Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered that an RNA molecule that stimulates the body’s early antiviral defense system can protect mice from a range of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study, published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), could lead to new treatments for COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients, as well as providing an inexpensive therapeutic option for developing countries that currently lack access to vaccines.
Cedars-Sinai Cancer and Tempus, a leader in artificial intelligence and precision medicine, are harnessing the power of big data and AI to design personalized cancer treatment options by creating virtual replicas of patients’ DNA, RNA, protein and other information to help identify the most effective approach to each individual’s disease.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recently published studies in basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts.
MD Anderson researchers have discovered a critical new factor in regulating metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine and, therefore, in preventing the inherited metabolic disorder phenylketonuria. The research suggests a possible avenue for new treatments.
SEATTLE — July 7, 2021 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutch research findings and other news.
UC San Diego studies using human cell lines and tumors grown in mice provide early evidence that inhibiting RNA-binding proteins, a previously overlooked family of molecules, might provide a new approach for treating some cancers.
DALLAS – June 9, 2021 – A phenomenon in which an RNA named NORAD drives a protein named Pumilio to form liquid droplets in cells, much like oil in water, appears to tightly regulate the activity of Pumilio. A new study led by UT Southwestern scientists suggests that such RNA-driven “phase separation,” in turn, protects against genome instability, premature aging, and neurodegenerative diseases, and may represent a previously unrecognized way for RNAs to regulate cellular processes.
Scientists at the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Institute for Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences took a novel tack to investigating SARS-CoV-2’s powerful ability to infect, finding that the virus deploys an apparently unique three-pronged strategy to take over the cell’s protein-synthesis abilities. The work could help develop effective Covid-19 treatments.
The 2021 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize has been awarded to scientists Lynne Maquat and Joan Steitz for seminal discoveries in the biology and function of RNA, the workhorse molecule of cells. Their discoveries have reshaped the understanding of RNA’s myriad roles in healthy cell function and in disease-causing dysfunction and have informed the conceptualization and design of RNA-based therapies in various stages of development.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available from the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The data bank reached the milestone this week, with 1,018 proteins as…
Molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) that are measurable in urine have been identified by researchers at Mount Sinai as predictors of both heart and kidney health in children without disease. The epidemiological study of Mexican children was published in February in the journal Epigenomics.
Toxicological Sciences continues to feature leading toxicology research in the areas of developmental and reproductive toxicology; endocrine toxicology; neurotoxicology; molecular, biochemical, and systems toxicology; and more.
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have identified the sensor in human lungs that detects SARS-CoV-2 and signals that it’s time to mount an antiviral response.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 3, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how the bank’s 50 years of data on the 3D biomolecular structures of life and artificial intelligence can lead…
Millions around the world have waited for news about a COVID-19 vaccine, regarding it as the beginning of the end for the global pandemic and a herald for the eventual return to “normal life.” Recent announcements from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna that their respective late-stage vaccine trials have shown a 90% or better effectiveness rate have received international applause, excitement furthered with estimates that doses could be ready as early as December.
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.
Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.
Researchers at Rutgers University, the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood and the University of Copenhagen have described for the first time how delivery by caesarean section interferes with a baby’s ability to obtain beneficial germs from the mother’s microbiome, and how this can lead to early childhood asthma.
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.”
Researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have identified small molecules that target a structure within the RNA genome of SARS-CoV-2, interfering with viral gene expression and targeting the RNA for destruction.
Inside human cells, proteins and RNA can cluster together to form spherical droplets that play vital roles in cellular processes as well as in certain human diseases. A $2 million grant will allow biophysicist Priya Banerjee’s team at UB to explore the molecular details of protein-RNA condensates.
UC San Diego researchers demonstrate that one dose of their version of CRISR gene editing can chew up toxic RNA and almost completely reverse symptoms in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy, a type of adult-onset muscular dystrophy.
Bioengineers at UC San Diego have shown that human-genome produced RNA is present on the surface of human cells, suggesting a more expanded role for RNA in cell-to-cell and cell-to-environment interactions than previously thought.
Researchers in Spain have identified a non-coding RNA molecule that helps lung cancer cells proliferate and avoid being killed by the body’s immune cells. The study, which will be published August 27 in the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), suggests that targeting this RNA molecule could boost the effectiveness of immunotherapies that are currently only successful in ~20% of lung cancer patients.
September’s edition of SLAS Discovery features the cover article, “Applications of Functional Genomics for Drug Discovery” by Ami M. Kabadi, Ph.D., (Element Genomics), Eoin McDonnell, Ph.D. (Element Genomics), Christopher L. Frank, Ph.D., (Element Genomics), and Lauren Drowley, Ph.D., (UCB Biosciences). The article reviews how functional genomic tools are better able to understand the biological interplay between genes, improving disease modeling and identifying novel drug targets.
UC San Diego researchers discovered that people with an inactive RNA-editing enzyme respond better to cancer immunotherapy, and inhibitors of the enzyme help mice with difficult-to-treat cancers live longer.
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine are among the contributors to a package of 10 studies in the journal Nature, describing the latest results from the ongoing Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, a worldwide effort led by the NIH to understand how the human genome functions.
UC San Diego researchers have discovered that a single treatment to inhibit a gene called PTB in mice converts native astrocytes, brain support cells, into neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. As a result, the mice’s Parkinson’s disease symptoms disappear.
Researchers took a novel approach to tracking the virus that causes COVID-19 that promises to be cost effective and ensure privacy by using a method that surveils for the virus in a local’s untreated wastewater facilities.
Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics received an amended emergency use authorization from the FDA late Thursday for the first SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus test that will allow people to collect their own saliva at home and send to a lab for results. The decision follows the FDA’s recent emergency approval to RUCDR Infinite Biologics for the first saliva-based test, which involves health care workers collecting saliva from individuals at testing sites.
A biomedical engineer is leading new research that could soon deliver coronavirus test results much faster and at much lower cost.
The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Roy Bar-Ziv has demonstrated the self-synthesis and self-assembly of a ribosomal subunit on the surface of a chip. The breakthrough could lead to novel types of vaccines, including for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or to assembly lines to produce complex molecules for a range of industries.
McMaster University researchers are racing to create a home-based COVID-19 testing kit, which could potentially be ready to move forward for approvals and manufacturing within months.
Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics has launched a test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is using its automation experience and infrastructure to test as many as tens of thousands of samples daily. RUCDR has also submitted an emergency use authorization request for a saliva collection method that will allow for broader population screening.
A team of scientists, including Case Western Reserve University chemistry Professor Blanton Tolbert and his research lab, are conducting the underlying research to develop an antiviral to slow the spread of novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 25, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how to help the free market fight the coronavirus. His viewpoint is published in the journal Nature. “Had drug…
Rutgers researchers have discovered the origins of the protein structures responsible for metabolism: simple molecules that powered early life on Earth and serve as chemical signals that NASA could use to search for life on other planets. Their study, which predicts what the earliest proteins looked like 3.5 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The March 2020 issue of Toxicological Sciences features leading research in toxicology, covering investigations in biotransformation, toxicokinetics, and pharmacokinetics in addition to work in exposure sciences and environmental toxicology.
MOSCOW (MIPT) — The atomic structure of the novel coronavirus envelope has explained why it is exceptionally contagious. Its structural features make it much easier for the Chinese coronavirus to bind to target receptors, compared with the previously known SARS…
As hospitalized COVID-19 patients undergo experimental therapy, research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry explains how the drug, remdesivir, stops replication in coronaviruses.
Genes are like instructions, but with options for building more than one thing. Daniel Larson, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute, studies this gene “splicing” process, which happens in normal cells and goes awry in blood cancers like leukemia.
Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have implicated two microRNAs in the biological processes that underlie the ventricle enlargement observed in models of schizophrenia.
A Rutgers-led team has developed a tool to monitor influenza A virus mutations in real time, which could help virologists learn how to stop viruses from replicating. The gold nanoparticle-based probe measures viral RNA in live influenza A cells, according to a study in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. It is the first time in virology that experts have used imaging tools with gold nanoparticles to monitor mutations in influenza, with unparalleled sensitivity.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 5, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on the 3D structure of a key enzyme in the new coronavirus that has been made publicly available…
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have discovered a fundamental mechanism that regulates gene activity in cells. The newly discovered mechanism targets RNA, or ribonucleic acid, a close cousin of DNA that plays an important role in cellular activity.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 29, 2020) – Nearly 30 years after scientists first showed that RNA molecules can act as biological catalysts, researchers at Rutgers have discovered how an important RNA enzyme works in unprecedented detail. The research, led by scientists…
Pavel Volchkov heads the Genome Engineering Lab at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), that has several key projects, all of them involving genome editing mediated by the CRISPR/Cas technology. Discovered just a few years ago, CRISPR/Cas has…
A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. Rather than directions going one-way from DNA to RNA to proteins, the latest study shows that RNA itself modulates how DNA is transcribed—using a chemical process that is increasingly apparent to be vital to biology. The discovery has significant implications for our understanding of human disease and drug design.
A new technique reported in Science offers more detail, at the single cell level, on how large, pooled samples of various cells react to drugs or other agents. The data might reveal mode of action or the effect of genetic differences in varying responses.
Using a new sequencing method, this class of previously invisible RNA molecules were found to be abundantly expressed.