New CRISPR Cas13 system offers powerful antiviral protection A first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard demonstrates that Cas13, a class 2 CRISPR system, can be used as an antiviral in cultured human cells. The research, published in Molecular Cell on October 10, suggests that the RNA-cutting enzyme can be programmed to detect and destroy RNA-based viruses. Discuss
Forward-oriented gene therapy improves treatment for sickle cell disease Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a new and improved viral vector that is up to 10 times more efficient at incorporating corrective genes into bone marrow stem cells than conventional treatments. The work was published in Nature Communications on October 2, and was supported by the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the NIH. Discuss
Viral geometry mystery solved, or at least they have a theory A new theory, published in Nature Communications on September 27, accurately predicts the positions of proteins within icosahedral (twenty-sided) protein containers of viruses. Researchers at the University of York in the UK and San Diego State University in the US state that this discovery revolutionizes scientific understanding of how viruses form, evolve and infect hosts.
Detecting HPV in women is improved with the aid of a new molecular approach A new technique called HPV RNA-Seq can provide a second-line test in HPV-positive patients to reduce unnecessary colposcopies and even be used as a two-in-one test combining HPV typing with triage capabilities. Researchers from Institut Pasteur and the Pathogen Discovery Laboratory in Paris, France published their findings in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics on August 12, 2019. Discuss
Structure-based vaccine design may help save the lives of infants and children A new experimental vaccine, utilizing structure-based design, shows promise in a phase I clinical trial. The vaccine will protect against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of infectious disease deaths in infants. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin published findings on Aug 2, 2019 in Science stating that one dose elicited increases in RSV-neutralizing antibodies over several months. Discuss
The European Commission pursues open science and why it’s important Scientists believe that there is a reproducibility crisis in the scientific community where many scientists fail to reproduce experiments, according to a new report by Science | Business in July 2019. Open science is a high priority for the European Commission, with around 70% of all data generated by EU-funded programs being accessible to the public. Discuss