A newly discovered toxin that some bacteria deploy to fend off competing bacteria stands out from others in the battle for microbial domination.  While many deadly substances have been identified among bacteria, this previously unknown toxin behaves in a familiar way. “What is special about this toxin,” noted UW Medicine microbiologist Brook Peterson,  “is that it acts by the same…
Read More
Prior to his death on Monday, billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen invested large sums in technology ventures, research projects and philanthropy, some of it eclectic and highly speculative. What happens to those commitments now? Outside of bland assurances from his investment company, no one seems quite sure. Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to his company…
Read More
Darwin famously thought of evolution as a force for creation and improvement. Evolution, in his eyes, was synonymous with natural selection and survival of the fittest – a process that optimizes life to thrive in its environment and produce greater numbers of offspring. A century later, however, the great population geneticist Motoo Kimura challenged this view with his ‘neutral theory’…
Read More
There’s a new biotechnology spin-out from the University of Washington, and the company is already raising cash to get its technology off the ground. Split Biosciences, which also goes by Split Bio, just raised a $1.2 million seed round. In an email to GeekWire, the company declined to identify the investors in the round, but did share details of its…
Read More

ISCRM Faculty Shine a New Light on Scarring

Collaboration is the engine of scientific progress at UW Medicine and at the Institute of Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), where 130 researchers are developing stem cell-based approaches to treat diseases affecting nearly every organ and system in the human body. So, exactly what does it look like when two clever minds probing questions about everyday biological functioning team…
Read More
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial Tuesday that will test a new HIV vaccine candidate. The candidate, called eOD-GT8 60mer, uses what scientists call a structure-based vaccine approach and the trial marks the first time this approach will be tested in humans. Scientists are hopeful that it could be a key step in developing…
Read More
Membrane-bound O-acyltransferases (MBOATs) are a superfamily of integral transmembrane enzymes that are found in all kingdoms of life1. In bacteria, MBOATs modify protective cell-surface polymers. In vertebrates, some MBOAT enzymes—such as acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1—are responsible for lipid biosynthesis or phospholipid remodelling2,3. Other MBOATs, including porcupine, hedgehog acyltransferase and ghrelin acyltransferase, catalyse essential lipid modifications of secreted proteins…
Read More
A new five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will kick off a large clinical trial aimed at improving the quality of life and survival of medically vulnerable patients after they receive a transplant of donated blood-forming stem cells. Grantee Dr. Mohamed Sorror of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will lead the new trial. “These patients do the worst after transplant. How…
Read More
For the first time, a team of researchers has found a specific place in the human genome where variations can raise a person’s risk of erectile dysfunction. The study, Genetic variation in the SIM1 locus is associated with erectile dysfunction, was published Oct. 8 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This study points to a new research direction for erectile…
Read More

Allen Institute Releases Data from 30,000 Brain Cells in Action

The Allen Institute for Brain Science, a division of the Allen Institute, today announced new data aimed at helping researchers understand the various types of cells in the brain and how cells compute visual information. Joining these new data is a software toolkit for building models of the neuronal networks making up the brain more easily and more reproducibly. Scientists…
Read More