Medicine

Rapid Test can ID Unknown Causes of Infections in the Body

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco have developed a single clinical laboratory test capable of determining the microbe afflicting patients hospitalized with serious infections in as little as 6 hours — regardless of what body fluid is sampled, the type of infectious agent, or whether physicians start out with any clues as to what the culprit may be. The authors of the study stated, “We think this one metagenomic test can potentially replace all PCR-based DNA tests now being used to detect hundreds of organisms that can’t be adequately cultured”.

Peptide from Beets May Help Treat Certain Inflammatory Diseases

With the vast genetic information available, researchers can use their databases to analyze individual compounds in plants and animals to determine if their function can be of any pharmaceutical value to humans. Using this method, Christain Gruber and his team at MedUni Vienna’s Institute of Pharmacology identified and isolated a peptide in beetroot that can be a potential drug candidate.

Engineered Immune Cells Elicit Broad Response to HIV in Mice

Unlike many deadly viruses, HIV still lacks a vaccine. The virus continues to prove especially tricky to prevent with conventional antibodies, partly because of how quickly it evolves in the body. Scientists at Scripps Research Institute devised a new vaccine approach that relies on genetically engineered immune cells from the patient’s body.

Neuron Developing Protein Plays Role in Pancreatic Cancer Cell Survival 🧫 πŸ§ πŸ”¬

Partly funded by Worldwide Cancer Research, researchers from the UK studied not only the expression of a particular protein, Netrin-G1, responsible for protecting pancreatic cancer cells, but also various factors that can target it. They observed that Netrin-G1 was able to supplement cancer cells by allowing CAFs to deliver nutrients to the cells and inhibit anti-tumor immune responses.

First Treatment For Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Approved by FDA πŸ§¬πŸ’Šβ˜‘οΈ

The U.S Food and Drug Administration approved Zokinvy (or lonafarnib), a treatment developed by Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, as a treatment for HGPS and some progeroid laminopathies. If untreated, children with the condition have a life expectancy of 14 years, especially due to heart problems caused by accelerated aging. The treatment, zokinvy, helps reduce the buildup of the protein by inhibiting farnesyltransferase, an enzyme that plays a key role in sequencing progerin.

New Drug Guides Stem Cells to Desired Location to Improve Their Ability to Heal πŸ’ŠπŸ©ΉπŸ§«

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Medical Discovery Institute have designed a new drug capable of luring stem cells to damaged tissue and improve treatment efficacyβ€”a scientific first and major advance in the field of regenerative medicine. The drug could improve current stem cell therapies designed to treat neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, stroke, ALS, and more.

Light-Controlled Immunotherapy Offers New Way to Kill Inaccessible Cancer Cells πŸ¦ πŸ’‘πŸ”¬

A team of scientists from the University of California San Diego have engineered a light-controllable modular system for gene activation which can be used in CAR T cells. The system, called LINTAD, is extremely versatile as reporter gene activation can be customized, making it a handy tool for controlling gene regulation, with applications in cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

Engineered Virus Breaks Down Barriers in Metastatic Cancer Treatments πŸ¦ πŸ’‰πŸ”¬

Researchers from Case Western Reserve and Emory re-engineered human adenovirus to not be detected by parts of the immune system so that it is possible to be used to kill cancer cells and avoid an inflammatory response from the immune system.

AI Predicts Which Drug Combinations Kill Cancer Cells πŸ¦ πŸ’ŠπŸ€–

When treating patients with advanced cancers, healthcare professionals typically use a combination of therapies. In addition to surgery, patients are often treated with radiation therapy, medication, or both. Combinatorial drug therapies often improve the effectiveness of the treatment and can reduce harmful side-effects if the dosage of individual drugs can be reduced. However, experimental screening of drug combinations is very slow and expensive, and therefore, often fails to discover the full benefits of combination therapy.

mRNA Technology May Transform the Way Science Fight Diseases πŸ¦ πŸ’‰πŸ§¬

The COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna both use mRNA technology, and the success of these two candidate vaccines marks a major turning point in the history of vaccines and could lead to major advances against a variety of diseases. This new mRNA tech has been in the works for decades and had advanced enough to be put into use for this year’s burst of COVID-related funding and attention.

How Nanotechnology Helps mRNA Vaccines Work πŸ§¬πŸ’‰πŸ¦ 

While the first two Covid-19 vaccines relying on messenger RNA technology speed toward regulatory approval, it is worth remembering the lipid nanoparticles in charge of transporting them to where they need to go in the body. Lipid nanoparticles are the fatty molecular envelopes that help mRNA evade the body’s biological gatekeepers and reach their target cell without being degraded. They are enabling some of the most advanced technologies being used in medicine.

Liver Cancer Significantly Suppressed by New Treatment Combination πŸ¦ πŸ‘ΎπŸ’Š

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have discovered a treatment combination capable of significantly reducing tumor growth in liver cancer. The discovery provides a potentially new therapeutic approach to treating one of the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide.

New Compound Closely Related to a Psychedelic Could Treat Depression and Addiction πŸ’ŠπŸ§ͺ🧠

A non-hallucinogenic version of the psychedelic drug ibogaine has been developed by chemists at the University of California, Davis. The new compound holds the potential to treat addiction, depression, and other psychiatric disorders. β€œPsychedelics are some of the most powerful drugs we know of that affect the brain,” said David Olson, assistant professor of chemistry at UC Davis. β€œIt’s unbelievable how little we know about them.”

Universal Flu Vaccine Shows Success in First Clinical Trial Phase πŸ¦ πŸ’‰πŸ§ͺ

Results from a phase 1 trial have revealed that it may be possible to immunize people against all strains of influenza. Earlier this year, researchers published a paper on the development of a universal flu vaccine by targeting the stem, or stalk, instead of the head.

Will the Next Generation of Vaccines be Inhaled Rather than Injected? πŸ’‰πŸ’¨πŸ‘ƒ

Researchers have demonstrated in a proof-of-concept study that a phage-based inhalation delivery system for vaccines generates potent antibody responses in both mice and non-human primates, without causing any lung damage. The findings suggest that a safe and effective lung delivery system could one day be used for vaccines and therapeutics against respiratory diseases.

Using Targeted Microbubbles to Precisely Administer Toxic Cancer Drugs πŸŽ―πŸ’ŠπŸ¦ 

Researchers at the University of Leeds have described how they have targeted microbubbles to carry toxic cancer drugs directly at the site of the tumor. Microbubbles are small manufactured, gas-filled bubbles and are widely used in medical imaging and targeted drug delivery.

New Class of Antibiotics Active Against a Wide Range of Bacteria πŸ¦ πŸ’Š 🧫

Researchers from Wistar Institute uncovered a class of antibodies that can antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Unlike other types of antibodies, they newly discovered ones combine direct antibiotic killing of pan drug-resistant bacterial pathogens with a simultaneous rapid immune response.

Anti-Diarrhea Drug Can Serve as a Cancer Treatment πŸ’ŠπŸ¦ πŸ§‘β€πŸ”¬

Previous research identified an anti-diarrhea drug, loperamide, as a potential treatment for cancer cells because it was able to induce cell death in glioblastoma cell lines. Furthering their research, scientists from the Institute of Experimental Cancer Research in Pediatrics at Goethe University have identified the underlying mechanism for the drug’s effectiveness.

Number of Personalized Medicines Doubled from 2016 to 2020 πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ’‰πŸ“ˆ

A recent report from the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) showed that the number of personalized medicines on the market more than doubled in the past 4 years in the United States. The drastic growth marks the largest 4-year increase ever recorded by the coalition.

From Molecule to Medicine Via Machine Learning πŸ”¬πŸ§‘β€πŸ”¬πŸ’‰

It typically takes many years of experiments to develop a new vaccine, but at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), researchers are using their expertise to safely accelerate the design step of the COVID-19 drug discovery process.

Novel Drug Discovery Strategy Expands Knowledge of β€œUndruggable” DiseasesπŸ¦ πŸ§¬πŸ’Š

Researchers from the The University of Hong Kong in collaboration with Chongqing University and Second Military Medical University developed a novel method to discover drugs for certain diseases by targeting membrane proteins.

Potential Treatment for an Aggressive Form of Lung Cancer πŸ’ŠπŸ¦ πŸ§‘β€πŸ”¬

At the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, researchers have discovered a new metabolic vulnerability in a highly aggressive form of non-small cell lung cancer. The findings could pave the way for new treatments for patients with mutations in the genes KRAS and LKB1. Tumors containing these mutations, known as KL tumors, have poor outcomes and often do not respond to immunotherapy.

Novel Blood Test can Detect Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease πŸ’‰πŸ©ΈπŸ§ 

A research team from Ruhr-University Bochum developed a blood test that can predict the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in individuals that have not been diagnosed with the disease but still show signs of cognitive imparity.Β Β 

Cancer Patient Undergoes Legal Psychedelic Mushroom Therapy πŸ¦ πŸ„πŸ§ 

The New Year’s Day session at a southeast Calgary home is the first federally sanctioned intervention with the still-illicit active ingredient, psilocybin. But for Tony White, who’s battling stage 4 bladder cancer, that dose of mushrooms represents an abrupt lightening of a physical and emotional burden.