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THE BIOWORLD BIOME: Our Habitat for All Things Science

CROI 2015
Researchers gathered in Seattle last week to share their latest progress in fighting HIV and the infectious diseases that come in its wake at the 2015 annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. As with most diseases, success in the fight against HIV has always been helped or hindered by the broader landscape that those efforts are embedded in.

A class of experimental therapeutics being tested in cancer and wound healing may have found another home. Researchers from Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. and collaborators at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported that treatment with Selective Inhibitors of Nuclear Export slowed down disease progression in mouse models of MS and axonal damage.

REDUCE AND REMODEL

Two independent research teams have used nanotechnology approaches to directly treat atherosclerotic plaques, by preventing their formation and stabilizing them, respectively.

HONG KONG — The results of a study by Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo have helped to elucidate the previously unknown underlying mechanism whereby two commonly prescribed drugs in patients at risk for heart disease can adversely interact, a finding that could lead to improved clinical care of patients taking those medications.

HONG KONG – A highly potent small-molecule inhibitor designed by Korean scientists has been shown both in vivo and in vitro to be a promising candidate treatment for breast cancer that preferentially targets both breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) and bulk tumor cells, thereby potentially reducing the chances of relapse.
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 12
As antibiotic resistance grows, it is increasingly recognized as not just a public health issue. Drug-resistant bacteria, like viruses with pandemic potential, have the capacity to overwhelm health care systems and cause broader social disruption. Even now, without such social disruption, their overall impact is shocking.
IMPRECISION MEDICINE
Researchers have developed a chemically modified form of insulin whose activity depends, to a degree, on blood sugar levels. They hope their "smart" insulin will allow better blood sugar control for diabetes patients. Diabetes is a global health problem, and one whose prevalence is increasing rapidly. There is no great mystery to why type 2 diabetes, which is a lifestyle disease, is a growing problem.
Japanese researchers have for the first time successfully induced human embryonic stem cells to self-organize into a functional three-dimensional structure similar to the cerebellum, providing clues on how to recreate neural structures in the laboratory and potentially leading to new drug discoveries.
HONG KONG — Researchers from the Riken Institute in Japan have demonstrated for the first time the profound effect that chronic hepatitis infections can have on the genetic mutations found in liver tumors, potentially paving the way for development of tailored therapies for the different types of liver cancer. The research was part of the ongoing International Cancer Genome Consortium project.

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