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A 'Pac-Man' like CRISPR system could enable larger gene edits
October 20, 2020 -- A new CRISPR tool utilizes Cas3 to remove larger than normal stretches of DNA both quickly and accurately. The tool, described in an October 19 article in Nature Methods, could help fill a void in current gene editing capabilities.  Discuss
Validating drug repurposing workflows may help identify new COVID-19 treatments
October 19, 2020 -- A research team has strengthened COVID-19 drug repurposing workflows through independent in vitro validation followed by clinical pharmacology data assessments, with the goal of launching clinical studies of currently approved drugs. The protocol was published in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science on October 14.  Discuss
New methods could improve AAV quality for viral vector manufacturing
October 16, 2020 -- Developing well-characterized adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) is a significant obstacle for the biomanufacturing industry. A group of analytical researchers is trying to overcome this challenge by developing novel analytical methodology specifically designed for AAVs.  Discuss
How are asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers different from symptomatic patients?
October 15, 2020 -- A new retrospective study reveals that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients may have higher levels of lymphocytes, specifically T cells, compared to symptomatic COVID-19 patients despite carrying similar viral loads. The results were published in mSphere on October 7.  Discuss
New method reclaims resolution of single-cell RNA-seq
October 14, 2020 -- 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
EpiMorgify algorithm predicts best conditions for cell therapies
October 13, 2020 -- In order to determine optimal cell growth conditions for the development of cellular therapies, researchers have devised an algorithm called EpiMorgify that can predict what factors are needed to produce high-quality cultures. The study was published on October 9 in Cell Systems.  Discuss
Can SARS-CoV antibodies be used to develop universal coronavirus vaccines?
October 12, 2020 -- 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
Long-lasting IgG antibodies found in blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients
October 9, 2020 -- Researchers have discovered that immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus are longer lasting in the blood and saliva of COVID-19 patients compared to the relatively short-lived IgM and IgA responses. The finding, presented in a pair of studies published in Science Immunology on October 8, suggests that IgG antibodies could be a promising target to detect and evaluate immune responses to the virus.  Discuss
Will mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus affect vaccine effectiveness?
October 8, 2020 -- What impact will mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that are in development? In a new study published in NPJ Vaccines on October 8, Australian researchers say they believe that a recent change in the genetic material of the virus shouldn't reduce the effectiveness of vaccines coming to market.  Discuss
FDA issues guidance on submitting EUA requests for COVID-19 vaccines
October 7, 2020 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 6 issued a new guidance with recommendations for developers of COVID-19 vaccines regarding the scientific data and information that would be required to support emergency use authorization (EUA) for the products.  Discuss
Novel nanoparticles deliver genetic therapy to bone marrow
October 6, 2020 -- 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
Many mammals may be at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection
October 5, 2020 -- Despite broad interest in determining the origin of SARS-CoV-2 in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the existence of an intermediate host between the source of the virus in bats and humans remains unknown. A study published in Scientific Reports on October 5 provides evidence that 26 species of mammals that are regularly in contact with humans may be susceptible to infection.  Discuss
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