Fresh hope for relapsed T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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BioTechniques News Tristan Free A global collaboration between Tampere University (Finland), the Massachusetts General Research Institute and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (both MA, USA) has found a new drug combination that is effective against T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia – otherwise known as T-ALL.  T-ALL is a form of ALL (the most common childhood cancer) […]

Key proteins behind blood vessel growth discovered

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Blood vessels often grow in nutrient-deficient sites, and now researchers identify key proteins that regulate this process.   Blood vessels ensure that organs get the nutrients and oxygen needed to function. However, several conditions, such as age-related cardiovascular conditions, can damage blood vessels, while abnormal growths like malignant tumors can result in […]

Computer model identifies cancerous driver mutations

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby Researchers have developed a computer model to scan the entire genome of cancer cells to identify driver mutations, which could help researchers find novel drug targets. Cancer is only driven by some DNA mutations; however, cancer cells have thousands of different mutations present, making it difficult to differentiate harmful driver mutations […]

Nanoparticle sensors differentiate bacterial and viral pneumonia

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby Researchers have developed a nanoparticle sensor that can distinguish bacterial pneumonia from viral pneumonia, which could be used to determine the appropriate course of treatment.  Senior author Sangeeta Bhatia and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; MA, USA) have developed a sensor that can indicate the microbial cause of […]

Synonymous mutations break their statement of neutrality

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Although previously thought to be neutral, research in yeast suggests that synonymous point mutations may have strongly nonneutral effects.   A group of researchers from the University of Michigan (MI, USA) have evidence that synonymous, or silent, mutations can be harmful to yeast growth. Using budding yeast, researchers compared the fitness of […]

Can we worm our way out of the plastic predicament?

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi ‘Superworms’ acting as mini plastic recycling plants could pave the way for a process scale-up to life-size recycling plants. About 400 million tons of plastic waste is produced each year, globally. This poses a serious environmental problem that drastically impacts the health of our planet. Solutions are urgently needed to combat […]

Want to live longer? Look on the bright side of life

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi What is the universal secret to living longer for women? It could be as simple as changing your mindset. Growing evidence suggests that positive psychological factors are associated with a reduced risk of disease and mortality. Now, a team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (MA, USA), have […]

Bacteria can adapt and overcome ‘last resort’ antibiotics

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A hospital strain of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) has enabled mechanistic insight into how antibiotic resistance develops. Antibiotic resistance is named by the WHO as one of the biggest threats to human health and food security, globally. Superbug infections are unable to be treated by antibiotics due to the rise of […]

Helpers indeed: immune cells combat breast cancer

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby A novel immunotherapy for treating breast cancer has been designed in mice and could be applicable to the treatment of other forms of cancer in the future. A team of researchers led by Shawn Demehri (Harvard Medical School, MA, USA) now understands the mechanism underlying the role that specific immune cells, […]

Mosquito saliva may hold the answers to tropical disease vaccine development

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BioTechniques News Tristan Free A molecule in mosquito saliva has been identified as a potential vaccination target, providing protection against viruses that cause Dengue and Zika. Supervisor Clive McKimmie, lead author Daniella Lefteri and colleagues from the University of Leeds (UK) have discovered a proinflammatory peptide in mosquito saliva, called sialokinin, that has the potential […]

What caused the recent monkeypox outbreaks?

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby Monkeypox cases have been rising rapidly in non-endemic countries around the world; but what caused the recent outbreaks? At the beginning of May 2022, countries around the world began to report new monkeypox cases in individuals that had no travel links to areas in which monkeypox is endemic. With little epidemiological […]

The GATeway to treating neurological disorders

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby One of the smallest protein structures ever determined using cryo-EM, GAT1 is fundamental to GABA neurotransmission and its structural determination is pivotal to developing therapies for a range of GABA-associated neurological disorders. A cryo-electron microscopy (EM) study led by Cornelius Gati at the University of Southern California Dornsife (CA, USA) has […]

Cas7-11 made to fit into a single viral vector

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby The CRISPR protein Cas7-11 can precisely edit RNA and has now been re-engineered to fit into a single viral vector, making it more viable for RNA editing in living cells. In 2021, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; MA, USA) discovered the first CRISPR enzyme that was able to […]

Boosting fluorescent sensors to get a WIFF of successful glioblastoma treatment

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BioTechniques News Beatrice Bowlby Researchers enhance the signal emitted by fluorescing nanosensors, improving the signal-to-noise ratio by 50-fold, allowing for deep tissue detection.   Fluorescent sensors can be used to label and image a variety of molecules in living cells; however, the fluorescent signal is lost if the sensors are implanted too deep into tissues. To […]

See the light: treating bacterial infections with molecular machines

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Visible light-powered molecular machines could be used to efficiently and effectively treat bacterial infections in vivo by physically disrupting the bacterial membrane. James Tour and fellow researchers from Rice University (TX, USA) have recently developed a molecular machine (MM) that utilizes visible light to puncture both gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial cell […]

Is your microbial QC testing stuck in the past?

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi Membrane filtration is becoming one of the more simple ways to test for microbial contamination and has many different applications from testing drinking water to environmental samples and pharmaceuticals. This technique has improved as membrane technology advances and new protocols are designed for more challenging samples. Here, Pall Laboratories writes about […]

Under the sea? How coral reef health monitoring may come ashore

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi A new AI method that can accurately detect coral reef health through sound recordings may remove the need for intensive visual studies by expert divers. A team of researchers from the University of Exeter (UK) has trained artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize the health of coral reefs from sound recordings. A […]

Bust the gut: novel drug delivery method targets the colon to treat IBD

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BioTechniques News Aisha Al-Janabi By coating a capsule with a polymer that can be broken down by gut microbes, a team of scientists has developed a new targeted oral infliximab treatment for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A research collaboration between deep tech innovation organisation, CPI (Redcar, UK), and pharma companies Intract Pharma (London, […]