Tag: Biotechnology

Few people with peanut allergy tolerate peanut after stopping oral immunotherapy: Continuing with a modest dose confers more protection

Allergy to peanut, which is often severe, is one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Although previous studies have shown that peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) — ingesting small, controlled amounts of peanut protein — can desensitize adults and children and prevent life-threatening allergic reactions, the optimal duration and dose is unknown.

What Are Stem Cells?

The term "stem cells" has become part of the mainstream lexicon, likely to be overheard in conversations anywhere from a baseball game to cocktail get-togethers. But what exactly are these cells? Along with phrases such as "that's just immoral" or "stem cells could be the end-all cure," one could easily weave in some technical tidbits

New imaging technique reveals ‘burst’ of activity before cell death: Novel dual-PWS platform reveals connections between macromolecular structure and dynamic movement in the chromatin within eukaryotic cells

Studying the movement of tiny cells is no small task. For chromatin, the group of DNA, RNA, and protein macromolecules packed within our genome, motion is an integral part of its active role as a regulator of how our genes get expressed or repressed. “Understanding macromolecular motion is critical, but scientists know very little about

New tuberculosis drug may shorten treatment time for patients

A new experimental antibiotic for tuberculosis has been shown to be more effective against TB than isoniazid, a decades-old drug which is currently one of the standard treatments. In mouse studies, the new drug showed a much lower tendency to develop resistance, and it remains in the tissues where the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria reside for

Synthetic DNA-delivered antibodies protect against Ebola in preclinical studies

Scientists at The Wistar Institute and collaborators have successfully engineered novel DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) targeting Zaire Ebolavirus that were effective in preclinical models. Study results, published online in Cell Reports, showed that DMAbs were expressed over a wide window of time and offered complete and long-term protection against lethal virus challenges. DMAbs may also

Molecular mechanisms of ancient herbal remedies: Components of leaf extract prove highly effective at preventing life-threatening seizures

Researchers in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine have discovered the molecular basis for a therapeutic action of an ancient herbal medicine used across Africa to treat various illnesses, including epilepsy. The herbal medicine, a leaf extract from the shrub Mallotus oppositifolius, was previously found to

Novel mechanism for generating our skeleton

There are more than 200 bones in the human body. Bone is formed during embryonic and postnatal skeletogenesis by two distinct, well-organized processes, intramembranous and endochondral ossification. Mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into chondrocytes to form a cartilaginous template, which, for long bones, induces bone formation through endochondral ossification. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (Erk5), which is

Breakthrough in designing a better Salmonella vaccine

UC Davis researchers announce in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week a breakthrough in understanding which cells afford optimal protection against Salmonella infection — a critical step in developing a more effective and safe vaccine against a bacterium that annually kills an estimated one million people worldwide. Professor Stephen McSorley, interim

Viruses under the microscope

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infects almost all of the human population, but only very few will show any symptoms during their lifetime: HHV-6 is one of the most widespread viruses among the population. Between 95 and 100 percent of healthy adults have antibodies to the virus which means that they have been infected at some

Cancer drug and antidepressants provide clues for treating brain-eating amoeba infections

The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm swimming pools, lakes and rivers. On rare occasions, the amoeba can infect a healthy person and cause severe primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a “brain-eating” disease that is almost always fatal. Other than trial-and-error with general antifungal medications, there are no treatments for the infection. Researchers at Skaggs

Chromatin structure: Slip-sliding away…

In the cell nucleus, the genomic DNA is packaged into a tightly condensed form, which is referred to as chromatin. The basic unit of chromatin organization is the nucleosome, a DNA-protein complex consisting of a defined length of DNA wrapped around a bead-like structure which is made of histone proteins. The individual nucleosomes are connected

Keeping cancer out of breath blocks drug resistance

A new combination of existing drugs shows promise that it could reduce the size of cancerous tumors much more effectively than current treatments. As cancer patients know all too well, many highly effective anti-cancer drugs don’t stay effective long. Most tumors will become drug resistant over time as their cells rapidly mutate. Chemists from The

How enzyme detects ultraviolet light damage

Damage to DNA is a constant threat to cellular life, and so it is constantly monitored and detected by a family of enzymes called RNA polymerases, resulting in subsequent repair to maintain genome integrity. In a paper published this week in the journal PNAS, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with

A human enzyme can biodegrade graphene

Myeloperoxidase — an enzyme naturally found in our lungs — can biodegrade pristine graphene, according to the latest discovery of Graphene Flagship partners in CNRS, University of Strasbourg (France), Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). Among other projects, the Graphene Flagship designs based like flexible biomedical electronic devices that will interfaced with