Out of every 60,000 births, a baby arrives to face the world without a fully functioning immune system leaving them unequipped to fight even the most common infections. Children with this rare life-threatening genetic condition, known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), have the best chance at a healthy future if they undergo a stem cell transplant before they are 3 ½ months…
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Decoding Your Immune System’s Memories

You remember the last time you were laid up with the flu. The aches, the chills. Well, your immune system remembers, too — and it recorded that memory in your genes. A study published this week by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center suggests that, with enough work, we can decipher the hidden messages that our immune systems have recorded. That’s…
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Scientists have now developed an assay that concurrently profiles both the epigenome and the transcriptome of each of thousands of single cells. Read their report in the Aug. 30 First Release edition of Science. The epigenome and transcriptome are part of the molecular biology that converts a genetic blueprint into tools and materials for living cells. The genomes of different types of cells…
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TwinStrand Biosciences, a spin-out of the University of Washington, is raising cash to commercialize DNA sequencing technology that it says can detect tiny genetic mutations invisible to current sequencers. According to an SEC filing, TwinStrand has raised $1.2 million so far in a round that could go up to $4 million. A TwinStrand spokesperson confirmed that the company is raising…
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The first study of its kind applying modern genomics technology to DNA contributed by Sub-Saharan African women has shown they are more likely than women of other ancestries to develop and to die from triple-negative breast cancer. In the August 21, 2018, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a multinational research team reports about the genes responsible for inherited breast cancer…
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Impel NeuroPharma, a Seattle-based, privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced the first patient has been dosed in the Company’s Phase 3, open-label safety and tolerability study evaluating long-term, intermittent use of INP104 for the treatment of migraine headache. INP104 is a novel dihydroergotamine (DHE) product dosed via Impel’s proprietary…
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Lake Union Life Science Building Lands Its First Tenant

 Lake Union life science building lands its first tenant. Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. has landed the first tenant at its four-story life science office building in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood and two other leases are pending, according to Newmark Knight Frank real estate broker Jesse Ottele. More prospective tenants are interested in the 205,000-square-foot waterfront building, which will feature a four-story atrium facing Lake Union when…
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The emerging form of cancer treatment called CAR T immunotherapy is wiping out the disease in some terminal patients — but despite early successes, the treatments still have major drawbacks. Many patients who take CAR T treatment also battle dangerous side effects, which can be deadly. For some patients, the treatments simply don’t work at all. But a new understanding of how…
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Humans’ ability to notice moving objects has always been a useful skill, from avoiding an animal predator in ancient times to crossing a busy street in the modern world. That evolutionary success attests to the importance of visual motion processing, and why there may be specialized regions of the brain specifically dedicated to this function,researchers say.  To shed light on…
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Improving Cancer Vaccines with T-Cell Programming Nanoparticles

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center immunobioengineer Dr. Matthias Stephan has received a 2018 Investigator’s Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy to support the development of a combined T-cell programming, cancer-vaccine strategy to treat cancer. His proposed method, which unites nanoparticles that carry cancer vaccine–specific T-cell receptor genes with a vaccine designed to trigger an immune…
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