Cancer & Disease Research
New method allows for study of genetic changes in individual DNA molecules
An improved sequencing method, called nanorate sequencing, allows for the study of genetic changes in human cells with unprecedented accuracy. The new technique, published in Nature on April 28, challenges the idea that cell division is the main mechanism driving genetic changes. Read More
Machine-learning system ranks most effective cancer drugs
Scientists successfully trained an ensemble of machine-learning (ML) algorithms to rank clinically relevant cancer drugs based on the drugs' predicted efficacy in reducing cancer cell growth. The study, reported in Nature Communications on March 25, suggests that ML may soon be widely used to predict the most appropriate treatment for individual patients with cancer. Read More
Scientists connect gene to cancer metastasis for the first time
Researchers have identified new functionality of a previously underappreciated gene, leucine-rich repeat neuronal 4 C-terminal like (LRRN4CL), which is overexpressed in melanoma cells. They believe LRRN4CL plays an important role in cancer metastasis to the lungs and describe their findings in Communications Biology on March 23. Read More
SARS-CoV-2 has changed very little since jumping from bats
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has required little to no significant adaptation to humans since its jump from bats in late 2019, according to a new study published in PLOS Biology on March 12. The evolutionary analysis of coronaviruses in bats and humans reveals that the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 is derived from adaptation in bats, not humans. Read More
New method creates insights into T-cell responses to infections
Researchers have developed a method to study the specialization of T cells in the context of acute versus chronic infections. They found that T-cell responses can vary based on receptor signal strength and the persistence of infection in a study published in eLife on March 8. Read More
Can a single dose of a vaccine designed as 2 doses be effective?
Researchers suggested that two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are more protective than a single dose, even if the interdose period is longer than recommended. The study's results, published in Science on March 9, indicate that the effect of vaccines on the spread and mutation of SARS-CoV-2 is reliant on relative robustness of immunity conferred by a single dose. Read More
Single-cell RNAseq differentiates cancer stem cells from healthy stem cells
Researchers have described a new single-cell RNA-sequencing approach, leveraging genomic and mitochondrial DNA mutations, that has the potential to differentiate normal stem cells from cancer stem cells. The article detailing the approach was published in Nature Communications on March 1. Read More
FDA committee gives nod to Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
A single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Biotech subsidiary has received a positive recommendation from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee. Should the FDA grant the product emergency use authorization, the vaccine candidate will become the third to be made available in the U.S. Read More
Recurrent deletions help SARS-CoV-2 mutate to escape antibodies
Researchers have identified a pattern of deletions in the spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can prevent antibody binding, which is part of the body's immune response to a foreign virus. These deletions occur as a recurring pattern of evolution, according to a study published in Science on February 3. Read More
Acute SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits distinct antibody, T-cell responses
An analysis of antibody and T-cell responses during the entire timeline of SARS-CoV-2 infection reveals the different ways the immune system responds to the virus in the early phases of COVID-19 disease. The results, published in Cell Reports on January 21, suggest that T-cell responses may be important for controlling infection while antibodies provide longer protection. Read More
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