Leveraging optofluidics to make therapeutic antibody discovery easier
The need for speed and accuracy in the development of therapeutic antibodies has prompted Berkeley Lights to upgrade its optofluidic tools to help customers improve the quality of their therapeutic antibody products. John Proctor, PhD, senior vice president of antibody therapeutics at Berkeley Lights, spoke with about some technological advancements the company has recently launched. 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
New method allows for study of genetic changes in individual DNA molecules
An improved sequencing method, called nanorate sequencing, allows for the study of genetic changes in human cells with unprecedented accuracy. The new technique, published in Nature on April 28, challenges the idea that cell division is the main mechanism driving genetic changes. Read More
New algorithm helps integrate single-cell data from around the globe
A new algorithm enables researchers from around the globe to integrate multiple single-cell datasets from a variety of omics platforms in a quick and efficient process that can be done on standard computers. The technology, described in an April 19 Nature Biotechnology article, will help speed collaborative cell cataloging projects, such as the Human Body Map and Human Cell Atlas. Read More
AACR 2021: How machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming cancer research
The use of digital tools has been incorporated into many areas of cancer research. However, experts agree that machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to transform drug discovery efforts even further in the near future. Several scientists discussed case studies of how machine learning can be used in cancer biology and drug discovery efforts during the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2021 meeting. 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
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
Gene therapy based on transcription factors could be effective against Alzheimer's
A type of gene therapy using transcription factors to target DNA has been shown to dramatically reduce levels of the harmful protein tau in preclinical mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. The findings, published in Science Advances on March 19, suggest that the therapy could easily translate to the clinic and be effective in humans. 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
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