June 2022- Volume 18, Issue 6

In this Issue

Editor's Focus

Child kicking a soccer ball

Competition breeds ingenuity in translational research

Competition breeds ingenuity in translational research

It’s human nature to compare one’s success to others, but thinking that the grass is greener on the other side can be detrimental to one’s health. Recognizing strategies as equal but unique ways to tackle a common problem is a healthier perspective.
A drawing of a man pressing his fingers against his forehead is shown with viral particles behind him.

An infective spark for Alzheimer's disease 

An infective spark for Alzheimer's disease 

A once fringe theory that viral and bacterial infections trigger the neuroinflammation and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease is gaining traction. If it proves true, available antimicrobials could be a long sought-after treatment for this neurodegenerative disease.

RNA Therapeutics

Anna Blakney pipets liquid into a tube in her laboratory at the University of British Columbia.

Self-amplifying RNA may reduce side effects associated with RNA vaccines

Self-amplifying RNA may reduce side effects associated with RNA vaccines

Anna Blakney, an RNA bioengineer and TikTok science communicator, studies how self-amplifying RNA improves RNA vaccines and therapeutics.
A single strand of RNA spools out of a large protein complex.

New RNA-editing tools expand therapeutic toolkits

New RNA-editing tools expand therapeutic toolkits

Improved chemistry may make RNA editing therapies more feasible in humans.
Nanoparticles shuttle gene therapies and RNA-based therapeutics into cells.

Human-mouse hybrids accelerate nanoparticle discovery

Human-mouse hybrids accelerate nanoparticle discovery

Nanoparticles that successfully deliver drugs in mice often fail in humans. To understand how nanoparticles fare across different model species, scientists developed a high-throughput system to screen nanoparticles in mice with humanized livers with the hope of better predicting nanoparticles that work in humans.
Nanoparticles are shown grouped together, holding genetic information to deliver into cells.

Next-generation nanoparticle delivery

Next-generation nanoparticle delivery

Nanoparticles fuse with cells to deliver their gene or RNA therapy cargo, but some are better shuttles than others. Now, scientists have developed a way to find the best nanoparticles for the job.

Microbiome

A group of the human parasitic roundworms, Ascaris lumbricoides, sits in a petri dish.

Gut microbes may predict the effectiveness of anthelminthic drugs

Gut microbes may predict the effectiveness of anthelminthic drugs

Pre-screening of the gut microbiome may lead to a more personalized approach to treating intestinal parasitic worm infections, leading to better treatment outcomes and a decreased risk for drug resistance.  
Chest MRI showing the lung

Altered lung microbiomes correlate with poor cell therapy outcomes

Altered lung microbiomes correlate with poor cell therapy outcomes

Researchers face more obstacles studying the lung microbiome than the gut microbiome. One big hurdle is collecting lung samples. In a new study, researchers used an invasive technique to collect fluid from children’s lungs and discovered how the lung’s microbial makeup affects stem cell transplant outcomes.

Stem Cells

Stratagraft by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals treats burns

Turning up the heat on burn treatments

Turning up the heat on burn treatments

A new product takes on the tricky process of tissue regeneration.
Uncover the vast array of stem cell types.

The hitchhiker’s guide to stem cells

The hitchhiker’s guide to stem cells

Amongst a plethora of stem cells, which cell type should scientists choose?
Neurons are shown making connections to each other.

Seminar summary: Delivering drugs to the brain

Seminar summary: Delivering drugs to the brain

Scientists and clinicians discussed their solutions for overcoming the challenge of getting past the blood-brain barrier in DDN’s first seminar.
Man with wet macular degeneration with a microscope to his eye

Stem cell therapy for macular degeneration

Stem cell therapy for macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in adults over age 50, but there are few treatments available. Researchers are now developing promising stem cell therapies to treat the disease.
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