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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

PROTECTING RUDOLPH FROM PRIONS

Scientists have developed a vaccine that partially protected deer from developing chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease that is the deer equivalent of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other prion diseases, as well as Scrapie in sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or 'mad cow disease') in cattle.

LONDON – Scientists reported that they have found an ideal drug target that could lead to a treatment for lung cancer. The study, by an international team of researchers, identified a molecule that is found in lung cancer cells but not in normal lung tissue. Tests in human lung cancer cell lines showed that the molecule, called FKBP10, is needed for the growth of cells bearing a common cancer-causing mutation.
HONG KONG – Research into the different mechanisms contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance may lead not only to the discovery of new methods for preventing the acquisition of microbial resistance, but also potentially may result in the development of new antibiotics, according to Japanese scientists. The treatment of bacterial infections with antibiotics is becoming more and more difficult worldwide.

Broadly neutralizing antibodies to dengue virus that recognize a repeated motif on the viral envelope might pave the way for a better vaccine, scientists reported. The results, corresponding author Gavin Screaton of Imperial College London said, are the first proof of principle that one antigen can be used to immunize against all four serotypes of dengue.

RELAPSING MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
HONG KONG – Early oral administration of an immune modulator that is normally used for treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) significantly reduced brain inflammation and improved the clinical outcomes of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients enrolled in a small, early phase pilot study conducted in China.
HONG KONG — The elucidation of the core structure of a secretory channel in the bacterial outer membrane may provide a target for the development of novel antibiotics aimed at attenuating biofilm formation, Chinese scientists report in the Dec. 1, 2014, early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Human antibodies produced by transchromosomal cows protected hamsters from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, suggesting that passive vaccination could be a useful strategy against hantavirus. The results, which were published in the Nov. 26, 2014, issue of Science Translational Medicine, "emerged out of an effort to develop a human vaccine that we are still working on," explained corresponding author Jay Hooper.

LONDON – Gene therapy for babies born with a rare, but severe type of inherited heart disease could become a realistic option in the future, scientists suggest, following successful prevention of disease in a related mouse model. The findings give hope that it may be possible to use gene therapy to prevent neonatal cardiomyopathy.

HONG KONG – The breakthrough discovery of a new type of immune cells may play a key role in development of a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), a multi-disciplinary National University of Singapore (NUS) research team reported in Cell Research.

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