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Researchers engineer ‘Cas9′ animal models to study disease, inform drug discovery

Researchers engineer ‘Cas9′ animal models to study disease, inform drug discovery

Researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new mouse model to simplify application of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. The researchers successfully used the new “Cas9 mouse” model to edit multiple genes in a variety of cell types, and to model lung adenocarcinoma, one of the most lethal human cancers. Continue reading

Surprising diversity of antibody family provides clues for HIV vaccine design

Surprising diversity of antibody family provides clues for HIV vaccine design

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have described how a single family of antibodies that broadly neutralizes different strains of HIV has evolved remarkably diverse structures to attack a vulnerable site on the virus. The findings provide clues for the design of a future HIV vaccine. “In a sense, this antibody family takes more than one shot on goal in order to hit divergent forms of HIV,” said Ian A. Continue reading

Biomarkers, stem cells offer new ways to treat deadly gut disease in premature babies

Biomarkers, stem cells offer new ways to treat deadly gut disease in premature babies

Premature babies face a host of medical challenges at birth, but none as deadly and mysterious as a disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The condition creates an inexplicable combination of inflammation and infection that causes parts of the intestine to die. NEC progresses at a ruthless speed, leaving physicians with few options — typically supportive care, emergency surgery or antibiotics Continue reading

‘Skin-like’ device monitors cardiovascular and skin health

‘Skin-like’ device monitors cardiovascular and skin health

A new wearable medical device can quickly alert a person if they are having cardiovascular trouble or if it’s simply time to put on some skin moisturizer, reports a Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study. The small device, approximately five centimeters square, can be placed directly on the skin and worn 24/7 for around-the-clock health monitoring. The wireless technology uses thousands of tiny liquid crystals on a flexible substrate to sense heat Continue reading

Bacterial ‘communication system’ could be used to stop, kill cancer cells, study finds

Bacterial ‘communication system’ could be used to stop, kill cancer cells, study finds

Cancer, while always dangerous, truly becomes life-threatening when cancer cells begin to spread to different areas throughout the body. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that a molecule used as a communication system by bacteria can be manipulated to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Senthil Kumar, an assistant research professor and assistant director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says this communication system can be used to “tell” cancer cells how to act, or even to die on command. Continue reading

Stem cells used to learn how common mutation in Asians affects heart health

Stem cells used to learn how common mutation in Asians affects heart health

Over 500 million people worldwide carry a genetic mutation that disables a common metabolic protein called ALDH2. The mutation, which predominantly occurs in people of East Asian descent, leads to an increased risk of heart disease and poorer outcomes after a heart attack. It also causes facial flushing when carriers drink alcohol. Continue reading

Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

The millions of people who undergo major surgery each year have no way of knowing how long it will take them to recover from the operation. Continue reading

Alcohol consumption influenced by genes, research shows

Alcohol consumption influenced by genes, research shows

How people perceive and taste alcohol depends on genetic factors, and that influences whether they “like” and consume alcoholic beverages, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Continue reading

Clues to superbug evolution: Microbiologists sequence entire genome of a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain

Clues to superbug evolution: Microbiologists sequence entire genome of a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain

Imagine going to the hospital with one disease and coming home with something much worse, or not coming home at all. With the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistance pathogens, healthcare-associated infections have become a serious threat. On any given day about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one such infection and as many as one in nine die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Continue reading

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Critically ill ICU patients lose almost all of their gut microbes and the ones left aren’t good

Researchers at the University of Chicago have shown that after a long stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) only a handful of pathogenic microbe species remain behind in patients’ intestines. Continue reading