Cell Biology
Rare immune stem cells could lead to treatments for COVID-19, cancer
Rare stem cells that give rise to neutrophils in human bone marrow could offer a path to developing treatments for diseases that involve the white blood cells, according to a new article published in Immunity on August 18.  Discuss
Microbe-based platform aims for sweet spot between biologics and gene therapy
A microbe-based therapeutics platform that has been in development for nearly 30 years is gaining traction for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The company that is developing the platform, Precigen ActoBio, is advancing a lead candidate through clinical trials with the long-term goal of finding a sweet spot between biologics and gene therapies.  Discuss
Early trials show potential of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is making progress on BNT162b1, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is undergoing development and for which the U.S. government has secured access to 300 million doses in 2021. The results of the phase I/II clinical trials were published in Nature on August 12.  Discuss
Can agtech infrastructure be redeployed for pandemic preparedness?
Marshalling research equipment and expertise of the world's agricultural technology (agtech) laboratories could protect against future pandemics or epidemics, according to a new article published in Nature Biotechnology.  Discuss
Thermo Fisher's acquisition of Qiagen falls short
Thermo Fisher Scientific has terminated its acquisition of Qiagen after the company was unable to secure the number of shares needed to proceed with the deal. The collapse of the deal kills what would have been one of the largest acquisitions in the scientific and lab instrument space so far this year.
SARS-CoV-2 causes immune paralysis in severe cases of COVID-19
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can cause the paralysis of key immune cells as the COVID-19 disease progresses, and this immune paralysis can be the difference between severe and mild cases of COVID-19, according to a study published in Science on August 11.  Discuss
Genetic engineering shows how 'foreign' DNA impacts evolution
A new study has demonstrated that "foreign" DNA -- DNA transferred horizontally into a species from a source other than a parent -- can become functional over time and can impact an organism's evolution and fitness, according to a paper published August 10 in Nature Ecology and Evolution.  Discuss
Gum disease may affect COVID-19 severity
Patients with inflammation caused by periodontitis may experience more severe COVID-19 complications, according to an article published online July 30 in the Journal of the California Dental Association.  Discuss
Microbes shape antibodies prior to infection
Genetic analysis of antibodies reveals how microbes in the intestines impact overall B-cell populations and humoral responses to pathogens. The research was published in Nature on August 5.  Discuss
New COVID-19 vaccine candidate leverages earlier research
Could vaccine platforms developed for previous coronaviruses be converted to address the current COVID-19 pandemic? An August 5 report in Nature described how researchers leveraged previous vaccine research to develop mRNA-1273, a new SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.  Discuss
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