By Tadias Staff
Published: Thursday, September 24th, 2015
New York (TADIAS) — Science News magazine has named brothers Benyam and Isaac Kinde among the world’s ten up-and-coming scientists who are likely to make lasting impact in their fields.
“To identify some of the early-career scientists on their way to more widespread acclaim, Science News surveyed 30 Nobel Prize winners to learn whose work has caught their attention.” the magazine said announcing the list. “From those names, Science News editors chose 10 to feature in this special report. All have demonstrated high-caliber research leading to noteworthy achievements.”
The older brother Isaac Kinde, 31, who serves as Chief Scientific Officer at Baltimore-based biotechnology startup PapGene, “credits his supportive family and years of hard work for his scientific success,” Science News highlights. “His tenacity is probably fueled by his active lifestyle — he’s an avid biker — and his devotion to coffee, which he says is rooted in his family’s Ethiopian culture. ‘It’s almost in our blood. I can’t literally say that, because I’m a scientist,’ Kinde says. ‘But, almost.’” Science News adds: “PapGene’s sensitive technologies are based on tests Kinde helped develop as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with cancer researcher Bert Vogelstein. Spotting cancer early requires finding a few rare, cancer-associated genetic alterations among large amounts of normal DNA. That’s made more difficult by the DNA reader’s error rate. Kinde and colleagues created a way to chemically label and mass-copy sections of DNA to identify the real mutations.”
Benyam Kinde, 27, is studying how genetic modifications affect brain activity at the cellular level. “Many people view the brain as the last frontier of human health research. We still don’t know very much about how individual cells in the brain coordinate the activity of higher-level function that defines us as humans,” Benyam tells Science News. “This mystery is one that Kinde, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School and MIT, aims to solve. He is interested in how chemical modifications of DNA affect brain function, focusing on a protein nicknamed MeCP2. When this protein is damaged or missing, it changes the activity of multiple genes and causes Rett syndrome, a disorder marked by developmental delays, seizures and autism-like behaviors.”
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