Genomics
Cell-free technique could enable on-demand vaccine production
A new cell-free synthetic biology technique that increases the volume of membrane components in the manufacture of conjugate vaccines can significantly improve the efficiency of vaccine production, according to a new method published in Nature Communications on April 22. The technology could enable on-site production of vaccines and therapies, enabling them to be more efficiently distributed in areas where they are most needed. Read More
Variant-resistant COVID-19 vaccines could be effective, cheap to make
Researchers have collaborated to create a new COVID-19 vaccine platform containing antigens against the fusion protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that could be effective against variants of the virus. The research was published online on April 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 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
NIH details progress of SCGE consortium
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) consortium has provided a detailed update, published in Nature on April 8, of projects to develop safer and more effective genome editing methods in somatic cells. Read More
2nd-gen stem cell-derived CAR gene therapy is more durable, effective against HIV
A novel second-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based approach targeting HIV infection using the genetic modification of hematopoietic stem cells shows promise in preclinical models. The details of the study were published in PLOS Pathogens on April 1. Read More
New gene therapy could be effective in treating complex polygenic conditions
Scientists are applying gene therapy approaches in a new way by simultaneously administering a combination of cargos to treat complex polygenic neurodegenerative diseases with no single genetic cause. Details of the combination gene therapy in two animal models were detailed in a March 31 Science Advances article. Read More
Prime editing creates desired gene mutations without collateral damage
A new gene editing tool called prime editing was demonstrated to efficiently create cell-specific knockout mice compared to traditional gene editing techniques. While both platforms successfully created mutations, prime editing did so without measurable on-target indels or off-targeting events, according to a study published in Genome Biology on March 16. Read More
Scientists connect gene to cancer metastasis for the first time
Researchers have identified new functionality of a previously underappreciated gene, leucine-rich repeat neuronal 4 C-terminal like (LRRN4CL), which is overexpressed in melanoma cells. They believe LRRN4CL plays an important role in cancer metastasis to the lungs and describe their findings in Communications Biology on March 23. Read More
Scientists develop ultraspecific CAR T cells that kill only cancer cells
Scientists have devised a two-step engineering circuit that precisely targets solid tumors with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. The engineering feat could be the next step in treating solid tumors using therapeutic T cells, a treatment that has remained out of reach for many cancer patients. The new method was detailed in a Science article on March 12. 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
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