Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led by Dr. Cyrus Ghajar recently uncovered promising new science in the battle against metastatic breast cancer. Their findings, published today in Nature Cell Biology, show that it’s possible to destroy cancer cells that can hide for years in people’s bone marrow. Chemotherapy is often effective at destroying fast-growing cells, but there’s a…
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Secret to Sepsis May Lie in Rare Cell

In a paper published in Nature Immunology, scientists from Seattle Children’s Research Institute reveal how a rare group of white blood cells called basophils play an important role in the immune response to a bacterial infection, preventing the development of sepsis. Researchers say their findings could lead to better ways to prevent the dangerous immune response that strikes more than 30 million…
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Scientists Learn How Common Virus Reactivates after Transplantation

A new study in Science challenges long-held theories of why a common virus — cytomegalovirus, or CMV — can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. The discovery, to be published in Science’s Jan. 18 issue, used a newly developed mouse model and could pave the way for…
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A study of 84 twin/sibling pairs exposed to alcohol in utero shows that two fetuses exposed to identical levels of alcohol can experience strikingly different levels of neurological damage.  Risk of damage does not depend solely on the pregnant woman’s alcohol consumption; rather, fetal genetics plays a vital role, according to findings published today in the journal Advances in Pediatric Research. “The evidence is conclusive,” said lead author…
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ITHS Announces Recipients of $280K in Pilot Award Funding

This year, awardees will tackle research challenges ranging from alternative treatments for the opioid epidemic through health related applications in mobile technology. The Institute of Translational Health Sciences offers annual pilot awards for novel, innovative, and collaborative clinical research. Our three largest funding mechanisms are awarded annually to launch new translational methods, establish new multidisciplinary partnerships, and encourage researchers to…
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UW Medicine is declaring success with the Pacific Northwest’s first heart-transplant recipient to purposely acquire the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from the donor organ and then have the disease eradicated by antiviral medication. Kerry Hayes, 49, of Anacortes, Washington, was deemed clinically cured of hepatitis C (HCV) on Dec. 20 after a blood test detected no viral load. He had acquired…
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Spotlight on Amy Zamora, ISB Systems Research Scholar

Amy Zamora joined ISB in August as a Systems Research Scholar. The Systems Research Scholars Program (SRSP) is a two-year program that provides recent college undergraduates a springboard to become the next generation’s pioneers of interdisciplinary scientific research. The fully funded SRSP provides scholars mentorship by ISB faculty and immersion in the scientific research of ISB. In this Q&A, Zamora describes her…
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Rethinking an Old Viral Foe

You may not have heard of cytomegalovirus, but the two of you have likely met. In fact, odds are it’s dozing inside you right now. Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, infects at least half of all adults worldwide. Most are unaware they’re infected because their healthy immune system keeps it in check. The virus slips into dormancy, becoming a passive and lifelong…
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Mitochondria play a prominent role in mechanosensory hair cell damage and death. Although hair cells are thought to be energetically demanding cells, how mitochondria respond to these demands and how this might relate to cell death is largely unexplored. Using genetically encoded indicators, we found mitochondrial calcium flux and oxidation are regulated by mechanotransduction and demonstrate that hair cell activity…
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