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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Med-Chem Should Be Larger Than It Is

    I’m really glad to see this Perspective article in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, not least because it hits on a theme that I emphasize whenever I get a chance to speak to graduate student chemistry audiences. The author, Bart Roman, is pointing out that (1) biologics are relentlessly expanding their role in the landscape… Read More
  • Aging and Lifespan

    Clearing Cellular Dead Wood

    For many years now, the topic of “senescent cells” has been the subject of plenty of research work. Back in the 1960s the “Hayflick limit” was noticed in cell culture: there was an apparent limit to the number of cell divisions that could take place before the cells just sort of stalled out. For human… Read More
  • Biological News

    CRISPR Editing in Primates

    There’s some really interesting CRISPR news out today, and it’s likely to be a forerunner of much more news to come. A research team has demonstrated what looks like robust, long-lasting effects in a primate model after one injection of the CRISPR enzymatic machinery. There have been plenty of rodent reports on various forms of… Read More
  • Biological News

    Integration Into the Human Genome?

    I’ve had several requests for comment on this recent PNAS paper, which talks about integration of SARS-CoV-2 sequences into the DNA of human cells. I’m glad to do it, but right off I have to note that a lot of the attention that it’s getting seems (sadly) to be coming from anti-vaccine activists, who are… Read More
  • Biological News

    Vaccine Manufacturing Woes at Emergent

    The New York Times has a good story on the problems at the Emergent vaccine plant in Baltimore, following up on this one. They’ve uncovered a report from last summer that warned that the facility had quality control problems: A copy of the official’s assessment, obtained by The New York Times, cited “key risks” in… Read More
  • Biological News

    Mysteries in Human RNA

    Let’s put this one in the category of “more things that we didn’t know about human biology”. We’ve known for some time now about ribozymes – catalytic enzyme-like structures made out of RNA instead of proteins. But they’ve been studied more in lower organisms overall. We know that the hammerhead ribozymes a… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Nobel for CRISPR

    The 2020 Chemistry Nobel has gone to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for the discovery of CRISPR. An award in this area has been expected for some time – it’s obviously worthy – so the main thing people have been waiting for is to see when it would happen and who would be on it. Read More
  • Biological News

    Nanobodies Against the Coronavirus: Something New

    So let’s talk about nanobodies – there’s a coronavirus connection to this, but it’s a good topic in general for several reasons. We begin at the beginning: what the heck is a “nanobody”? Antibody Structure The name is derived, rather loosely, from “antibody”. So let’s spend a minute on what anti… Read More
  • Biological News

    Watching For Mutations in the Coronavirus

    The coronavirus outbreak has been accompanied by a huge amount of sequencing data, as well it should be. Nextstrain.org is a great place to see this in action: region by region, the spread of the infection can be tracked, often with enough detail to say where the virus must have come in from and how… Read More
  • Biological News

    New Proteins In New Ways

    Well, biology is marching on, even outside the virology that’s on all of our minds. Have a look at this paper, which is looking at the very small proteins I last wrote about here. (Here’s a commentary on this new work as well). What we’re seeing is yet more strong evidence for such species being… Read More