February 2023- Volume 19, Issue 2

In this Issue

Editor's Focus

A flask with bright blue liquid in it sits on a laboratory bench, and rows of empty flasks sit in rows behind it.

From dye to base editing, early aging may soon have a cure

From dye to base editing, early aging may soon have a cure

Kan Cao studies the rare aging disorder progeria to find a cure, and she’s ready to solve the mysteries of healthy human aging along the way.
A cartoon of a man walking on a road. The road lifts off the ground and tangles itself in the shape of a brain.

What now for the amyloid hypothesis?

What now for the amyloid hypothesis?

The Alzheimer's disease research field has been beset by failed clinical trials and fraud. But researchers remain hopeful that a better understanding of the disease’s broader picture will lead to treatments.

Editors Insight

A book lies open on a surface and a compass, planet, molecule, cell, test tube, and paintbrush hover above the pages.

Making a mess of the tidy narrative

Making a mess of the tidy narrative

Accuracy doesn’t only apply to isolated facts, but to the overall picture they paint.  

Vaccines

close-up of a hand holding a square microneedle vaccine patch on a round, beige backing, with a man’s face out of focus in the background.

Tiny needles make a big impact for vaccine delivery

Tiny needles make a big impact for vaccine delivery

Microarray, or microneedle, patches could boost vaccine access in low- and middle-income countries.
A DNA strand colored red is drawn in the style of origami and sits on top of a blue background.

Origami vaccines fold up to fight cancer

Origami vaccines fold up to fight cancer

As self-assembling structures, DNA and RNA origami vaccines hold vaccine components in precise numbers and arrangements to help the immune system attack tumors.

Aging

Cells stained pink with blue centers.

A new strategy for fighting age-related disease

A new strategy for fighting age-related disease

Drugs that target senescent cells could one day treat frailty, Alzheimer’s disease, or cancer.

Gene Therapy

The protein RNA polymerase binds to DNA and creates an RNA transcript from it.

Editing the cell’s transcripts

Editing the cell’s transcripts

For cases where gene editing simply won’t work, biochemist Aseem Ansari is working on a new idea: changing how cells regulate genes.
A purple and blue 3D rendering of a DNA double helix with a protein and single mRNA strand attached to illustrate transcription.

Gene editing: DNA versus RNA

Gene editing: DNA versus RNA

Researchers correcting the genetic causes of disease at the DNA or RNA level make their cases.

Metabolic Disease

An outline of the human body filled with many clocks.

The ticking clock of metabolic disease

The ticking clock of metabolic disease

Mitchell Lazar studies the transcription factors linking circadian disruption to obesity and diabetes.
A photograph of Segun Fatumo and his colleague wearing white lab coats and working in a laboratory.

Sequencing 100,000 genomes to revolutionize Nigerian genomics

Sequencing 100,000 genomes to revolutionize Nigerian genomics

With diseases like cancer and kidney disease on the rise in Africa, Segun Fatumo and his team are sequencing the genomes of 100,000 Nigerians to understand why.
A photograph of the back of the eye, also known as a fundus image is shown. Blood vessels are red, and other structures are shown in orange and yellow.

Drops and drugs for diabetic vision loss

Drops and drugs for diabetic vision loss

Eye injections are the only way to treat diabetic retinopathy, but many refuse to get them. Now, eye drops and pills are on their way.
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