Showing posts from December, 2017

Future deafness treatments will be genetic in nature

As per estimates released in 2015, Deafness or hearing loss affects 1.1 billion people globally. There are many causes of deafness ranging from trauma to the ear to severe infections, developmental issues as well as exposure to noise. However, 80% of deafness cases are non-syndromic  i.e. do not show any other symptoms such as ear malformations and are also genetic in nature.  Cochlear implants have met a lot of success in recent years but come with its own set of benefits and risks  and are definitely not a permanent cure. Like with any other genetic condition, deafness, too, has been known to be non-curable. But recently published research puts hope on the horizon for patients with deafness that gene editing technology could one day become mainstream and allow treatment for genetic deafness.  Gene Editing technologies have taken the scientific world by storm in the recent years. Among these, CRISPR - Cas 9 system  has gained quite a reputation for itself. What was publis

RotM: Interview with Dr. Michael Loik

Prof. Michael Loik at UCSC Photo credit: Michael Loik For this month's Researcher of the Month, we spoke to Professor Michael Loik , at the Environmental Studies Department at University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). The Loik Laboratory has been studying the impact of short term weather patterns, changes in atmospheric composition and changes in plant physiology as a result of climate change in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Using results from their studies, the lab prepares communities for the ongoing climate change and devises information for adapting to fire risks and droughts. With a focus on reducing the emission of green house gases, the Loik laboratory also works on finding innovative solutions for farmers, which we will discuss today.  Before, we get started, here is a video summary of his recent publication in the journal Earth's Future . A man of few words, Prof. Loik was quick to revert to our queries regarding this wonderful accomplishment

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