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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Those Compounds Aren’t What You Think They Are

    There’s a lot of work in the literature on the TrkB receptor, which responds to brain-derived neutrotrophic factor (BDNF). That name certainly makes the ligand protein sound like a pretty big deal, and so it is: BDNF is involved in a lot of neural development pathways, injuries to nerve tissue, and the like, and given… Read More
  • Biological News

    Type 2 Diabetes May Be a Protein Misfolding Disease

    Here’s a paper that will not calm anyone down about the possibility of prion-like diseases. Those, as many will know, are spread by misfolded proteins that, on contact, template others to follow their example. I last wrote about this field a couple of years ago, when examples appeared of transmissable amyloid pathology in humans, spread… Read More
  • Biological News

    Hemophilia: A Proving Ground For Genetic Disease

    There’s very good news for Alnylam (and their partner Sanofi) this morning. They’ve been working on an RNAi approach to hemophilia (fitusiran), targeting expression of antithrombin, a protein which as the name implies which keeps blood from clotting by several different mechanisms. The clinical data that have just come out look very en… Read More
  • Biological News

    Parkinson’s As An Autoimmune Disease: More Evidence

    For many complex diseases, you’ll find that there are a couple of hypotheses floating around them that are hard to prove and hard to disprove: one is that they’re actually caused by some (as yet unrecognized) infectious agent, and the other is that that they’re actually an autoimmune/inflammatory disorder. You can also recognize t… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Heroin Vaccine?

    Drug addiction is a terrible public health problem, and a terrible personal problem for anyone facing it. Giving addicts a better chance to break the drug-taking cycle would be a great benefit, but that’s been an elusive goal. There’s a possible biochemical solution that’s been proposed for years, though, that is recently getting… Read More
  • Biological News

    Thinking About Genetics and Disease

    Robert Plenge has an excellent post here, drawing on this recent paper from authors at Stanford. It’s on the idea of polygenic traits and disease, a very worthwhile subject considering what’s going on in the drug industry these days. I say that because I’ve been making the joke, for some time now, that if you were… Read More
  • Biological News

    ER-beta For Breast Cancer: Think Again

    OK, let’s talk about a breast cancer target, estrogen receptor-beta. It’s been the subject of a great deal of research over the years, but its exact actions have proven difficult to work out. One of the problems has been that there are a number of different antibodies available to locate it in tissue, but they… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Great Untangling

    Here’s a family of proteins that people don’t encounter all that often, but they illustrate how odd and complicated human biology gets to be. The TRP (transient receptor potential) ion channels are a large family (28 members) divided into several groups. Many of them (although not all of them) are involved in sending sensory informati… Read More
  • Biological News

    Trouble with CRISPR? Maybe, But Maybe Not

    Now, here is a paper that is causing a stir. Published in Nature Methods, researchers from Stanford, the University of Iowa, and Colombia are reporting that CRISPR treatment in mice introduces far more mutations than thought. The news sent the stocks of companies like Editas and CRISPR Therapeutics dropping yesterday, and has led to consternation… Read More
  • Biological News

    Making Sure of the Chemistry in Chemical Biology

    There are a lot of interesting and useful experiments you can do to test interactions with DNA in the living cell. Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing (ChIP-Seq) is a well-known one to spot protein-DNA interactions, and the graphic at right (from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics) will show you broadly how it works. Proteins that are inter… Read More
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