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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

HONG KONG – A novel small-molecule Wnt inhibitor possessing the potential to eradicate colorectal cancer stem cells (CSCs) may provide a new therapeutic option for patients with drug-refractory colorectal cancer, a team of Japanese researchers reported in the Aug. 26, 2016, edition of Nature Communications.

OVEREDUCATING T CELLS

The lungs are a frequent site of metastases in part because T cells sense oxygen levels and are more tolerant of foreign antigens in high-oxygen environments, scientists reported in the Aug. 25, 2016, advance online issue of Cell.

SEE? NO SAW

Targeting the intrinsic clotting pathway may offer a way to reduce the risk of clotting without increasing bleeding risk, which is the tradeoff of all currently marketed antithrombotics.

VELCRO FOR DNA

Dendrimers are highly branched nanoparticles that are being explored in a variety of biomedical settings. They have been tested clinically to deliver chemotherapy and imaging agents, and are being tested preclinically with payloads that include small molecules and nucleic acids.

SAYONARA, SURGERY?

HONG KONG – A protein that promotes angiogenesis can successfully be used to treat acute myocardial infarction (MI) in mice, offering the prospect of heart bypass without the need for surgery.

IF YOU CAN VISUALIZE IT, YOU CAN DO IT

A combination of virtual reality, tactile feedback and exoskeleton training has allowed paralyzed individuals to regain both voluntary motion and sensation below the level of their spinal cord injury, scientists reported today.

WHEN T CELLS LIVE WITH B CELLS

HONG KONG – Two research teams have independently identified a specialized cytotoxic killer T-cell population and shown that boosting the number and killing ability of those cells may lead to an effective treatment for currently incurable lifelong viral infections, notably HIV.

DIABETES, DUCHENNE'S, DIAPHRAGM?

Researchers this week reported both progress in their ability to study long-term mechanical ventilation, and in understanding how its negative consequences might be blunted. Mechanical ventilation – breathing that is assisted or controlled by a machine – is a staple of intensive care.

LAMPREYS 'AID' CRISPR

HONG KONG – A modified version of the revolutionary gene-editing system known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – cellular apoptosis susceptibility protein (CRISPR/Cas), allows researchers to perform DNA substitutions without actually cleaving the DNA, according to a new Japanese study led by researchers at the University of Kobe.

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