This publication reports the first complete sequence of a human autosome: chromosome 8. The authors leveraged the strengths of two long-read sequencing technologies to resolve five previously long-standing gaps in chromosome 8, including both telomeres, a structurally dynamic segmental duplication on the p-arm (known as β-defensin), the centromere, and a neocentromeric variable number tandem repeat on the q-arm.
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Just like a human immune system, the forms of immunity found in bacteria that defend them against foreign invaders must be able to distinguish between ’self’ and ’nonself’, and also must be able to rapidly adapt towards new infectious threats. One particularly well-known form of bacterial anti-viral immune system is referred to as a ‘restriction-modification (‘RM’) system; such systems destroy invading viral DNA while protecting bacterial DNA from the same fate.
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Multivalent display of receptor-engaging antibodies or ligands can enhance their activity. Instead of achieving multivalency by attachment to preexisting scaffolds, here we unite form and function by the computational design of nanocages in which one structural component is an antibody or Fc-ligand fusion and the second is a designed antibody-binding homo-oligomer that drives nanocage assembly. Structures of eight nanocages determined…
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Purpose: Basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) is an aggressive molecular subtype of breast cancer that lacks targeted therapies and clinically useful tests to risk-stratify patients. We hypothesized that a transcriptome-based phenotypic characterization of BLBC tumors and their microenvironments may overcome this challenge. Experimental Design: We conducted a retrospective correlative genomic sequencing study using a matched-pairs design with validation in five independent…
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The goal of personalized medicine is to match the right drugs to the right patients at the right time. Personalized medicine has been most successful in cases where there is a clear genetic linkage between a disease and a therapy. This is not the case with type 1 diabetes (T1D), a genetically complex immune-mediated disease of β-cell destruction. Researchers over…
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The King lab is broadly focused on designing and functionalizing protein-based nanomaterials for medical development. Our main focus is protein nanoparticles, or tiny little defined shapes (1/40th the width of a bacterial cell) that can be engineered for various molecular tasks. Some of our lab is focused on making vaccines using protein nanoparticles, while others are focused more on delivering molecular cargo...
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Healthy Aging and the Blood–Brain Barrier

The blood–brain barrier (BBB) protects the central nervous system (CNS) from unregulated exposure to the blood and its contents. The BBB also controls the blood-to-brain and brain-to-blood permeation of many substances, resulting in nourishment of the CNS, its homeostatic regulation and communication between the CNS and peripheral tissues. The cells forming the BBB communicate with cells of the brain and…
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Germline SAMD9L Truncation Variants Trigger Global Translational Repression

SAMD9L is one of our interferon-stimulated genes involved in the immune system’s early anti-viral response. Typically a targeted block in protein synthesis can help hinder a virus, but a global block in translation leads to bone marrow failure and disease features found in this disease. The authors found that when SAMD9L is truncated or shortened to a critical length the protein becomes overactive (or gain-of-function) causing a profound translational block.
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The focus of the Veesler lab is to decipher the structure and function of macromolecular complexes involved in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases to provide avenues for creating vaccines and therapeutics. Over the past year, the lab has focused on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and the determinants of antibody-based immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
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Tuberculosis is the number one infectious killer in human history, a notoriety that remains true today. Developing effective vaccines and therapies has proven to be difficult because we understand poorly how immunity against tuberculosis is mediated and the barriers that must be overcome to achieve it. Tuberculosis occurs when a water droplet containing the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis expelled by the cough of someone with tuberculosis and lodges in the lung.
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