump to a multicellular organism.

  • Alzheimer's May Be Caused by Viral Infections

    Despite a long history of failed drug candidates, the prevailing hypothesis is that amyloid-beta cascade and plaque formation are the principal causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, according to research published in Neuron, a new hypothesis, the Pathogen Hypothesis, posits that viral infection—specifically two non-STI herpes viruses—may play some role in early stages of the disease. This video from SciShow explains that researchers used mathematical modeling and brain banking samples to develop this hypothesis.

  • Young Scientist Creates Bandage Sensor for Wound Healing

    Anushka Naiknaware is the youngest winner of the Google Science Fair, at the age of 13. In researching diabetes-related chronic wounds, she identified an unmet need for moisture monitoring. With the support of teachers and family, but no major grants, she invented a “smart bandage” that has the potential to save limbs.

  • The Present and Future of Mini Brains

    Since 2013, developments in cerebral organoids have shown promise in areas such as in vitro disease modeling (most recently microcephaly in Zika infections) and drug discovery. In this video from SciShow, hear about about some of the things we’ve learned from mini brains and what we might learn in the future.

  • Neuronal Stem Cell–Signaling Gene Responsible for Human Brain Size

    In a recent article in Cell, researchers identified a gene called NOTCH2NL which they believe may be responsible for the large, neuron-packed brains in humans. This video from SciShow explains how the gene originated about 3-4 million years ago and what happens if its deleted in organoids.

  • Mini-Antibodies Discovered Could Lead to Drugs for Cancer and Other Diseases

    Nanobodies are small molecules derived from mini-antibodies from animals such as camels and sharks. As shown in this animated video from Science, the recent development of a nanobody library in yeast cells has sped up the production process and paved the way to developing tumor-adhering nanobodies for cancer imaging.

  • Painting a Butterfly’s Wings

    George Washington University researchers are investigating the genomic basis of the diversity of butterflies’ color patterns using CRISPR technology. As shown in this video from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is attempting to knockout the “master paintbrush” genes to gain a better understanding of the interaction between wing color genes.

  • Plug-and-Play Diagnostics

    A group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are developing a modular testing system made from inexpensive materials that can be used by both scientists and students alike. The system, called ampli, uses removeable blocks and test strips to rapidly prototype diagnostic tests.

  • CRISPR Diagnostics

    This new animated video from Science explains how CRISPR technology can be used to develop diagnostic tests using optogenetics. Recent advances in technologies such as The Broad Institute’s SHERLOCK may lead the way to CRISPR-based disease detection systems for conditions including Zika viral infection.

  • Math Can Help Uncover Cancer's Secrets

    In a recent TEDtalk, Irina Kareva, Ph.D., research scientist, EMD Serono Research Center, Billerica, MA, talked about using mathematical models to look for cell behaviors, including cancer cells.