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Viral geometry mystery solved, or at least they have a theory
September 27, 2019 -- A new theory, published in Nature Communications on September 27, accurately predicts the positions of proteins within icosahedral (twenty-sided) protein containers of viruses. Researchers at the University of York in the UK and San Diego State University in the US state that this discovery revolutionizes scientific understanding of how viruses form, evolve and infect hosts.
Form-switching bacteria may cause antibiotic resistance
September 26, 2019 -- For the first time, scientists have confirmed that bacteria can change forms to avoid being targeted by antibiotics in the human body. Researchers from Newcastle University used state-of-the-art technology to identify bacteria with this unique characteristic. They show, in a study published in Nature Communications on September 26, that these bacteria can survive without a cell wall, potentially leading to antibiotic resistance.  Discuss
Super-resolution imaging characterizes individual synaptic proteins
September 26, 2019 -- It is now possible to rapidly image synaptic proteins at high-resolution thanks to a new technique developed by researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of Harvard. Details of the technique which use fluorescent nucleic acid probes to label different proteins are described the September 26 Nature Communications article.  Discuss
New synthetic vaccine fights infectious disease with assistance from the data cloud
September 25, 2019 -- A new synthetic vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Bristol and the French National Centre for Scientific Research can be stored at warmer temperatures due to an engineered scaffold design. The details of the Chikungunya vaccine candidate are published in Science Advances on September 25.  Discuss
New research helps scientists understand the genetic cause of immune disease
September 24, 2019 -- Research published in Nature Genetics on September 23 helps narrow down the search for molecular drivers for immune disease which could result in the identification of new drug targets and development of new therapies illnesses such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis.  Discuss
Exploring new tools with class 1 CRISPR systems
September 23, 2019 -- A biomedical engineering collaboration between researchers at Duke University and North Carolina State University explores new frontiers of CRISPR technology utilizing the less well-known class 1 CRISPR system. The study was published in Nature Biotechnology on September 23.  Discuss
New research suggests circular RNAs are important for cardiac healing
September 20, 2019 -- Researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University describe how circular RNA fills a critical role during tissue repair after heart attacks, due to a unique ability to absorb harmful molecules. The study was published September 20 in Nature Communications.  Discuss
European cancer drug approvals under scrutiny for high risk of bias
September 19, 2019 -- Nearly half of all cancer drugs approved in Europe between 2014 and 2016 were deemed high risk of bias, indicating treatment effects may have been exaggerated. These were the findings of a study conducted by researchers at 7 institutions in the UK and US and published in BMJ on September 18.  Discuss
Personalized disease models help to fight pediatric cancers
September 19, 2019 -- Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have developed a new rapid technique the genetically modify mice to produce personalized animal models, for example, pediatric glioma.  Discuss
Novel "death star" nanoparticle discovered for potential use in targeted therapies
September 18, 2019 -- A novel nanoparticle has been reported by researchers at San Diego State University with the potential to serve as a delivery system for therapeutics. The research published on September 17 in eLife describes how Metamorphosis Associated Contractile structures (MACs) trigger metamorphosis in tubeworms. Moreover, they identify a novel protein (with syringe-like structures, nicknamed Death Star for the effect it has) responsible for the activation of metamorphosis.  Discuss
Repurposed drug shows potential to slow neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease patients
September 17, 2019 -- Collaborative research from the University of Iowa and researchers in China and Spain, show evidence that a current drug used to treat prostate cancer may improve Parkinson's disease (PD) symptoms by slow neurodegeneration. The results from experimental models and clinical database analysis were published on September 16, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  Discuss
Chemists develop new technique to build super-active catalysts
September 13, 2019 -- New highly desirable catalysts, made mostly of precious metals, have 24 different faces that present atoms at the surface in ways that make them more catalytically active than current commercially available products.  Discuss
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