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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

NOTHING'S PERFECT, UNFORTUNATELY

The "five star general" of cancer genomics and discoverer of a number of key oncogenes has now confirmed that two-thirds of cancer-causing mutations are the result of random errors which occur when normal cells divide.

CARING FOR GALLSTONES

A Chinese study has reported a promising new approach to the prevention and treatment of cholesterol gallstone disease (CGD), by reducing the biliary output of cholesterol via activation of constitutive androstane receptors (CAR), which are present in tissues of the liver and small intestine.

GIVE ME A SIGN

Comprehensive analysis of mutational patterns has demonstrated that roughly 20 percent of breast tumors showed a mutational signature that was characteristic of BRCA mutations. Even without BRCA mutations, the mutational pattern suggests such tumors might have the same sensitivity to poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors as tumors with detectable BRCA mutations.

CRC-LING THE WAGONS

The results of a new Taiwanese study into the little known role of circular RNA (circRNA) in colorectal cancer (CRC) pathogenesis suggest a new approach is needed to treatment of the cancer, in which therapy should not only target proteins, but also non-protein coding RNAs.

CT VS. CSC

Combining two monoclonal antibody (MAb) cancer therapies as one treatment not only shrank bulk tumors, but also targeted the cancer stem cells (CSCs) that can be responsible for disease relapse, according to a new Chinese study reported in the March 8, 2017, edition of Science Translational Medicine.

AUTOIMMUNITY: BETTER RED & DEAD

Engineered blood cells were able to alleviate and prevent symptoms of type I diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis (MS), two of the more common autoimmune diseases, by inducing immune tolerance to antigens.

Pentamidine, an antiparasitic drug that is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines and is used to treat conditions including leishmaniasis and pneumocystis pneumonia, sensitized gram-negative bacteria to antibiotics that are usually effective only for treating gram-positive bugs, including bacterial strains that were resistant to colistin.

SHORTAGE TO STOCKPILE?

Silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles that can be used for the rapid warming of frozen tissues could pave the way for cryopreservation of organs, if the warming method can be scaled up sufficiently.

'ASK'ING FOR NASH HELP

A study by Chinese researchers has identified a key suppressor of apoptosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and then showed that a small peptide segment derived from it ameliorated the currently untreatable liver disease in mice and nonhuman primates.

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