Genomics
Genes provide new targets for COVID-19 therapies
Genes associated with antiviral immunity and lung inflammation have been tied to severe cases of COVID-19 in a new genome-wide analysis conducted in the U.K. The results, published in Nature on December 11, reveal new therapeutic targets for drug repurposing and development efforts.  Discuss
New study finds SARS-CoV-2 antibodies disappear quickly
Antibodies that develop after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus disappear quickly, according to an analysis published in Science Immunology on December 7. The findings could indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection might not offer long-term immunity from subsequent reinfection with the virus.  Discuss
Digital microfluidic technique connects cells to their environment
A new digital microfluidic technique allows researchers to connect physical cell properties with the molecular makeup of individual cells. This new approach, published in Nature Communications on November 11, will enable a deeper study of stem cells and other rare cell types for therapeutic development.  Discuss
Can vaccine resistance be predicted with test samples?
The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 developing resistance to COVID-19 vaccines currently under development can be determined using repurposed blood and nasal test samples that are already being collected as part of clinical trials, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers. The perspective piece was published in PLOS Biology on November 9.  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
Are SARS-CoV-2 mutations more contagious than the original virus?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has accumulated genetic mutations that may make it more contagious and more easily spread in metropolitan communities, according to researchers who analyzed over 5,000 COVID-19 patient samples in the Houston area. They published their results in mBio on October 30.  Discuss
New COVID-19 immunogen could help with early diagnosis
A new assay that detects the unique SARS-CoV-2 orf8 protein in the sera of COVID-19 patients in the early stage of the infection is a strategic step in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research published online October 20 in mBio.  Discuss
New method reclaims resolution of single-cell RNA-seq
A new approach to RNA sequencing can enable scientists to extract 10 times more information from a single cell, including gene expression and subtle differences between healthy and diseased cells. The study, published in Immunity on October 13, reveals the power of the improved Seq-Well method and provides evidence of its efficacy in five inflammatory skin diseases.  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
Neanderthal heritage may be a risk factor for COVID-19
A new study shows that a genetic risk factor inherited from Neanderthal heritage is associated with two times greater risk of serious disease and death from COVID-19. The study was published in Nature on September 30.  Discuss
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