Know someone with a bad case of acne? Someday, perhaps, physicians will treat it with swabs of healthy skin microbiome rather than with an antibiotic. The idea parallels the highly successful strategy of transplanting fecal microbiota to treat Clostridioides difficile (C. diff.), a stubborn bacterial infection of the colon. By introducing healthy microbes into an environment that is out of…
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Why do some strings of genetic code remain virtually unchanged despite tens of millions of years of evolutionary divergence? A newly published study that takes advantage of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR has found that at least some of those DNA strings are essential to keep healthy cells growing and block the growth of tumor cells. The research, published today…
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Phase Genomics, Inc., the biotech leader providing proximity-ligation next-generation sequencing (NGS) solutions for metagenome assembly, today announced the award of a $1.5MM National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant to develop a low-cost platform for targeted detection of antimicrobial resistance mobile elements and their hosts in uncultured microbial communities. Phase Genomics will develop a rapid antimicrobial resistance (AMR) element…
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The Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) opened the BEAT-MS clinical trial for enrollment. BEAT-MS or “Best Available Therapy vs. Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (AHSCT) for MS” will investigate high dose immunosuppression followed by AHSCT – a type of transplant using a patient’s own immune stem cells – compared to the best medical treatment currently available for multiple sclerosis (MS) in…
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Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr. will become Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s new president and director, the organization announced today. Lynch, a well-known cancer leader with expertise in solid tumor research, precision medicine and immuno-oncology, starts at Fred Hutch in February 2020. Lynch has been a nationally recognized leader in academic medicine for more than three decades. He has served…
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Single agent checkpoint inhibitor therapy has not been effective for most gastrointestinal solid tumors, but combination therapy with drugs targeting additional immunosuppressive pathways is being attempted. One such pathway, the CXCL12-CXCR4/CXCR7 chemokine axis, has attracted attention due to its effects on tumor cell survival and metastasis as well as immune cell migration. CXCL12 is a small protein that functions in…
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Deciphering how signaling enzymes operate within discrete microenvironments is fundamental to understanding biological processes. A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) restrict the range of action of protein kinases within intracellular compartments. We exploited the AKAP targeting concept to create genetically encoded platforms that restrain kinase inhibitor drugs at distinct subcellular locations. Local Kinase Inhibition (LoKI) allows us to ascribe organelle-specific functions to broad specificity kinases.…
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TwinStrand Biosciences, a Seattle startup developing next-generation DNA sequencing technology that promises to lead to early cancer detection, rapid identification of carcinogens and other breakthroughs, has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group. The company, a University of Washington spinout, says its DNA sequencing method, known as Duplex Sequencing, uses cloud technologies and advanced…
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Science on the Horizon

What’s to come in science in 2020? While scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are not fortune tellers (alas), they do have their eyes on the leading edge of research. From cancer therapies to fundamental science to public health, Fred Hutch scientists overcame their natural reluctance in the realm of predictions in order to share a few about the…
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The decade ahead will be filled with change for the health care industry. Here is a look at what experts see as the biggest innovations and alterations in the Puget Sound region. Gene editing Gene editing using CRISPR has already made it into human trials, but researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are using the technology to create tailored antibodies…
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