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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

Low-carb vaccines?

An international research team led by Australia’s Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) has shown for the first time that carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play a key role in infecting their mosquito and human hosts, which may lead to the development of improved new vaccines.

By delivering the gene for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, one of the proteins that is a frequent target of autoimmune attack in multiple sclerosis, to the liver, researchers have been able to induce systemic immune tolerance. Depending on the timing of treatment, the approach could prevent or reverse the symptoms of even late-stage experimental autoimmune encephalitis, the mouse equivalent of MS.

WNT some, lose some

A study showing that an inhibitor of WNT signaling had differential effects on the lung and bone metastasis of breast cancer could have important implications for treating breast cancer, Chinese researchers reported in the Sept. 11, 2017, online edition of Nature Cell Biology.

CrTN victory for neutrophils

HONG KONG – A recent University of Hong Kong (HKU) study has discovered a novel non-antibiotic drug with potent efficacy against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which represents a promising lead compound for development of anti-virulence drugs against S. aureus.

Drugs for Algernon

Japanese researchers have identified a potent novel enhancer of neural stem cells (NSCs) and, hence, neurogenesis, with its prenatal administration having been shown to normalize both brain structure and function in mouse models of Down syndrome.

Primate study

The implantation of dopaminergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has for the first time been shown to restore nerve function and improve movement in monkey models of Parkinson’s disease (PD), in a new Japanese study.

'Chemical mimicry'

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a very large receptor family targeted by a very large number of endogenous ligands, as well as a respectable fraction of FDA-approved drugs. And by denizens of the human microbiome.

Aging gracefully

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are stem cells that have been generated from adult cells through the application of Yamanaka factors, a cocktail of transcription factors named after iPSC pioneer Shinya Yamanaka. Such rejuvenated cells could potentially be a great source of autologous cells for transplantation.

Everybody hurts differently

By studying both postmortem brains of depressed humans and animal models of stress-induced depression, researchers have discovered that the gene expression patterns associated with depression are very different in males and females.

Cast Your Vote

Should there be restrictions on the use of gene-editing technology?: