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Not all genome editing tools are equal: CRISPR vs. TALEN
January 27, 2021 -- In recent years, a number of novel genome editing tools have emerged, although not all of these tools are equal in terms of efficiency and accuracy, according to a new study published in Nature Communications on January 27. The study observed different DNA search proteins to identify the specific ways that they find target sequences in the genome.  Discuss
2003 SARS-CoV antibodies may provide some protection from SARS-CoV-2
January 26, 2021 -- A new study shows that antibodies against the original 2003 SARS-CoV also react with the current SARS-CoV-2 strain, but only with limited effectiveness. The findings were published in Cell Reports on January 25.  Discuss
Novel microscopy method unlocks clues to nanomedicine interactions
January 25, 2021 -- A new mixed microscopy method has led to a better understanding of the interactions of proteins in the body with nanoparticles used for biotherapeutic applications. The findings, published in Nature Communications on January 25, suggest nonuniform interactions and errors that may occur in existing analytical techniques.  Discuss
Which states are safest from COVID-19?
January 22, 2021 -- Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic is a priority to getting back to normal activities such as work and shopping. As more individuals get vaccinated, more states will lift COVID-19-related restrictions.  Discuss
Dual-antigen CAR T system could be effective at treating solid tumors in children
January 22, 2021 -- A new chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell system that targets two tumor antigens may be effective at treating difficult solid tumors in children in cases where other CAR T therapies have not been effective. Findings from the preclinical evaluation of the novel CAR system were published in Nature Communications on January 21.  Discuss
Designer DNA therapies shown to effectively target cancer stem cells
January 21, 2021 -- Using an engineered DNA therapeutic agent to silence transcription factor genes reduced myeloma stem cell abundance and increased the survival of mice bearing human myeloma, according to preclinical study data published in Cell Stem Cell on January 20. The results of the study have prompted the clinical investigation of a therapeutic candidate for the treatment of multiple myeloma.  Discuss
Can antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses protect against SARS-CoV-2?
January 20, 2021 -- COVID-19 is not the world's first exposure to a coronavirus. With at least six previous exposures to various types of coronaviruses, researchers are exploring if antibodies created during earlier infection with coronaviruses can help to fight off SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings of the study were published in Cell Reports Medicine on January 19.  Discuss
Synthetic chemistry can help speed protein subunit vaccine development
January 19, 2021 -- A new method using synthetic chemistry can be a powerful tool for efficiently building adjuvanted protein-based subunit vaccines against a variety of infectious diseases. This process may help move desperately needed vaccines into preclinical evaluation quickly, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 18.  Discuss
MIT researchers use natural language processing to analyze viral evolution
January 18, 2021 -- In a breakthrough that could guide the development of targeted vaccines, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers used natural language processing methods lifted from the field of computational linguistics to analyze the viral protein sequence data of influenza A, HIV, and SARS-CoV-2 to identify regions within the genomes of those viruses that are most vulnerable to mutation. The results were published in a new study in Science on January 15.  Discuss
Beyond capital -- what it takes for biopharma startups to succeed
January 15, 2021 -- Investors are more interested in the biopharmaceutical sector than ever before. But success for biopharma startups means more than just securing investment funds -- it requires successful product commercialization. A panel of biopharmaceutical and finance executives discussed the factors that go into ensuring success on January 12 at the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
Development 'cookbooks' could speed up gene therapy
January 14, 2021 -- Great strides have been made in the development of gene editing tools in the past decade, but translating the technology into real therapies to treat patients has taken longer than expected. How to accelerate this process was the subject of a panel discussion on January 13 at the Biotech Showcase virtual event.  Discuss
How is the pharma-AI partnership landscape changing?
January 13, 2021 -- Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking on a growing role in drug discovery and development, with some 250 firms in a market space that's worth over $9 billion. And developers of AI are becoming attractive acquisition targets for contract research organizations, according to Ulrik Kristensen, PhD, research analyst and founder of Emersion Insights.  Discuss
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