Synthetic proteins have been created that move in response to their environment in predictable and tunable ways. These motile molecules were designed from scratch on computers, then produced inside living cells. To function, natural proteins often shift their shapes in precise ways. For example, the blood protein hemoglobin must flex as it binds to and releases a molecule of oxygen.…
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rain health expert Dr. Mary Kay Ross on Tuesday announced the creation of the Brain Health & Research Institute (BHRI) in Seattle. The new institute is dedicated to the evaluation, prevention, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. BHRI has entered into a scientific collaboration with ISB. Through that partnership, BHRI will blend the practical application of medical therapies…
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When it was time for PvP Biologics to test its promising treatment for celiac disease, the Seattle startup wanted to keep things local. They needed a meal, something that would test their drug’s ability to neutralize gluten in conditions that mimicked the human stomach. So they did what any self-respecting team of Seattleites would do. “We got a hamburger and a vanilla…
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Tissue engineering could transform medicine. Instead of waiting for our bodies to regrow or repair damage after an injury or disease, scientists could grow complex, fully functional tissues in a laboratory for transplantation into patients. Proteins are key to this future. In our bodies, protein signals tell cells where to go, when to divide and what to do. In the…
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The Allen Institute today released the Integrated Mitotic Stem Cell, a data-driven model and visualization tool that captures — for the first time — a holistic view of human cell division. By enabling a deeper understanding of how healthy human cells divide, a process known as mitosis, the model will further basic biology research as well as studies of cancer, a…
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DATP-Enhanced Heart Contractions

Heart failure is a widespread chronic condition that directly impacts nearly six million Americans, contributes to almost one in ten deaths in the United States, and drains an estimated $30 billion annually from our national economy.  Current treatments can slow progression of heart failure, but do not address the underlying issues, including the problem that causes systolic heart failure, the inability of…
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Engineering Vaccine-Like Protection without a Vaccine

Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are reporting today how B cells, a type of blood cell critical to the immune system, can be efficiently engineered to make antibodies against specific diseases, working much like a vaccine. Antibodies are tiny, Y-shaped proteins that lock onto bacteria, viruses and fungi encountered in the body. B cells are the natural factories…
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Could an Infant’s Blood Sample Help Model a Better HIV Vaccine?

Forward progress sometimes requires a backward glance. A twenty-five-year-old blood sample from an infant infected with HIV could hold clues to modeling a better HIV vaccine, according to work published in Nature Communications by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The sample, which held a special HIV-blocking protein that can develop after HIV infection, was taken during a groundbreaking HIV transmission…
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Ever since Alyssa Clements can remember, she’s wanted to be a doctor. Her father is a chiropractor in south New Jersey, and his business partner was Clements’ own doctor when she was younger. “I grew up hanging out in their office,” Clements said. “My father’s patients always felt like part of our family. I always imagined myself being able to…
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Like dirty diapers and sleepless nights, ear infections are just one of those things that come with having a young child. Sometimes the problem is obvious, complete with ear-tugging and screaming. Other times it’s not so obvious — leading to unnecessary doctor’s visits. Researchers at the University of Washington have a clever fix for this problem. They’ve developed a smartphone…
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