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Researchers reveal vulnerabilities of 'addicted' cancer cells
March 30, 2020 -- New findings about the mechanism by which some cancer cells can become "addicted" to glucose could lead to fresh approaches to targeted cancer therapies. The results of the research were published in Nature Cell Biology on March 30.  Discuss
Scientists use bioinformatics to investigate origin of SARS-CoV-2
March 27, 2020 -- While many scientists urgently work toward developing successful therapies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, some are looking in the opposite direction: to where SARS-CoV-2 came from. A new report published in the Journal of Proteome Research suggests that while bats are a likely natural reservoir, an intermediate host is probable.  Discuss
Controversy hits Gilead over orphan status for COVID-19 drug
March 26, 2020 -- Gilead Sciences has rescinded its request for orphan drug status for an experimental drug for treating COVID-19 just two days after getting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company had been hit with criticism that the approval would block other COVID-19 drugs from reaching the market.  Discuss
Researchers explore mutations to improve drug design
March 25, 2020 -- Drug resistance is a common challenge when designing therapeutics for cancers or diseases originating from bacteria or viruses. Researchers explored how evolution impacted the mutation of these pathogens, and their findings could lead to the development of evolutionarily designed drugs. The results were published March 24 in Cell Reports.  Discuss
Scientists alter cell function with genetic engineering, polymer science
March 24, 2020 -- A new method called genetically targeted chemical assembly (GTCA) has demonstrated the ability to build artificial structures within the body to carry out unique functions. The research, presented in the latest edition of Science, provides compelling evidence for GTCA's ability to modify cell function with bioengineering tools.  Discuss
Systems-based analysis helps researchers understand cell migration
March 23, 2020 -- An international team of researchers has developed a unique library to study the regulation of the cytoskeleton in space and time. The work, published in Nature Cell Biology on March 23, takes a systems-based approach to gain an overview of this process.  Discuss
Could more sugar-based drugs be on the way?
March 20, 2020 -- Researchers from Denmark have developed a new technique to characterize complex sugar molecules in exquisite detail never before achieved, according to a report published on March 20 in Nature Communications. They hope to leverage the new structural information for the development of therapies.  Discuss
Cryo-EM sheds light on ion channel regulation
March 19, 2020 -- A long-standing hypothesis about the regulation of ion channels has been confirmed by cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) imaging. The research presented in Nature on March 18 advances the basic understanding of key cellular processes that can be leveraged for a number of therapeutic and research applications.  Discuss
Comparative genomics confirms natural development of SARS-CoV-2
March 18, 2020 -- The available genetic data on SARS-CoV-2 indicate that it is not derived from any previously known virus, suggesting that it originated from either natural selection in an animal host or humans following zoonotic transfer. This analysis, presented in Nature Medicine on March 17, provides evidence for the natural evolution of this novel coronavirus amid claims of manufactured origins.  Discuss
Researchers make sweet music with protein design technique
March 17, 2020 -- What does protein design have to do with music theory? A group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology saw commonalities between the two and designed a technique based on sonification that translates protein structures into musical scores as part of their effort to design new proteins. The details were published in APL Bioengineering on March 17.  Discuss
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