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Researchers discover potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease
March 4, 2021 -- Researchers have identified protein compounds that are potent inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protein, a key enzyme that enables the replication of the deadly virus. Their screening and synthetic chemistry approach was detailed in an article published March 3 in Angewandte Chemie. Read More
Combo of CRISPR, informatics helps uncover genetic regulators of immune cells
March 3, 2021 -- A new computational tool that uses CRISPR and multimodal single-cell sequencing data can provide insights into the function and regulation of human genes. The study, published in Nature Genetics on March 1, provides details on the molecular regulation of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Read More
Scientists achieve milestone in animal-free production of biologics
March 2, 2021 -- For the first time, scientists have successfully produced sugar-based biologic molecules utilizing bacteria, without the need for animal products. The paper, published in Nature Communications on March 2, describes the production of a common designer polysaccharide, chondroitin sulfate. Read More
Single-cell RNAseq differentiates cancer stem cells from healthy stem cells
March 1, 2021 -- Researchers have described a new single-cell RNA-sequencing approach, leveraging genomic and mitochondrial DNA mutations, that has the potential to differentiate normal stem cells from cancer stem cells. The article detailing the approach was published in Nature Communications on March 1. Read More
Janssen COVID-19 vaccine becomes 3rd authorized in U.S.
March 1, 2021 -- Janssen Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine has received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The move allows the vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 18 years of age or older. Read More
FDA committee gives nod to Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
February 26, 2021 -- A single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Biotech subsidiary has received a positive recommendation from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee. Should the FDA grant the product emergency use authorization, the vaccine candidate will become the third to be made available in the U.S. Read More
New open-access toolkit helps research labs study SARS-CoV-2
February 26, 2021 -- One of the most important factors in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is large-scale scientific collaborations and knowledge sharing. One international group of researchers has made its simple, robust toolkit available to laboratories around the globe that are unaccustomed to working with coronaviruses. The details can be found in a PLOS Biology paper published on February 25. Read More
Clinical pipeline promises effective 2nd-generation COVID-19 vaccines
February 25, 2021 -- 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
February 24, 2021 -- 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
Automated flow cytometry can expedite the discovery and development of next-gen drugs
February 23, 2021 -- Automated flow cytometry workflows outperform manual gated techniques by reducing variability among samples, while still achieving a high degree of accuracy. Automated workflows offer a number of advantages to pharmaceutical companies that can integrate them to accelerate drug discovery and development. Read More
New technique detects unique folding patterns in RNA of SARS-CoV-2
February 22, 2021 -- Scientists have developed a new technique for determining alternative structural RNA shapes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These self-regulatory segments of RNA, called switches, could serve as potential antiviral drug targets, according to a communication published in Nature Methods on February 22. Read More
AI uncovers the genome's hidden regulatory code
February 19, 2021 -- A neural network trained on high-resolution maps of protein-DNA interactions can uncover how these sequences are organized to regulate genes, revealing a hidden regulatory code. Findings from use of the artificial intelligence (AI) model were published in Nature Genetics on February 18. Read More
The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines: Gallo on next steps
February 18, 2021 -- What will the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines look like? In the first of a two-part series, The Science Advisory Board spoke with pioneering virology researcher Dr. Robert Gallo to get his thoughts on what a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine might look like, and which candidates are in the running for marketing authorization. Read More
mRNA vaccines are successful for COVID-19. But what about cancer?
February 17, 2021 -- Advances in platform technology for the development of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines have led to the authorization of several COVID-19 vaccines. But scientists are also working on developing mRNA vaccines to protect against or treat other diseases, such as cancer. This includes a hydrogel-based RNA vaccine, the design of which is discussed in an article published in Nano Letters on February 1. Read More
Proteomics helps researchers pick the best anti-SARS-CoV-2 nanobodies
February 16, 2021 -- A new high-throughput proteomics-based strategy to identify tiny antibody fragments -- called nanobodies -- may provide an efficient and effective method for developing therapeutics against the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus -- including variants. The findings were published in Cell Systems on February 15. Read More
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