attaaaggtt tataccttcc caggtaacaa accaaccaac tttcgatctc ttgtagatct … That string of apparent gibberish is anything but: It’s a snippet of a DNA sequence from the viral pathogen, dubbed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), that is overwhelming China and frightening the entire world. Scientists are publicly sharing an ever-growing number of full sequences of the virus from patients—53 at last count in the Global…
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The human gene catalogue is essentially complete, but we lack an equivalently vetted inventory of bona fide human enhancers. Hundreds of thousands of candidate enhancers have been nominated via biochemical annotations; however, only a handful of these have been validated and confidently linked to their target genes. Here we review emerging technologies for discovering, characterizing and validating human enhancers at…
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In another blow to the decades-long quest for an HIV vaccine, researchers are pulling the plug on the largest ongoing clinical trial after a review in January found the experimental injections provided no protection from the virus that causes AIDS. The $120 million study, conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) based at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, was launched…
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Next week, many of the world’s most distinguished scholars, researchers and thinkers will descend on Seattle to discuss leading-edge research and current thinking on some of the most critical public issues of our time. The 186th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to be held in and around the Washington State Convention Center from Feb. 13-16, offers…
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Working to Improve Immunotherapy for Lung Cancer

For those who track cancer statistics, this year started off on a positive note with word that lung cancer deaths continue to decline in the United States [1]. While there’s plenty of credit to go around for that encouraging news—and continued reduction in smoking is a big factor—some of this progress likely can be ascribed to a type of immunotherapy,…
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Growing up at a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya, Abdiasis Hussein recalls waking up at 5 a.m. to wait in line at a water station. Chatting with his friends animatedly as he waited, Hussein collected about five to 10 gallons of water to last his family of 12 for the day. While the food ration provided enough for his…
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Medical researchers at the University of Washington are receiving a new boost to get their ideas off the bench and into the public domain. A new center is being created with $4 million in matching funds from the National Institutes of Health for promising biomedical discoveries. The Washington Entrepreneurial Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (WE-REACH) will provide project funding to fuel four…
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The first genetic analysis of schizophrenia in an ancestral African population, the South African Xhosa, is reported in the Jan 31 edition of Science. An international group of scientists conducted the research, The study of schizophrenia was carried out in the Xhosa population because Africa is the birthplace of all humans, yet ancestral African populations have rarely been the focus of genetics…
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Microsoft launched a major health research initiative Wednesday to address some of the medical world’s most confounding challenges using artificial intelligence. The $40 million AI for Health initiative will focus on three core areas: Studying, preventing, and treating diseases Studying mortality and longevity around the world to protect against the next global health crisis Reducing inequity in global healthcare Microsoft…
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Kaiser Permanente Research Bank: Why You Should Join

All Washington members are invited to be part of research that could improve health for millions Dr. Reva Ricketts-Loriaux, a pathologist at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, spends most her time examining tissue through a microscope, looking for changes in cells that might indicate diseases like skin, breast, or cervical cancer. “In my clinical work, I make diagnoses that help individual patients,…
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