Drug Discovery & Development
CRISPR phage offers precision medicine tool to fight bacterial infections
In an attempt to combat bacterial infections, Locus Biosciences is developing bacteriophage therapies that deliver CRISPR-Cas3 machinery directly to specific, targeted pathogens to obliterate them. Locus CEO Paul Garofolo discusses the company's technology and recent updates with The ScienceBoard.net.  Discuss
What are the unresolved questions about SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses?
Researchers have shed light on the "known unknowns" of preexisting and acquired T-cell responses in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a perspective piece, published in Science Immunology on November 18, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden discuss the role and durability of T-cell responses in COVID-19.  Discuss
Interactive virtual reality system helps drug designers fight COVID-19
A new virtual reality tool offers scientists a chance to "step inside" the SARS-CoV-2 virus's main enzyme responsible for replication and manipulate it in atomic detail to find ways to shut it down. The technology could enable researchers in different locations to collaborate on drug development within a virtual environment.  Discuss
Synthetic nanobodies show potential for new COVID-19 therapies
Synthetic nanobodies may provide a practical avenue for the development of novel COVID-19 therapies compared to human antibodies, which are bulkier and require greater research investment. A study on synthetic nanobodies was conducted by a group of German researchers and published in Nature Communications on November 4.  Discuss
Gene silencing target identified as possible leukemia treatment
Researchers have identified a molecule that permits growth of cancers such as leukemia by silencing certain host genes. The results, published in Nature Genetics on November 2, challenge the current understanding of epigenetic control during tumor development.  Discuss
Deep-learning approach easily identifies druggable protein sites
A deep-learning algorithm was able to automatically identify binding sites on proteins that could be good targets for drug candidates, according to research published October 27 in Communications Biology. The algorithm, called Binding Site Neural Network (BiteNet), could help researchers sort through the almost 20,000 proteins in the human genome to find the ones that are most promising.  Discuss
Researchers identify 'ancient' DNA weapons against cancer
Researchers have identified silent ancient DNA elements buried in the human genome that when "reactivated" can initiate an immune response toward cancer cells. They also identified a key enzyme, normally used by cancer cells to evade immune responses, that can be leveraged against them. The research was published in Nature on October 21.  Discuss
Researchers discover important 2nd SARS-CoV-2 receptor
Researchers have identified a second receptor that might be important in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, according to a new report published in Science on October 20. This cofactor helps facilitate virus-host cell interactions in cells with low levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the primary receptor on host cells, and might explain the increased pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2.  Discuss
Can SARS-CoV antibodies be used to develop universal coronavirus vaccines?
Can antibodies developed against SARS-CoV during the 2003 outbreak be used to prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2? In an October 9 study published in Science Advances, researchers analyzed precious serum collected from convalescent SARS-CoV patients to find out.  Discuss
Novel nanoparticles deliver genetic therapy to bone marrow
Specialized nanoparticles can be used to deliver small interfering RNA to the bone marrow where they can turn off specific genes in bone-marrow endothelial cells to help treat heart disease or boost stem cell production, according to new research published in Nature Biomedical Research on October 5.  Discuss
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