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Top 10 ScienceBoard stories of 2019
January 2, 2020 -- As you may have noticed, there were quite a few changes to ScienceBoard in 2019. In the second half of the year, we brought more targeted content for life scientists, particularly research news. We saw that advances in molecular biology and genomics, along with a focus on the development of new therapies for a variety of diseases.  Discuss
Precision medicine and molecular understanding of illness
December 23, 2019 -- The current era of scientific research is seen by many as a golden age of discovery in genetics, due to rapid progress in numerous areas of science and technology. While healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry traditionally have directed their attention to symptoms rather than underlying causes, the new advances are creating opportunities to better exploit a rapidly expanding mechanistic understanding of disease. The challenges are significant and complex, and the current models of discovery and translation do not provide an obvious path toward an economically sustainable way to integrate data-intensive biology with medicine.  Discuss
Scientists validate large-scale CRISPR-Cas9 screens for cancer models
December 20, 2019 -- Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, published results of a study in Nature Communications on December 20, which compares consistency among the two largest genetic screen databases of cancer cells lines. The combined data set will help speed the discovery and development of new cancer therapies.  Discuss
Cryo-EM microscopy tool gets an atomic resolution look at "upgraded" CRISPR system
December 19, 2019 -- Researchers from Columbia University capture de novo images that reveal unexpected presence transposition proteins that are essential for interactions of CRISPR-like cascade complex. The study was published in Nature on December 18.  Discuss
Researchers work out the early steps that drive malignancy
December 18, 2019 -- Researchers from Yale University have identified cellular characteristics that lead to the early stages of malignancy. They state that in at least one form of blood cancer, cells with cancer-causing lesions can remain normal until cell division speeds up the process. The results were published in Nature Communications on December 18.  Discuss
Algorithm provides new insight into hierarchical DNA structures that influence disease
December 18, 2019 -- Researchers develop an algorithm that locates specific topologically associating domains (TADs) which are implicated in disease development, including cancer. The technology, called OnTAD, can examine internal architectures of TADs, which are important in elucidating their biological functions. The work was published in Genome Biology on December 18.  Discuss
New drug target identified in malaria transmission
December 17, 2019 -- Australian researchers from the University of Melborne and Griffith University in Queensland have confirmed their findings of a new drug target that blocks the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum in mosquitos. The results were published in Cell Reports on December 17.  Discuss
Researchers explore the role of circular DNA in deadly childhood cancer
December 17, 2019 -- Researchers from Charité - University Medicine Berlin and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York combine genomic and transcriptomic approaches to describe the landscape of extrachromosomal circular DNA in neuroblastoma. The work was published in Nature Genetics on December 16.  Discuss
New CRISPR system efficiently battles antibiotic resistance
December 16, 2019 -- Researchers from the University of California San Diego have developed a brand new CRISPR-based gene-drive system that dramatically increases the efficiency of inactivation of genes responsible for antibiotic resistance. The new system is detailed on December 16 in Nature Communications.  Discuss
Adenosine bandages improve tissue repair
December 13, 2019 -- Researchers at Duke University have engineered a bandage that captures and holds a pro-healing molecule at the site of a bone break to accelerate and improve the natural healing process. The proof-of-concept experiment was conducted in mice, and the results were published on December 12, in Advanced Materials.  Discuss
Ghost imaging speeds up nanoscopy techniques
December 12, 2019 -- Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences describe a new unconventional super-resolution imaging, or nanoscopy, technique that processes nanometer resolution with fewer frames than traditional methods. This combinatorial process involves several processes to achieve super-resolution, overcome the diffraction of light, and capture changing dynamics with a faster technique.  Discuss
Scientists develop a first-of-its-kind in vitro 3D neural tissue model
December 12, 2019 -- Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully used stem cells to engineer nerve tissues as 3D models of neural networks to study brain function. The work was published in the December 3 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Discuss
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