Mayo researchers link gut microbiome to rheumatoid arthritis prognosis

A significant indicator of whether a patient with rheumatoid arthritis will improve over the course of disease may lie in part in their gut, according to new research from Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine.

The study, published in Genome Medicine, found that predicting a patient’s future rheumatoid arthritis prognosis could be possible by zeroing in on the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit their gastrointestinal tract, known as the gut microbiome. The findings suggest that gut microbes and a patient’s outcome of rheumatoid arthritis are connected.

Schizophrenia Study Suggests Advanced Genetic Scorecard Cannot Predict a Patient’s Fate

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that a tool commonly used in research for evaluating a person’s genetic risk for a disease, called a polygenic risk score, was no better at predicting the outcome of a schizophrenia patient’s disease over time than written reports. The results raise important questions about the use of polygenic risk scores in real-world, clinical situations, and also suggest that a doctor’s written report may be an untapped source of predictive information.

FAU Researcher Receives $1.8 Million NIH ‘Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award’

Raquel Assis, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and a fellow of FAU’s Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention, has received a five-year, $1.8 million “Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award” from the NIH. The goal of this early career award is to enhance the ability of investigators to take on ambitious scientific projects and approach problems more creatively.

When stubborn bugs refuse to make drugs

An untapped trove of desirable drug-like molecules is hidden in the genomes of Streptomyces bacteria — the same bacteria responsible for the first bacterial antibiotics to treat tuberculosis back in the 1940s. Isolating them, however, has proved challenging. Now, biologists at Washington University in St. Louis are using comparative metabologenomics to try to uncover what may be “silencing” Streptomyces and preventing it from producing desirable compounds encoded by its genes.

Study confirms the low likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 on hospital surfaces is infectious

A new study confirms the low likelihood that coronavirus contamination on hospital surfaces is infectious. The study is the original report on recovering near-complete SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences directly from surface swabs.

CUR Health Sciences Division Announces 2021 NCUR Presentation Awardees

CUR’s Health Sciences Division announces the 2021 recipients of its NCUR Presentation Awards. The awards cover the cost of registration for undergraduates presenting original research at the 2021 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

UCI-led study uses plankton genomes as global biosensors of ocean ecosystem stress

Irvine, Calif., April 15, 2021 — By analyzing gains and losses in the genes of phytoplankton samples collected in all major ocean regions, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created the most nuanced and high-resolution map yet to show where these photosynthetic organisms either thrive or are forced to adapt to limited quantities of key nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and iron.

CU Cancer Center Researcher Reveals New Effects of Oxygen Deprivation in Cancer Cells

A team of University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers recently published a paper offering new insight into the role that oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, plays in cancer development. CU Cancer Center member Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, is the senior researcher on the paper, which he hopes will help lead to more targeted treatments for cancer.

Hackensack Meridian Health Launches Anthology Diagnostics Laboratories for State-of-the-Art Lab Genomic Profiling of Cancers

Hackensack Meridian Health and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) in Irvine, California, have teamed up to establish the first-of-its-kind genomic profiling laboratory called Anthology Diagnostics, to generate more personalized, precise, and real-time insights for cancer patients, oncologists and hospitals.

Two Danforth Center Scientists Receive Prestigious Awards Recognizing Their Achievements And Leadership

Andrea Eveland received the Marcus Rhoades Early Career Award at the 63rd Maize Genetics Conference. Malia Gehan received the 2021 North American Plant Phenotyping Network (NAPPN) Early Career Award at the NAPPN annual conference.

Researchers Identify RNA Editing Events that Impact Gene Expression and Phenotype

Combining computational mining of big data with experimental testing in the lab, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have identified RNA editing events that influence gene expression and, in turn, the phenotypic manifestation of that expression. In analyzing so-called A-to-I RNA editing, in which the adenosine of an RNA molecule is chemically modified into an inosine, the researchers describe how a single nucleotide change by RNA editing can have large downstream effects. The findings were published today in Genome Biology.

Genomic Data Commons provides unprecedented cancer data resource

The National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons (GDC), launched in 2016 by then-Vice President Joseph Biden and hosted at the University of Chicago, has become one of the largest and most widely used resources in cancer genomics, with more than 3.3 petabytes of data from more than 65 projects and over 84,000 anonymized patient cases, serving more than 50,000 unique users each month.

Fields of Breeders’ Dreams: A Team Effort Toward Targeted Crop Improvements

In Nature, a multi-institutional team including DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers has produced a high-quality reference sequence of the complex switchgrass genome. Building off this work, bioenergy researchers are exploring targeted genome editing techniques to customize the crop.

CHOP Researchers Find NTRK Fusions More Common than Expected in Pediatric Tumors

In a large study of pediatric cancer patients, researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have analyzed the frequency, fusion partners, and clinical outcome of neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) fusions, which are clinical biomarkers that identify patients suitable for treatment with FDA-approved TRK inhibitors. The researchers found that NTRK fusions are more common in pediatric tumors and also involve a wider range of tumors than adult cancers, information that could help prioritize screening for NTRK fusions in pediatric cancer patients who might benefit from treatment with TRK inhibitors.

Scientist Proposes Use of Convolutional Neural Networks to Detect and Classify COVID-19 Infection

Article title: Implementation of convolutional neural network approach for COVID-19 disease detection Author: Emrah Irmak From the author: “In this paper, two novel and fully automatic studies using deep convolutional neural networks [CNN] are presented for COVID-19 detection and virus…

Testing Wastewater for COVID-19

UNLV researcher Edwin Oh and colleagues have implemented wastewater surveillance programs to screen samples for the presence of COVID-19 and to extract the RNA from the SARS-COV-2 virus to find targets that make vaccines more effective.

New Grant Seeks to Fill Knowledge Gaps Regarding Spina Bifida

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine have been awarded a five-year, $8.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the causes of spina bifida, the most common structural defect of the central nervous system.

CHOP Researchers Reverse Severe Lymphatic Disorder in Patient with Noonan Syndrome by Targeting Genetic Pathway

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have resolved a severe lymphatic disorder in a girl with Noonan Syndrome that had led to upper gastrointestinal bleeding, fluid collection around the lungs, and numerous surgeries that had been unable to resolve her symptoms. By identifying a genetic mutation along a pathway related to lymphatic vessel development and function, the research team was able to target the pathway using an existing drug they had used in a previous case to remodel a patient’s lymphatic system.

What We Know: Mount Sinai to Host COVID-19 Research Symposium

The COVID-19 Research Symposium, hosted by the Mount Sinai Clinical Intelligence Center (MSCIC), is a one-day comprehensive review of advances in research by the Mount Sinai Health System to better understand and treat the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Low risk of cancer spread on active surveillance for early prostate cancer

Men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer have very low rates – one percent or less – of cancer spread (metastases) or death from prostate cancer, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Urology®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

New Research Reveals Infertile Spikelets Contribute To Yield In Sorghum And Related Grasses

The researchers used radioactive and stable isotopes of carbon, RNA-seq of metabolically important enzymes, and immunolocalization of Rubisco to show that the sterile spikelet collects carbon from the air and carries out photosynthesis while the awn does not.

CHOP Genomic Study Reveals Role for Hypothalamus in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Using sophisticated 3D genomic mapping and integrating with public data resulting from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found significant genetic correlations between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and stress and depression. The researchers went on to implicate new genes involved in IBD risk that are enriched in both derived hypothalamic neurons, from a part of the brain that has a vital role in controlling stress and depression, and organoids derived from colon cells, a region more commonly studied in the context of IBD.

International Group of Scientists Explain the Advantages of Using Metabolic Engineering to Address Hidden Hunger

In a perspective paper, “Multiplying the efficiency and impact of biofortification through metabolic engineering,” published in Nature Communications, an international team of scientists, led by Ghent University, explain how plant genetic engineering can help to sustainably address micronutrient malnutrition.

Mount Sinai Doctors Elected to National Academy of Medicine for Contributions to Emergency Medicine and Translational Genetics

Brendan G. Carr, MD, MA, MS, and Judy H. Cho, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researcher’s work opens doors to understanding COVID-19’s early spread

A UCLA Fielding School of Public Health researcher’s work on two related research projects published in the past month suggests that in both the United States and in Europe, sustained transmission networks of SARS-CoV-2 became established only after separate introductions of the virus that went undetected.

Jennifer Doudna Wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna, a professor at UC Berkeley and faculty scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), is co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of a method for genome editing.”

Inflammatory Protein Found to Protect against Metabolic, Gut Changes in Mice

Article title: Lipocalin 2 deficiency-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis evokes metabolic syndrome in aged mice Authors: Vishal Singh, Sarah Galla, Rachel M. Golonka, Andrew D. Patterson, Benoit Chassaing, Bina Joe, Matam Vijay-Kumar From the authors: “Overall, the current study demonstrates that…