Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Got to Get Ahead

Japan should redouble its efforts into gene editing, the Japan News writes.

It notes that there are few researchers in Japan working on gene editing and that government funding into the field is scare. At the same time, it adds that the US, Europe, and China are moving ahead with studies into, for instance, treating leukemia or AIDs with gene-editing approaches or into modifying farm animals to be meatier or crops to be disease resistant.

"Unless there is a solid technological base in Japan, there will arise a need for paying a hefty sum of royalties to other countries when undergoing advanced medical treatments," the Japan News writes. "It is necessary to support the cultivation of human resources and the expansion of research fields."

While it also cautions that the field comes with safety and bioethics concerns, the paper adds that those problems may be addressed as the technology is improved. It notes that gene-editing research of human embryos is going ahead in China and the UK. "Japan should expedite its efforts to create related rules by referring to these examples," the Japan News adds.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.