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CRISPR Tool, in “CARPID Diem” Spirit, Detects RNA-Protein Interactions in Living Cells

A CRISPR-assisted RNA–protein interaction detection method (CARPID) has been developed to detect RNA-binding proteins. CARPID can avoid the limitations of other systems for studying RNA-binding proteins because it leverages CRISPR–CasRx-based RNA targeting and proximity labeling. In fact, CARPID can identify binding proteins of specific long noncoding RNAs in the native cellular context.

Chemotherapy Can Trigger Blood Vessel Anomalies Leading to Drug Resistance

Hokkaido University scientists and collaborators have identified how inflammatory changes in tumors caused by chemotherapy trigger blood vessel anomalies leading to drug-resistance. Using a mouse model, the scientists also discovered that chemotherapy was more effective through a combined usage of an inhibitor and anticancer drug.

IsoPlexis’ Unique, Predictive Biology

To fully characterize cellular function and how it pertains to patient outcomes such as antitumor response or disease progression, IsoPlexis’ single-cell functional cytometry plays a critical role. IsoPlexis is the only company capable of deep functional multi-omics or complete single-cell proteomics. And, this is being done all on one fully automated system, the IsoLight.

Pfizer, BioNTech Publish “Encouraging” Interim Phase I/II Data for COVID-19 Vaccine Construct

BNT162b1 is the most advanced of four mRNA-based vaccine constructs under study by Pfizer and BioNTech in their “Project Lightspeed” clinical program. Later this month, the companies anticipate announcing additional preliminary Phase I/II data from Europe, as well as launching a global Phase IIb/III safety and efficacy trial that will assess one or more constructs in, potentially, up to 30,000 healthy participants.

Microbiome Signature Could Predict Cirrhosis Noninvasively

A team of investigators, led by scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, have just published data showing that stool microbiomes—the collection of microorganisms found in fecal matter and the gastrointestinal tract—of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients are distinct enough to potentially be used to accurately predict which persons with NAFLD are at highest risk for having cirrhosis.

MRSA Vaccine that Targets Toxic Molecules Protects Mice from Deadly Infection

Early experiments in mice have shown how a vaccine that targets the toxic leukocidin molecules released by Staphylococcal bacteria can protect animals against infection with potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcal aureus. Rather than targeting the bacteria themselves, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine team’s toxin-targeting vaccine effectively blocks leukocidin-mediated immune evasion, allowing the mouse immune system to generate antibodies against the MRSA pathogen, and also stopping the bacteria from killing other key immune system cells.

First Point-of-Care Test for COVID-19 Leveraging CRISPR Technology

Sherlock Biosciences and binx health have joined forces to develop the first CRISPR-based point-of-care diagnostic test for COVID-19. SHERLOCK CRISPR Technology combined with binx health’s molecular io platform will enable rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 in retail and near-patient settings. This union of technologies is designed to enable physicians, clinicians, and other healthcare workers on the front lines to make on-the-spot care decisions and to control and prevent further infections.

Sweetened Chaperone Lets Cells Follow Proteomic Road to Ruin

When GRP94 undergoes stressor-induced aberrant glycosylation, it moves from the endoplasmic reticulum, where it functions as a chaperone protein, to the plasma membrane, where it functions as a maladaptive scaffolding protein, resulting in proteome-wide connectivity dysfunctions worsening pathologic activity, such as that driving cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. The variant GRP94 has already been targeted by a prototype drug.

Moderna and Catalent Collaborate on COVID-19 Vaccine

Coronavirus deal covers large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing of Moderna’s mRNA-based candidate (mRNA-1273).

Brain Cell Study Opens Door to New Therapies for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic brain diseases, affecting over 65 million people worldwide. While current drug treatments are usually effective in suppressing seizures, they do not work in one third of people with epilepsy. Now scientists report they have identified a critical new step in how brain cells function that may lead to new treatment approaches for people with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Bioprocess 4.0 Approach Will Help Biopharma Achieve Regulators’ Goals

Approach will play role in bridging the gap between science and engineering and let biopharma to meet regulators’ quality requirements.

Digitalized Twin Model of the Workhorse

Diving into how virtual Chinese hamster ovary cells really work in biomanufacturing operations via a genome-scale metabolic model even as many of their metabolic processes remain a mystery.

INOVIO Reports Positive Interim Phase I Data for COVID-19 DNA Vaccine, Joins “Warp Speed” Primate Study

Though preliminary analyses of INOVIO's Phase I results showed that 34 out of 36 trial participants completing the study (94%) “demonstrated overall immune responses” six weeks after receiving two doses of INO-4800 in the study, investors drove the stock price 12% in early trading after seeking more details.

CAR-T Therapy Gets Some Structural Engineering Guidance

A method known as CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. It modifies a patient's own T-cells by adding a piece of an antibody that recognizes unique features on the surface of cancer cells. In a new study, researchers report that they have dramatically broadened the potential targets of this approach—their engineered T-cells attack a variety of solid-tumor cancer cells from humans and mice.

Bioengineered Uteri in Animal Model Proven to Support Pregnancy

Researchers from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) were able to show that bioengineered uteri in an animal model developed the native tissue-like structures needed to support normal reproductive function. This research introduces new avenues for potentially creating tissue substitutes derived from a patient's own cells to treat uterine defects.

DNA Origami Vaccine Particles Developed against HIV and Potentially SARS-CoV-2

MIT researchers have used DNA origami to fold DNA into a virus-like particle coated with HIV antigens in precise patterns, which may eventually be used as an HIV vaccine. The DNA origami particles mimic the size and shape of viruses, which in vitro tests showed provoked a strong immune response from human immune cells. The same approach could feasibly be used to design DNA origami vaccines for a wide variety of viral diseases, and the team is already adapting the technology to develop a potential vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

In COVID-19, Blood Clots May Form via NETosis

An overactive immune response may lead to increased blood clotting, disease severity, and death from COVID-19. The response, called NETosis, is the generation of extracellular virus-trapping web-like structures by neutrophils. NETosis, however, becomes increasingly hyperactive (and NETosis biomarkers become increasingly evident) in people on ventilators and people who die from the disease. NETosis induced by COVID-19 could be kept within bounds by neonatal NET-Inhibitory Factor (nNIF).

Gut Microbiome Helps People Resist Cholera

Cholera affects millions of people annually and can be deadly if left untreated. Now scientists at the University of California, Riverside have discovered how the gut microbiome helps people resist cholera. Their findings may one day lead to understanding how the microbiome changes with COVID-19.

New Single-Cell Technique Reveals Genetic Diversity of Cancer Tumors

A new technique developed by USC researchers and 10x Genomics may offer a higher resolution view into cancer not previously possible. Researchers simultaneously sequenced the genomes of close to 1,500 single cells, revealing genetic diversity previously hidden in a well-studied melanoma cell line.

Vaxart Oral COVID-19 Vaccine Joins Trump’s “Warp Speed,” Ramps Up Manufacturing Capacity

Vaxart's room temperature stable tablet vaccine has been selected for a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed. The study is designed to demonstrate the efficacy of Vaxart’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, based on the company’s Vector-Adjuvant-Antigen Standardized Technology (VAAST™) Platform.

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