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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
New COVID-19 vaccine platforms emerge, are effective in preclinical models
February 5, 2021 -- Additional vaccine approaches are necessary to fight COVID-19. Two new vaccine candidates have demonstrated their effectiveness in animal models, and their potential clinical applications are described in two new research studies. Read More
Recurrent deletions help SARS-CoV-2 mutate to escape antibodies
February 4, 2021 -- Researchers have identified a pattern of deletions in the spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can prevent antibody binding, which is part of the body's immune response to a foreign virus. These deletions occur as a recurring pattern of evolution, according to a study published in Science on February 3. Read More
Researchers innovate drug discovery screening techniques
February 3, 2021 -- Researchers from around the globe gathered to discuss innovations in laboratory techniques such as phenotypic profiling and flow cytometry for drug discovery applications at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2021 virtual meeting. Read More
Machine learning improves COVID-19 drug repurposing efforts
February 2, 2021 -- A novel machine-learning technique leverages gene expression data to improve drug repurposing and can even predict interactions between drug candidates and targets based on incomplete data. The framework, which was described in Nature Machine Learning on February 1, was applied to drug repurposing for COVID-19 to generate potential lead compounds in line with clinical evidence. Read More
Acute SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits distinct antibody, T-cell responses
February 1, 2021 -- An analysis of antibody and T-cell responses during the entire timeline of SARS-CoV-2 infection reveals the different ways the immune system responds to the virus in the early phases of COVID-19 disease. The results, published in Cell Reports on January 21, suggest that T-cell responses may be important for controlling infection while antibodies provide longer protection. Read More
Protein biosensors show promise for SARS-CoV-2 testing
February 1, 2021 -- Scientists have developed biosensors to detect SARS-CoV-2 proteins and antibodies in simulated nasal fluids and human sera, according to a study published in Nature on January 27. The approach promises to be less costly and time-consuming than current COVID-19 testing methods. Read More
SARS-CoV-2 mutation doesn't affect viral spread, but may limit therapies
January 29, 2021 -- As SARS-CoV-2 spreads around the globe, mutations of the virus are inevitable. An international team of researchers sought to define the effects of a specific receptor-binding motif mutation on viral fitness, clinical outcomes, and resistance to therapeutic antibodies. The findings of the study were published on January 28 in Cell. Read More
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