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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Seattle Children’s Research Institute is launching a clinical trial that will examine a new kind of cancer-fighting treatment. The treatment is a type of CAR T immunotherapy, which reprograms a person’s immune cells to find and destroy cancer. CAR T therapies have found early success in blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, but have run into obstacles when it comes…
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New Tools for Syphilis Research

Syphilis research has been severely limited by the necessity to propagate Treponema pallidumin vivo in rabbits. After decades of erroneous or irreproducible reports of cultivation of T. pallidum, the recent very convincing report of its successful long-term in vitro propagation opens numerous opportunities for development of genetictools for studying pathogenesis and protein function, antigenic variation, and surface exposure of antigens. The possibility of more rapid isolation of…
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Scientists have completed a major effort to map the regulatory landscape of the mouse genome at a single-cell resolution. The team applied a special assay that they had previously developed to profile a genomic feature called chromatin accessibility. The researchers were interested in how the DNA winding, wrapping and packaging into what is termed chromatin influences what genetic information is…
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More than a dozen area tech and biotech companies are supporting Fred Hutch Obliteride this year to help accelerate the lifesaving work at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Amazon, Microsoft, Seattle Genetics, Juno, Blue Nile and Lyft are a few of the companies helping sponsor the event and have rallied large teams of employees to participate and fundraise. Other companies including Adaptive Technologies,…
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