Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus

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.

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2021 Warren Alpert Prize Awarded to Two Scientists for RNA Discoveries

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.

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More than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Protein 3D Structures Available

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available

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MicroRNA Testing of Healthy Children Could Provide a Window on Heart and Kidney Health Later in Life

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.

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Health Disparities and COVID-19, Toxicity of E-cigarette Generated Aerosols, and More Featured in February 2021 Toxicological Sciences

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.

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Rutgers Expert Can Discuss AI Advances Linked to RCSB Protein Data Bank

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

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UNLV Immunologist on the Differences Between Two Leading COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates

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.

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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.

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Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

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.

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The Hidden Reason Children Born by C-Section Are More Likely to Develop Asthma

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.

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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.”

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Twist on CRISPR Gene Editing Treats Adult-Onset Muscular Dystrophy in Mice

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.

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Researchers identify RNA molecule that helps lung cancer cells evade immune system

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.

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September Edition of SLAS Discovery Highlights “Applications of Functional Genomics for Drug Discovery”

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.

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One-Time Treatment Generates New Neurons, Eliminates Parkinson’s Disease in Mice

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.

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FDA Approves First At-Home Saliva Collection Test for Coronavirus

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.

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Self-Assembling Ribosome Could Lead to Novel Vaccines

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.

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Rutgers Launches Genetic Testing Service for New Coronavirus

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.

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Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Help Free Market Fight Coronavirus

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

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Scientists Have Discovered the Origins of the Building Blocks of Life

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.

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Vinyl Chloride, Nerve Growth Factor, Chemical Warfare, and More Examined in March 2020 Toxicological 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.

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New High-Throughput Method to Study Gene Splicing at an Unprecedented Scale Reveals New Details About the Process

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.

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New Tool Monitors Real Time Mutations In Flu

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.

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Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression

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.

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