The authors previously showed that transplanting human heart muscle cells into myocardial infarcts resulted in partial heart regeneration and enhanced cardiac function. It is difficult to completely remuscularize the heart, because so many cells die shortly after transplantation. In the current study, they embraced complexity and added a second cell population, the epicardial cell, that normally lines the surface of the heart. The combination of these factors significantly enhanced cardiac function, compared to delivery of cardiomyocyte monocultures.
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A Russian scientist recently announced his intention to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR to edit and implant human embryos—a revelation that met with international outcry similar to the condemnation of the Chinese scientist He Jiankui last year when he announced that he had created the first gene-edited babies. Jiankui’s actions — deemed unethical for several reasons – led to a call for a moratorium on editing human germline cells (sperm,…
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An early-morning downpour soaked spandex but did not dampen the mood at the finish line of Saturday’s Obliteride, the annual fundraiser for science at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. A record number of people — nearly 2,500 — registered to bike, walk or run in the event, which this year has already raised more than $2.5 million and counting. Starting at…
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A New Clue to How Life Originated

When Caitlin Cornell looked down her microscope, she saw large bright spots against a black background. They resembled miniatures suns, blazing against the backdrop of space. And when Cornell showed the spots to her supervisor, Sarah Keller, a chemist at the University of Washington, “we got really excited,” she recalls. “It was a bit of an ‘Aha!’ moment.” Those spots, she realized,…
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The CRISPR/Cas9 technology offers many opportunities to treat genetic and infectious diseases, but safety of this technology needs to be validated before it can be used to treat human patients. The authors modified blood stem cells with CRISPR/Cas9 and demonstrated that these cells could safely persist at high frequencies for over a year to provide therapeutic benefits for hemoglobinopathies. They also showed that the treatment of a much-reduced number of CD90+ stem cells is sufficient to achieve comparable results, thus making this approach more accessible and affordable.
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Two early-career scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have received prestigious grants to further their prostate cancer research. Alexandra “Alex” Corella, a graduate research assistant, won a $25,000, one-year fellowship from the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs, which are administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She will use the funding to complete her doctoral dissertation research on…
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Most prostate cancers are initially addicted to androgens and the androgen receptor, which they use to grow. However, a new forum of androgen receptor deficient prostate cancers are now on the rise. The Hsieh lab has discovered a new way by which prostate cancers can grow without androgens, namely through taking over the process of protein synthesis. Importantly, they show that this can be targeted by drugs provide a potentially exciting new therapeutic opportunity for patients with advanced prostate cancer.
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This Is What It’s Like to Donate Your Brain to Science

Many young adults moving out of their parents’ house for the first time anticipate big adventures ahead: Moving to a new town or state. Late-night parties. Traveling. When Casey Schorr moved out of his Spokane, Washington childhood home last year at 19, he was looking forward to something a bit more mundane but no less novel, for him — being…
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