Cell Biology
Tiny mechanical forces can have a massive effect on T-cell activation
A new study reveals how tiny forces between T cells and their targets can help to jumpstart protective immune responses. Research published in Nature Communications on May 4 uses cutting edge microscopy techniques to track the association and dissociation between T cells and antigens. Read More
Single-cell atlas of human teeth exposes root of stem cell behavior
The first comprehensive single-cell atlas of the human tooth reveals how different dental tissues control the activity of stem cells. Published recently in iScience, the study used advanced single-cell sequencing technology to show that changes in the cellular environment may explain differences in the behavior of stem cells. Read More
How the South African SARS-CoV-2 variant evades antibodies
Computer modeling has demonstrated that one of the three mutations of the South African SARS-CoV-2 variant reduces its ability to bind to human cells. The results, published recently in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, also suggest that the mutation may help it escape some therapeutic antibodies. Read More
Nanoparticles may offer new way to tackle antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A team of researchers has developed nanoparticles that use a completely different mode of action from conventional antibiotics. These inorganic nanoparticles have inherent antimicrobial properties and can target pesky bacteria that hide inside of cells. The results were published in Nanoscale on April 22. Read More
A CRISPR on-off switch for genes controls expression without altering DNA
A new gene silencing tool allows scientists to switch genes on and off without altering genetic sequences. The tool, described in a paper published in Cell on April 9, uses a modified CRISPR-Cas9 system to introduce reversible epigenetic changes that control gene expression. Read More
NIH details progress of SCGE consortium
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) consortium has provided a detailed update, published in Nature on April 8, of projects to develop safer and more effective genome editing methods in somatic cells. Read More
X-ray crystallography identifies drugs to be repurposed for COVID-19
A new large-scale study indicates x-ray crystallography can be used to find drugs that could be repurposed to target the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. In addition to identifying 37 potential drug candidates, the study, published in Science on April 2, revealed a new binding site on the SARS-CoV-2 main protease to which drugs can bind. 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
Scientists develop ultraspecific CAR T cells that kill only cancer cells
Scientists have devised a two-step engineering circuit that precisely targets solid tumors with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. The engineering feat could be the next step in treating solid tumors using therapeutic T cells, a treatment that has remained out of reach for many cancer patients. The new method was detailed in a Science article on March 12. Read More
Stable spike protein makes main SARS-CoV-2 variant more infectious
A new study finds that the enhanced infectivity of the dominant G614 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus largely results from the increased stability of its spike protein. Findings from the study were published in Science on March 16. Read More
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