Cell Biology
New gene therapy destroys latent oral herpes in mice
Researchers recently reported that they were able to eliminate latent herpes simplex virus 1 in mice using a new gene editing technique that targets the root cause of oral herpes. The findings were published on August 18 in Nature Communications.  Discuss
Protein engineering creates highly potent experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
A bioengineering technique that utilizes various naturally occurring sequences and de novo design of messenger RNA (mRNA) components was applied to develop an mRNA-based vaccine that could be highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new article published in Advanced Materials on September 2.  Discuss
New small-molecule drug targets hard-to-reach cancer-linked enzyme
Researchers have developed a new class of small-molecule drugs that show promise against a subset of pediatric leukemia with the NUP98-NSD1 chromosomal translocation. The findings were published in Nature Chemical Biology on August 31.  Discuss
Gateway receptor for SARS-CoV-2 helps explain variability of COVID-19
A wide variety of symptoms and organs are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. This phenomenon could be explained by the distribution of the virus's gateway receptor, which is found in tissues throughout the body. Characterization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression is detailed in a recent Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology article.  Discuss
NIH establishes Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded 11 grants for a first-year total value of approximately $17 million to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Discuss
Maps of natural killer cells offer insight into COVID-19 immune response
New research that sought to classify immune white blood cells, called natural killer cells, during COVID-19 infection revealed that certain cellular subtypes may contribute to the severity of disease progression, according to a recent Science Immunology article.  Discuss
Cytokines may prevent COVID-19 patients from producing the 'best' antibodies
High levels of some cytokines associated with COVID-19 could prevent long-term antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study published in Cell on August 19. The findings could explain why immunity to the novel coronavirus does not last long among individuals after they recover from the disease.  Discuss
SARS-CoV-2 spike protein hinges like leg joints to seek receptors
New research demonstrates that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may be more flexible than previously thought, with hinges similar to leg joints to seek receptors on a host, according to a new article published in Science on August 18. Understanding molecular dynamics of how the spike protein functions could have implications in therapeutic and vaccine design.  Discuss
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
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