Cell Biology
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
Improved RNA sequencing method reveals new insights into small RNAs
Researchers have developed a new RNA sequencing method that can help discover many types of previously undetectable small RNAs. Details of the method, called panoramic RNA display by overcoming RNA modification aborted sequencing (PANDORA-seq), were published in Nature Cell Biology on April 5. Read More
New gene therapy could be effective in treating complex polygenic conditions
Scientists are applying gene therapy approaches in a new way by simultaneously administering a combination of cargos to treat complex polygenic neurodegenerative diseases with no single genetic cause. Details of the combination gene therapy in two animal models were detailed in a March 31 Science Advances article. Read More
Cancer anti-inflammatory drug has potential to treat severe COVID-19
A new study provides evidence that an inexpensive clinical-grade inhibitor that's already approved to treat cancer, called topotecan, can be used to treat severe COVID-19, even in the late stages of the disease. The findings were published in Cell on March 30. Read More
Prime editing creates desired gene mutations without collateral damage
A new gene editing tool called prime editing was demonstrated to efficiently create cell-specific knockout mice compared to traditional gene editing techniques. While both platforms successfully created mutations, prime editing did so without measurable on-target indels or off-targeting events, according to a study published in Genome Biology on March 16. Read More
Breakthrough photochemistry method opens doors to new drugs
Medicinal chemists have succeeded in converting several classes of flat nitrogen-containing molecules into 3D structures that could form the basis for new drug candidates. The methods, published in Science on March 26, detail over 100 examples of the broad applicability of overcoming the conversion barrier through light-mediated energy transfer. Read More
Hydrogen maps of SARS-CoV-2 main protease point to effective repurposed drugs
Scientists have used atomic maps of hydrogen atoms to determine that the SARS-CoV-2 main protease acts in unexpected ways when it comes into contact with a drug inhibitor. The research, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry on March 23, provides key insights for efforts to repurpose existing drugs to develop candidates for treating COVID-19. Read More
New intestine chips promote precision in preclinical models
A new intestine-on-a-chip platform enables researchers to model host-microbiome relationships to gain new insights into the mechanisms of infectious disease in the body, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infectious Microbiology on March 12. 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
RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 helps cancer cells proliferate
Researchers have discovered that an isoform of the RNA editing enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1) is responsible for regulating genome stability of telomeres at chromosomal ends. The findings, published in Nature Communications on March 12, suggest that the enzyme is required for the proliferation of cancer cells and may be a potential therapeutic target for some cancers. Read More
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