Genomics
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
RNA editing affects gene expression -- with disease implications
Researchers found that RNA editing events can have large downstream effects that influence gene expression and subsequent phenotypic manifestations of that expression. RNA editing may be a previously underappreciated mechanism driving human diseases, according to an analysis published in Genome Biology on March 9. Read More
Researchers extract new layer of data with proteomic analysis of cancers
Researchers have demonstrated the utility of proteomics in the analysis of seven aggressive cancers among a cohort of nearly 800 patient samples. The analysis, published in Oncogene on February 24, reveals potentially novel therapeutic targets. Read More
Clinical pipeline promises effective 2nd-generation COVID-19 vaccines
Despite the small number of COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorizations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to date, many biopharmaceutical companies are continuing to push new vaccine candidates toward regulatory approval. The slow rollout of approved vaccines has created the need for second-generation products with the potential to accelerate the world's return to something approaching normalcy. Read More
Game theory reveals how SARS-CoV-2 tricks human cells
Researchers have applied game theory in an effort to understand how SARS-CoV-2 mimics host proteins to support its own replication. The work, published in Royal Society Interface on February 24, applied a type of game theory on how information is signaled to reveal how the virus tries to trick human cells from attacking it. Read More
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