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Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category

Feb 17, 2019

This New ‘Trojan Horse’ Drug Successfully Treated 6 Types of Cancer Tumor

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A toxic antibody is the latest weapon to show promise as a broad spectrum treatment for multiple forms of advanced cancer.

Dubbed a ‘Trojan horse’ approach to chemotherapy, the new drug has proven itself worthy of moving up the chain of clinical trials to being tested on a greater variety of patients. It’s not a fabled cure-all, but this approach might be as close as we’re going to get.

Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust tested the new treatment in a clinical trial involving 147 patients to evaluate its potential benefits and risks of side effects.

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Feb 17, 2019

Elon Musk says SpaceX is developing a ‘bleeding’ heavy-metal rocket ship. Making it work may be 100 times as hard as NASA’s most difficult Mars mission, one expert says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX is building a steel launch system called Starship for the moon and Mars, but some aerospace experts say Elon Musk’s new design won’t be easy.

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Feb 17, 2019

Oncology Meets Immunology: The Cancer-Immunity Cycle

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The genetic and cellular alterations that define cancer provide the immune system with the means to generate T cell responses that recognize and eradicate cancer cells. However, elimination of cancer by T cells is only one step in the Cancer-Immunity Cycle, which manages the delicate balance between the recognition of nonself and the prevention of autoimmunity. Identification of cancer cell T cell inhibitory signals, including PD-L1, has prompted the development of a new class of cancer immunotherapy that specifically hinders immune effector inhibition, reinvigorating and potentially expanding preexisting anticancer immune responses. The presence of suppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment may explain the limited activity observed with previous immune-based therapies and why these therapies may be more effective in combination with agents that target other steps of the cycle. Emerging clinical data suggest that cancer immunotherapy is likely to become a key part of the clinical management of cancer.

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Feb 17, 2019

Cholesterol Metabolism Is a Druggable Axis that Independently Regulates Tau and Amyloid-β in iPSC-Derived Alzheimer’s Disease Neurons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Genetic, epidemiologic, and biochemical evidence suggests that predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may arise from altered cholesterol metabolism, although the molecular pathways that may link cholesterol to AD phenotypes are only partially understood. Here, we perform a phenotypic screen for pTau accumulation in AD-patient iPSC-derived neurons and identify cholesteryl esters (CE), the storage product of excess cholesterol, as upstream regulators of Tau early during AD development. Using isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines carrying mutations in the cholesterol-binding domain of APP or APP null alleles, we found that while CE also regulate Aβ secretion, the effects of CE on Tau and Aβ are mediated independent pathways. Efficacy and toxicity screening in iPSC- derived astrocytes and neurons showed that allosteric activation of CYP46A1 lowers CE specifically in neurons and is well tolerated by astrocytes. These data reveal that CE independently regulate Tau and Aβ and identify a druggable CYP46A1-CE-Tau axis in AD.


Van der Kant et al. performed a repurposing drug screen in iPSC-derived AD neurons and identified compounds that reduce aberrant accumulation of phosphorylated Tau (pTau). Reduction of cholesteryl ester levels or allosteric activation of CYP46A1 by lead compounds enhanced pTau degradation independently of APP and Aβ.

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Feb 17, 2019

Transmedics, une machine qui permet de « réanimer » un coeur ayant cessé de battre

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Une belle avancée pour augmenter considérablement le nombre de greffons disponibles pour les transplantations!

Via Explore Science

Transmedics, a machine that allows “Revive” a heart that has stopped beating. A great advance to significantly increase the number of plugins available for transplants! Via @[1382701505100571:274:Explore Science].

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Feb 17, 2019

Stem Cells, Genome Editing, and the Path to Translational Medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

The derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and the stunning discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) holds the promise to revolutionize biomedical research and regenerative medicine. In this Review, we focus on disorders of the central nervous system and explore how advances in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) coincide with evolutions in genome engineering and genomic technologies to provide realistic opportunities to tackle some of the most devastating complex disorders.


Advances in stem cell biology are paving new paths toward their use in the clinic, especially toward understanding and treating neurological and neurodegenerative disease.

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Feb 17, 2019

A Paradigm Shift in Cancer Immunotherapy: From Enhancement to Normalization

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Harnessing an antitumor immune response has been a fundamental strategy in cancer immunotherapy. For over a century, efforts have primarily focused on amplifying immune activation mechanisms that are employed by humans to eliminate invaders such as viruses and bacteria. This “immune enhancement” strategy often results in rare objective responses and frequent immune-related adverse events (irAEs). However, in the last decade, cancer immunotherapies targeting the B7-H1/PD-1 pathway (anti-PD therapy), have achieved higher objective response rates in patients with much fewer irAEs.


This Perspective discusses the concept of immune normalization and how its underlying principles may help to augment, as well as design, cancer immunotherapies.

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Feb 16, 2019

After you spit into a tube for a DNA test like 23andMe, experts say you shouldn’t assume your data will stay private forever

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The DNA from the spit you submitted to Ancestry or 23andMe might be private for now. But experts warn it’s getting easier to link your DNA to your identity.

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Feb 16, 2019

Human Diet Drugs Kill Mosquitoes’ Appetite Too

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

When researchers fed mosquitoes a drug used to treat people for obesity, the insects were less interested in hunting for their next human meal ticket. Karen Hopkin reports.

Full Transcript

Believe it or not, mosquitoes don’t bite out of spite. Female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti need the nutrients present in your plasma to ensure the proper development of their eggs. And though their thirst may seem unquenchable, the ladies actually take time to savor your blood once they’ve sipped their fill.

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Feb 16, 2019

‘Tumour monorail’ on the fast track for human trials

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A biomedical device designed to lure tumour cells out of the brain Pied Piper-style has been awarded specialist breakthrough status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Following successful trials in rats, the device, dubbed a ‘tumour monorail’, has been put on the fast track for human trials by the FDA.

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