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  1. Scientists replay movie encoded in DNA “Molecular Recorder” would reveal secrets of brain development. For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in — and then played back from — DNA in living cells. Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health say it is a major step toward a “molecular recorder” that may someday make it possible to get read-outs, for example, of the changing internal states of neurons as they develop. “We want to turn cells into historians,” explained neuroscientist Seth Shipman, Ph.D.(link is external), a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston. “We envision a biological memory system that’s much smaller and more versatile than today’s technologies, which will track many events non-intrusively over time.” Shipman, Harvard’s Drs. George Church(link is external), Jeffrey Macklis(link is external) and Jeff Nivala(link is external)report on their proof-of-concept for a futuristic “molecular ticker tape” online July 12, in the journal Nature. The work was funded by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The ability to record such sequential events like a movie at the molecular level is key to the idea of reinventing the very concept of recording using molecular engineering, say the researchers. In this scheme, cells themselves could be induced to record molecular events – such as changes in gene expression over time – in their own genomes. Then the information could be retrieved simply by sequencing the genomes of the cells it is stored in. “If we had those transcriptional steps, we could potentially use them like a recipe to engineer similar cells,” added Shipman. “These could be used to model disease – or even in therapies.” For starters, the researchers had to show that DNA can be used to encode not just genetic information, but any arbitrary sequential information into a genome. For this they turned to the cutting-edge, NIH-funded gene editing technology CRISPR. They first demonstrated that they could encode and retrieve an image of the human hand in DNA inserted into bacteria. They then similarly encoded and reconstructed frames from a classic 1870s race horse in motion(link is external) sequence of photos – an early forerunner of moving pictures. The researchers had previously shown that they could use CRISPR to store sequences of DNA in bacteria. CRISPR is a group of proteins and DNA that act as an immune system in some bacteria, vaccinating them with genetic memories of viral infections. When a virus infects a bacterium, CRISPR cuts out part of the foreign DNA and stores it in the bacteria’s own genome. The bacterium then uses the stored DNA to recognize the virus and defend against future attacks. “The sequential nature of CRISPR makes it an appealing system for recording events over time,” explained Shipman. The researchers then similarly translated five frames from the race horse in motion photo sequence into DNA. Over the course of five days, they sequentially treated bacteria with a frame of translated DNA. Afterwards, they were able to reconstruct the movie with 90 percent accuracy by sequencing the bacterial DNA. Although this technology could be used in a variety of ways, the researchers ultimately hope to use it to study the brain. “We want to use neurons to record a molecular history of the brain through development,” said Shipman. “Such a molecular recorder will allow us to eventually collect data from every cell in the brain at once, without the need to gain access, to observe the cells directly, or disrupt the system to extract genetic material or proteins.” GRANTS: MH103910, NS045523, HG005550 About the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit the NIMH website. About the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: NINDS is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. About the National Human Genome Research Institute: NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. The NHGRI Extramural Research Program supports grants for research, and training and career development at sites nationwide. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at www.genome.gov. About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov. NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health® Reference Shipman SL, Nivala J, Macklis JD, Church GM. CRISPR-Cas encoding of a digital movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. Nature, July 12, 2017, DOI:10.1038/nature23017(link is external). https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/scientists-replay-movie-encoded-dna
  2. Asalam-o-Alaykum brothers and sisters. This has to be the least talked about topic throughout the whole Muslim community, including the Sunni and other sects. We can simply look up matters and rulings for Abortion, Euthanasia, IVF, etc. That's all well and good, a well-known Mujtahid can easily provide answers for these matters. However, there are still some things that need addressing, as they will become common in the future. Matters not addressed or they are addressed briefly: - Cloning: I understand that Ayatollah Sistani provided an answer to cloning animals (which is permissible), but what of Humans? Am I allowed to have a double? And if I do, then was it Allah's will that another me was created or a creation of my own? - Genetic Modification --> An answer was provided by Ayatollah Sistani that, as long as it is beneficial, it is permissible as long as there are no side effects. If anyone is able to (I've tried) then could you help me go into more depth with this? - Designer Children Now this is what the main controversial topic of the future will be. Children born under IVF that enables their parents to choose his/her eye colour, skin colour, hair colour. Parents can also decide how tall and what body type they will be, and even decide what their facial feature will look like. Parents may even decide how smart, and how athletic their child will become. Already there are big countries like Australia that have banned having children like that because they believe such children will be at such a significant advantage over the other normal children. Other religious traditions have already made rulings on these matters. The Catholic Church prohibit it, as God is the one and only creator. Therefore, by deciding essentially all the child's features, the parents are then acting "in the place of God". If we are to successfully transition into the future, then we must seriously be thinking of the matters above. Not only will this help our future generations, but it will also help non-Muslims to have a clear understanding of what our deen says about this, rather they have some fuzzy idea that they might share with other like-minded people who look into these matters.
  3. Hello! I'm new posting and the reason why I have become part of this community is because there are some questions in life that I have that I cannot ask others in my family (either because they'll call me crazy or not understand me, not because of any shameful reasons). Anyway, the point of my post is to ask what your thoughts on Evolution are. Please, if you are not informed on what evolution really means then try to refrain from merely giving negative comments. In my opinion, the evidence on evolution is overwhelming, to the extent that if it is not real then it must be to some extent true. I am a true believer in Allah, but I'm not a native speaker of Arabic and find it difficult to read the Qur'an. I have it in my list of top things to learn, no need to comment on this. With the knowledge I do have however I find no clash whatsoever in the writings of our holy book and evolution... unless we were to take everything literally. So what do you think? Some people call it a sin to find evolution feasible and call me names for appreciating the beauty of the mechanism. On the other hand, it just strengthens my believe in Allah that he could have possibly created us so perfectly and simply.
  4. (salam) A christian has asked me that Why Quran has mentioned that male sperms originate from between the back and the ribs. I could not answer him because of my little knowledge. Any one can help? (bismillah) خُلِقَ مِنْ مَاءٍ دَافِقٍ {6} يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ {7} [Shakir 86:6] He is created of water pouring forth, [Shakir 86:7] Coming from between the back and the ribs.
  5. (salam) I would like to share a site that will help u guys here that study some of these subjects. I havent seen the ones on math, biology and physics, but the chemistry (especially organic chemistry) is incredablly educating. It helped me ALOT! http://www.freelance-teacher.com/videos.htm The videos can be found on this site, and is linked to his Youtube channel. http://www.youtube.com/user/freelanceteach?feature=watch (wasalam)
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