Cell Biology
New model could improve vaccine, immunotherapy design
A new model used to predict the outcomes of pathogen detection systems as a function of innate immunity may lead to more effective cancer immunotherapies and vaccines against existing and novel pathogens, according to results published in Cell Systems on October 27.  Discuss
A 'Pac-Man' like CRISPR system could enable larger gene edits
A new CRISPR tool utilizes Cas3 to remove larger than normal stretches of DNA both quickly and accurately. The tool, described in an October 19 article in Nature Methods, could help fill a void in current gene editing capabilities.  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
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
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
Machine learning helps identify antimicrobial-resistant bacteria
A new graphical user interface-driven, machine learning-based approach has successfully identified antimicrobial resistance genes for gram-positive and -negative bacteria. This work, presented in Scientific Reports on July 3, may make it easier to identify deadly antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.  Discuss
Major class of probiotics gets new taxonomy
A new paper published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology proposes major changes to the classification and naming of Lactobacillus probiotics based on new information gained by modern DNA analysis tools.  Discuss
Directed evolution shows promise in reducing drug discovery times
A research collaboration between scientists at the University of Leeds and AstraZeneca resulted in the development of a technique that can significantly reduce the discovery time for possible new antibody-based therapies. The approach, published in Nature Communications on April 14, shows how protein fragments can be screened for susceptibility to aggregation in early drug discovery.  Discuss
Horseshoe crab 'farming' preserves species, makes blood test possible
Researchers have developed a new aquaculture-based method to harvest immune cells from horseshoe crabs that preserves the crustaceans while also creating the potential for new clinical applications, like testing blood for sepsis, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science on April 1.  Discuss
Gene amplification can be responsible for functional innovation in bacteria
Researchers have gained a greater understanding of how gene amplifications rapidly tune levels of gene expression when gene regulation is required but when no other molecular regulatory mechanisms are in place. This research was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on March 9.  Discuss
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