Seattle Children’s is launching BrainChild with the goal of finding better treatments, or even cures, for children with brain cancer. BrainChild is a series of clinical trials that will treat children whose cancer relapsed using CAR T cells, the promising immunotherapy technology that has already led to revolutionary treatments for blood cancers. The treatments could spell hope for the hundreds…
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The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) fusion glycoprotein mediates viral entry into host cells through its receptor binding and membrane fusion activities. In this issue of Cell, Das et al. use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to monitor HA conformational dynamics. Their study reveals this prototypical class I fusion protein to be a highly dynamic molecule capable of reversibly sampling multiple…
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CD8+ T cells respond to signals via the T cell receptor (TCR), costimulatory molecules, and immunoregulatory cytokines by developing into diverse populations of effector and memory cells. The relative strength of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling early in the T cell response can dramatically influence downstream effector and memory T cell differentiation. We show that initial PI3K signaling during T cell activation…
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Dr. Charles Murry on the Stem Cell Podcast

Dr. Charles Murry is the Woods Professor of Pathology, Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Washington. He also serves as Director of the UW’s Heart Regeneration Program, with the goal of achieving stem cell-based heart regeneration in patients. Dr. Charles Murry has recently published a paper that used stem cell derived heart cells to treat heart damage in monkeys. It’s…
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A clinical trial conducted in six medical centers in the United States has suggested that an operation, laparoscopic fundoplication, to treat abnormal acid gastroesophageal reflux in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, a fatal lung disease, may slow its progression. A paper on the clinical trial was published Aug. 9 in the medical journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Dr. Ganesh Raghu, a UW…
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“Imagine a world where diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease is as simple as getting your blood tested during your annual physical,” writes philanthropist Bill Gates. He’s started a venture to fund development of novel biomarkers, which are measurable signs in the brain and body of the presence of disease proteins: amyloid, tau, and α-synuclein, among others. His dream is one shared by all Alzheimer’s…
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The complexity of microbial communities, combined with technical biases in next-generation sequencing, pose a challenge to metagenomic analysis. Here, we develop a set of internal DNA standards, termed “sequins” (sequencing spike-ins), that together constitute a synthetic community of artificial microbial genomes. Sequins are added to environmental DNA samples prior to library preparation, and undergo concurrent sequencing with the accompanying sample.…
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. Yingqi Zhao has been awarded the Dr. Charles A. Coltman Jr. Fellowship, which recognizes and funds prolific early- and mid-career scientists from affiliated institutions within SWOG, a national clinical trials network. The Coltman Fellowship, which is sponsored by SWOG’s public charity, The Hope Foundation, includes a two-year, $50,000-a-year grant to support the development of cutting-edge clinical trials within…
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The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $6.5 million, five-year grant to the University of Washington and partner institutions to establish the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modeling. The center’s primary goal is to develop more effective predictive models of biological systems, which are used in research and medicine. “We are delighted that the NIH has made this award,” said Herbert Sauro,…
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