by Young Researchers
Positive Phase of
Is genetic recombination useful? How is endoscopic surgery done? What
is the most effective way for patent filings? Three young Japanese researchers
in Chicago presented curious seminars about their studies at the Japan
Information Center of the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago on January
• This time, Kohei Kurosawa, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, spoke about “Greatly Flourishing Genetic Recombination”; Ryota Tanaka, Postdoctoral Fellow at the NorthShore University Healthsystem, spoke about “Endoscopic Surgeries by utilizing simulations”; and Kazuhide Hara, Research Scholar at the Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University and University of Chicago, spoke about “Let’s Deliver a Smile with Patents.”
Greatly Flourishing Genetic Recombination
• Genetically modified corn, for instance,
may give you a negative image, but researcher Kohei Kurosawa’s images
are different. His images are:
Genetic Recombination for our health
• Our bodies have protection from disease-causing
germs, but do we have gene information to resist all those germs? He said,
“We don’t have it to fight with any germs because too many different germs
existed.” So how do our bodies make resistance? He said, “You can find
the answer in the menu of 31 Ice Cream.”
• In our bodies, an antibody sticks to
a germ and kills it. Antibodies are produced in B cells. An antibody gene
is consisted of three kinds of gene, V, D, and J, and each one is consisted
of slightly different elements. For example, V is consisted of slightly
different V elements.
Necessary phenomenon for bearing offspring
• The cell division phenomenon is well known. Each of the paternal DNA and maternal DNA is duplicated, and the same two cells are produced. The meiosis, reduction division, which occurs in cells in testes and ovaries, is more complicated. After each of the paternal DNA and maternal DNA is duplicated, the paternal one and the maternal one are shuffled randomly. In this way, sperms and eggs are produced. Kurosawa said, “DNA is active and moves freely.”
• “The genetic recombination would have a negative image, but a very hopeful technology for patients who are suffering from inveterate diseases. It is a necessary technology for the human future,” Kurosawa explained. However, pinpointing an exact place on DNA is very difficult. On the other hand, cells have a tendency to take in other DNA; thus, inserting different genes into a cell is easy. “But putting them in a particular part of DNA and curing a disease is difficult,” he said.
A Brief Account of Genetic Recombination System
• First, DNA has to be damaged. Second, recombination occurs when the damaged DNA begins to mend itself. Artificial recombination can be done during the mending process. He said that damaging a certain part of DNA would be possible, but finding an efficient function to mend damaged DNA would be pretty difficult.
• DNA is damaged by any stimulus. The
damage means not a simple cut, but the section is ragged, so the DNA looks
for a similar genetic sequence within a cell to make up the damaged part,
and then pastes it.
• This kind of DNA function is utilized to gene therapy. For example, when DNA is consisted of four genes, A, G, T, and C, genetic recombination occurs if a similar sequence of gene, AGTC for example, is placed into a damaged DNA. A cell of yeast has 15 similar sequences, so that genetic recombination easily happens. In the case of a human cell, about 5,000 gene sequences are needed for both sides of damaged DNA, so that genetic recombination does not occur. In other words, human genetic recombination is not efficient.
• Damaging a certain part of DNA has been studied by many researchers. In 2012, a technology for damaging DNA, which was called Crispr Cas9, was discovered by two female scientists. Six months later, two other scientists confirmed that Crispr Cas9 worked for animals. Kurosawa said that the discovery gave a big impact to researchers.
• At the end of his presentation,
Kurosawa said, “Although genetic recombination gives you a little negative
image, I want you to see the positive side of it because it’s very important
technology to contribute to the human future.”
When a DJA in a B cell is partially damaged by some stimuli, the DNA works to mend the damaged part by a cut and paste of genes within the cell.
After each of the paternal DNA and maternal DNA is duplicated, the paternal one and the maternal one are shuffled randomly.
A damaged paternal DA gets into a maternal DNA to find a similar genetic sequence and pasted it to the damaged and deleted place.
Researcher Kohei Kurosawa