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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
Scientists identify missing molecular links to SARS-CoV-2, host interactions
February 15, 2021 -- Researchers have identified interactions between short viral proteins and receptors that facilitate the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into a host. This evidence of molecular links, published in Science Signaling on February 12, may help scientists identify drugs that are highly effective at blocking the virus. Read More
Benchtop capillary electrophoresis opens new doors for sample identification
February 12, 2021 -- Sample identification and verification is essential to research that interrogates and compares specific regions of the human genome, called short tandem repeats. Benchtop capillary electrophoresis is a sample identification method that can be easily implemented in research labs for many forensic and research applications. Read More
Multiomics approach profiles molecular characteristics of glioblastoma
February 11, 2021 -- A team of more than 40 investigators has created a profile of the genes, proteins, infiltrating cells, and signaling pathways of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma. The findings could lead to better patient care, according to the authors of a new study published February 11 in Cancer Cell. Read More
Researchers use modified CRISPR tool to manipulate the epigenome
February 10, 2021 -- Bioengineers have developed a new way to engineer the human epigenome (chemical changes in the DNA) using a modified CRISPR-Cas9 system to target and activate proteins in the chromosome. This research, published in Nature Communications on February 9, expands on synthetic genome tools. Read More
NIH adds long-acting antibody COVID-19 therapy to ACTIV-3 master protocol
February 9, 2021 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has begun a new arm of its master protocol, the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines 3 (ACTIV-3) study, which evaluates the safety and efficacy of an investigational long-acting antibody combination for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Read More
COVID-19 vaccines may be causing orofacial reactions
February 9, 2021 -- The two COVID-19 vaccines being given to patients in the U.S. and other countries have been linked to orofacial adverse drug reactions such as temporary facial paralysis, according to a brief report published on February 1 in the Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine. Read More
New synthetic biology approach may improve delivery of programmable medicines
February 8, 2021 -- Programmable medicines that can be controlled by synthetic genetic components are not yet a clinical reality. But synthetic components can now be reconfigured so they don't overwhelm host cells, moving the technology a step closer to clinical reality, according to new research published February 8 in Nature Communications. Read More
Deep-learning approach points the way to faster COVID-19 vaccines
February 8, 2021 -- A novel deep neural network can target the most promising multiepitope COVID-19 vaccine candidates in a matter of seconds. The new artificial intelligence framework, which was described in Scientific Reports on February 5, may give scientists an edge in the race against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants by reducing the time from vaccine design to clinical trials. Read More
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