Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals activate inflammatory pathways that overlap with interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signaling. However, the post-translational mechanisms involved and the role of signaling proteins in this activation are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the intracellular signaling mechanisms involved in MSU-induced activation of THP-1 macrophages and human nondiseased synovial fibroblasts (NLSFs) and the in vivo efficacy of an inhibitor…
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A new monoclonal antibody has been shown to impede the fusion machinery henipaviruses use to merge with the membrane of cells they are attempting to breach. The antibody halts the attack by blocking membrane fusion and the injection of the viral genome into the host cell. The researchers said they hope that these types of laboratory discoveries will pave the…
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Seattle startup SEngine Precision Medicine has raised $5.1 million in fresh funding as it looks to commercialize a platform that can match cancer patients to the right drug and aid in drug discovery. The Series A round was led by the Bangarang Group along with other unnamed investors. Since every patient’s cancer is unique, it’s important to know which drug or drug…
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Genome editing means CRISPR to most people. Yet methods using zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and meganucleases have their own unique strengths. All of these techniques rely on cellular DNA–repair mechanisms. Options that don’t—base editing, epigenetic editing, and site-specific recombinases—offer further advantages. How did “genome editing” become a household phrase so quickly? This question, posed by Jerel Davis…
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The National Institutes of Health has awarded $20 million to fund five additional hubs designed to speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools to improve patient care and enhance health. The newly selected Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) expand a national network of proof-of-concept centers that links 34 academic institutions developing best practices…
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OpenScope is now open for round two. The Allen Institute’s “shared observatory” for neuroscience has selected three new research projects to pursue this year, following a successful launch of the program with three inaugural projects in 2018. The new projects will explore how flashing light might alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, how the visual system distinguishes different types of motion,…
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NanoSurface Biomedical has snapped up Silene Biotech in a union of two Seattle startups that bets on the growing importance of stem cells in drug development. With the acquisition, NanoSurface is hoping to solve an essential problem in medicine, which is that the cells used to test new drugs typically don’t come from humans. (Fun fact: one of the most commonly-used types of…
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They may not have made a dent against Alzheimer’s. But it turns out experimental drugs called gamma secretase inhibitors, or GSIs, sure can bedevil cancer. A new study in the journal Blood describes how GSIs can reverse a crafty disappearing act that multiple myeloma pulls on the immune system. That ability to vanish even tricks T cells that are genetically programmed to…
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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $30 million in first-year funding to establish new centers for immunology research to accelerate progress in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine development. New and improved TB vaccines are badly needed. Over the past 200 years, TB has claimed the lives of more than 1 billion people—more…
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